The Best of Both Worlds | What B2B Marketers Can Learn from B2C Social Media

Throughout my career in B2C marketing agencies, no matter the client, one thing was certain — the angst around social media content and engagement consumed massive amounts of creative energy, dominated agency conversation and generally formed a large part of the marketing strategies and budgets.

So when I transitioned to VantagePoint and the B2B world about a month ago, I asked myself, “Where is all the social media chatter?”

Where’s the stress? Where are the long brainstorming meetings? Where are the last-minute 11pm tweets about the Super Bowl?

I’ve found that the way B2B marketers engage in social media is fundamentally different because the relationship between the buyer and seller is fundamentally different. B2B organizations have longer buying cycles with more relationships and time between initial contact and the purchase. This relationship lends itself to the ability to plan content ahead and focus on specific results.

Though the necessity of social media use remains the same, B2C and B2B marketers engage very differently with platforms, and there are some tips and tricks that each can learn from the other. Here are five overall best practices for social media marketing, as told by a B2C-turned-B2B marketer.

Plan ahead

In the B2B world, content is often planned out ahead of time, sometimes months in advance. With less of a focus on engaging real-time and/or continuously altering content based on performance, planning ahead allows content creators the time to think strategically and gives them space to consider key future events to engage with.

Create results-driven content

Instead of a meme posted simply because it’s funny and could generate some likes, B2B content tends to be more strategically created and placed in order to generate a specific conversion. Whether that’s increasing awareness of a new product or influencing a buyer to call a sales rep, creating content to drive a specific result allows marketers to directly measure its effectiveness.

Utilize multiple platforms

According to MarketingProfs, 94 percent of B2B organizations utilize LinkedIn for their marketing efforts. Though LinkedIn is an effective platform, using multiple social media channels to affirm messaging only makes it more impactful. This principle can extend beyond social media. Communicating the same message through direct mail, trade shows, a strong corporate website and other means will make your marketing efforts that much more effective.

Maintain a broader content focus

Using social media to distribute information on core product offerings can reach a B2B organization’s target audience and produce results; however, creating a broader array of content could help expand an organization’s audience, which ultimately cultivates more engagement and prospective leads down the road. Try to talk about other areas of interest in the industry that the aspirational audience could relate to.

Create shareable content

Creating content that employees and prospective customers want to share will maximize reach and increase social media following. A simple way to do this is by adding images or an interactive component. One study by BuzzSumo found that Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times the engagement, while Twitter posts with a summary and large image can increase shareability up to 78 percent over posts without an image.

Share your social media best practices in the comments below, and get three tips for B2B-ers from Facebook’s best business pages in this blog post.

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