Friday, February 1, 2013

The Difference Between B2B & B2C Social Media Strategy

by After Interactive 

The way a retail store and an IT services company markets and ultimately acquires customers are completely different. The same things carries over to social media marketing.  However, just like in marketing their are significant differences in marketing and finding customers if you sell to consumers as a business-to-consumer (B2C) company versus selling to businesses as a business-to-business (B2B) company.  What are these differences when it comes to social media marketing?

  1. Focus on Platform - For a B2B company, marketing takes a spray and pray approach. As a result, Facebook serves as the best platform for this. However, since B2B companies have specific industries, companies, and decision makers they target, LinkedIn serves as the best platform to achieve this type of targeted marketing.
  2. Positioning - For a restaurant, it's important to be considered as a location that has a great atmosphere for you to come to after work to have a couple of beers. However, for a B2B company the focus is to be positioned as a thought leader in your industry.  Why? Because at the end of the day your customers want to know you have the answers they need.
  3. ROI - Sales are an ultimate indicator of success for any marketing initiative.  However, for a retail store it can take a lot of immediate sales to recoup the expense for social media marketing. Therefore, PR & branding becomes the primary focus of social media ROI for a B2C company. However, for a B2B company the ultimate ROI is measured in terms of sales leads which can be converted to actual sales.  
Many B2C and B2B companies recognize the inherent differences in marketing and customer acquisition.  However, when it comes to social media marketing many companies seem to think what works for a retail store will work for a commercial real estate company.  Know the differences and start using social media to grow your business.

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