B2C and B2B Marketing – When Social Media Blurs the Line

Ever since social media marketing became a staple, much debate has went on about the use of one particular network: Facebook.

Typically, social media marketing on Facebook has been associated with consumer products. But of course, such can be a general statement and already several marketing authorities are citing exceptions.

One such example is this list of Top 10 Best B2B Facebook Pages by KoMarketing Associates. Googling similar terms will yield more examples. You would think then that their existence would prove that B2B companies should have as much reason to use Facebook as any other.

However, here are some things you might want to note when looking through these examples:

1. Similar visuals – They both use pictures featuring their products. With over 350 million photos uploaded daily, these pictures tell stories about the company (like how their customers make use of their products).

2. They both use it as a PR outlet – Like any time of marketing platform, they also use it to announce events whether its Starbucks announcing another flavored coffee or Oracle announcing keynotes for Oracle OpenWorld.

3. It’s a two-way channel – And of course, you can’t forget the role of social media technology as a means of communication. There’s a fair share of customer complaints and product discussions for both well known B2C and B2B brands.

Given the difference between the B2B and B2B sales process, it’s almost like social media has B2B organizations emulating B2B ones on FB.

While that’s good for sparking engagement with prospects, it doesn’t always prepare them for longer haul of the B2B process. That’s why when the line starts to get blurry for them, make sure your content still plays a distinct tune:

  • Step 1: Remember your target audience – Target audiences need to be defined first and foremost no matter what your marketing style is. And on Facebook, knowing your target audience determines what you communicate and how.
  • Step 2: You are more information-based – By this, it doesn’t just mean driven by marketing data. Your actual content presents (or at least redirects) to more information compared to just artistic pictures of hamburgers.
  • Step 3: Don’t just stick to Facebook – Finally, you should know by now that Facebook isn’t the only social network used for marketing. You also have LinkedIn and it can arguably make for a better source of B2B leads as well as professional dialogue if you know how to start right.

Given its popularity, it’s natural for any marketer to get their company their own Facebook page. However, you might forget that its popularity still puts it closer to a consumer environment rather than one full of business professionals. Take care when the hype starts to blur the line!