Navigating the differences between running social media for B2C and B2B companies can be challenging. And sometimes, the best way to learn the ins and outs is through experience. Some things can be relatively straightforward, but with the complexities of the different platforms, there are many nuances that need to be addressed. Since starting off in a B2B role, these 6 things have become rapidly apparent:
1. Adjust Your Tone
While brand voice is always important, tone matters just as much. No social media platform is the same in terms of audience and etiquette so your tone needs to be adjusted accordingly. Twitter, for example, typically involves a more lighthearted tone. LinkedIn, however, would be more buttoned-up. As far as B2B goes, managing your tone across different platforms becomes even more important because your audience will be more specific. I highly recommend starting with your buyer personas' pain points in mind and build a tone that uses these as a base for identification.
2. Roasting Doesn’t Work
Sass and drama are great on reality TV shows, but not so much for B2B social accounts. No matter how much you want to be edgy and roast your followers, that’s not the best move for B2B marketing. It’s easy to look at B2C accounts like Arby’s and MoonPie and get excited about creating snarky content. But for B2B audiences, content like that seems out-of-place and unprofessional. Instead of snarky, try relaxed and informal, just as long as it is still relatable to the professionals you are trying to reach (and not disrespectful). It’s all about balance.
3. You Are Still Marketing to People
Even as a B2B marketer, you are still communicating with people! B2B customers like to laugh, learn and be entertained just as much as B2C customers. The main difference is that instead of individuals purchasing for themselves, they are individuals purchasing on behalf of their company. To remedy this, it’s a good idea to use a mix of fun and engaging content and informational content. The fun content is a great way to appeal to those employees and the informative content informs them about your expertise and credibility in your field.
4. Ads Are Important
Yes, especially for B2B. But this goes for B2C accounts as well. Growing your audience organically is becoming more and more difficult. Using ads on social is a great way to target your message to those who will be most interested. Granted, for B2B targeting an audience can be a lot trickier. But understanding your buyer personas and knowing which platforms they are most active on can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your ad strategy.
5. Good Work Takes Time
Hello, time management, we meet again. Not to be cliché, but being creative is hard work. Think about it–even the shortest forms of writing are often the hardest. And this definitely applies to social media. So, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to get in a creative space and write. Don’t cut your time short just because the word count isn’t as hefty as a blog or white-paper.
6. Engagement is King
Content, it's been real, but you've been dethroned. It's now all about the importance of engagement. While many B2C purchases can be on impulse, B2B involves building a strong foundation of trust with potential customers. And what better way to build trust than starting a conversation? I have found the most growth on platforms where I can effectively start conversations with followers. Again, your customers are people. They work in their industry every single day and want to connect with others that are thinking about the same topics. If they can connect with your business through this avenue, then you’re doing it right. Creating a sense of community surrounding industry topics is hands down the best way to run B2B social media.
In the end, social media is all about creating a community. Businesses are going to value the authenticity and credibility of the communities you create. As long as you can balance your content and engagement you are on the right track!