I remember the day I signed up for my MySpace account. During my high school days, social media was the new thing. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and later down the line Pinterest, were all new and unique ways to share your information, interests, and opinions to the world. I remember when almost no businesses could be found on social media, it was just your friends and co-workers.
Things have definitely changed since then. Nowadays, almost every business’ first task besides opening their doors is to develop their presence on social media. However overtime, social media created a business divide. This division changed how business’ developed their strategy and their voice on social media. It was simply whether your company was a B2B (business to business) or a B2C (business to consumer).
This article will help erase the confusion between how these two types of businesses should operate on social media. Keep in mind that these tactics and viewpoints below stem from observations and continuous practice. Since each business is different, each one will receive a different and unique outcome. Without further ado, I present to you the 3 Ways B2B and B2C Businesses Differ in Social Media.
1. Dominant Platforms
B2B- LinkedIn is notably the most profitable and engaging tool for B2B companies. It has the ability to connect you easily through search and introduction to many other business owners locally, nationally and globally. It is a great networking and knowledge-sharing tool, and can present your business in the best light without having to protect it from spammers and web trolls commonly seen on Facebook and Twitter accounts. However besides LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus work quite well due to both their authoritative presence and easy ability to engage in conversation.
B2C- Twitter, Facebook, and most definitely Pinterest are B2C’s best friends. They can easily connect you with your target market, allow for customer engagement, feedback, and support, and finally allow your business to quickly and freely promote offers and new products. Pinterest is the front-runner for B2C in 2013. It’s visual, addictive, and organized in a way where people can see what they like, but aren’t hassled to buy immediately. Facebook is great for the “storefront” point of view, and Twitter is the Internet conversation sensation.
2. Blogging and Digital Media
B2B- Blogging is easily one of the most essential aspects of a B2B social media strategy. It allows for a business to share it’s services, industries, and opinions in a direct and eloquent way, without all the confusion, dictionary flipping, and glossy-eyed skimming. We all know that sometimes a B2B business can seem quite boring. However, a blog can add life, voice, and spirit to a company, making it much more approachable and lovable by the web community. Blogging also improves your search engine ranking. As you update your blog, Google recognizes that your website is providing more and more useful and practical content, thus pushes you to the top and your competitors down.
B2C- In this type of business, blogging is a way to expand and stretch a company’s mission and image. B2C companies have the advantage to go viral. They can create those insane YouTube videos and advertisements that often make no sense, but get a great laugh––often without any harm to the company’s bottom line. In fact blogging, video, photo shoots, and other types of media can increase profits because it humanizes the company to the consumer. Thus, make your brand a best friend instead of just a shopping cart.
3. Peak Times
B2B- Business hours. If you are a business striving after another, it is key to keep your social media game within that 7 A.M to 6 P.M., Monday through Friday range. Think of social media as your second shop, which stops when you do. LinkedIn is best for the early morning crowd, the go-getters, who are catching up on their favorite articles and group discussions. Twitter is a great slack-off, mid-afternoon platform when people are looking for something interesting to read or watch. Either way, know which platforms you are engaging on and test out which posting times work best for you––it’s all about trial and error.
B2C- All the time. The great thing about these types of businesses is that peak times never really die. Facebook is great for the mornings and mid-afternoon. Twitter is an afternoon, all evening platform, and Pinterest thrives in the late-night hour, for those in the midst of insomnia. Posting on the weekends is also a great idea because people have time off and often are on social media, constantly. It is also key to watch what’s trending and comment on it––live! Remember the Oreo Ad from the 2013 Superbowl––post blackout?
If not here is an article about it. This was easily one of the best social media success stories, and proves that if you have your resources ready and aren’t afraid to take a risk that it can really pay off.
Even though it seems as though the hay days of MySpace are over, and people are questioning Facebook’s future, it is easy to say that social media isn’t going anywhere. In the next decade, it will be interesting to watch how these platforms evolve and what new ones come about. Whether your business is a B2B or a B2C, the main takeaway from all of this is to just give it a go. All companies in all shapes and sizes can benefit from social media. Just be smart, be flexible, and never be afraid to take risks.
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