Business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing and business-to-business (B2B) marketing necessitate different mindsets. In a previous blog post, I made the argument that they don’t have to, that B2B marketing can stand to be more like B2C, but there’s one aspect where this may not be the best course of action. That’s social media marketing.

While B2B marketing could be more like B2C marketing, it shouldn’t market in the same places. Social media platforms are sectioned off audiences, each with different demographics among their user bases. There’s some crossover between sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but they are not the same by and large. This means that some social media platforms have the audience that B2C is targeting and others have the right audience for B2B.

Understanding which platform is best for your business is all about knowing your audience. Being B2C or B2B does make answering the question of “who’s my audience,” a lot easier.

B2C Marketing on Social Media

Business-to-consumer marketing is all about appealing to individual consumers. You’re not trying to sell a product or a service that someone will use to do their job better, this is something they’re going to enjoy outside of work.

When your target audience can be characterized as the consumer, you want to target social media platforms where people are in the mindset that they are individuals. Examples of B2C businesses would be movie theaters, storefronts, or law firms. The social media platforms that work best for these B2C ventures reflect that.

What Social Media Platforms Work for B2C Marketing?

B2C marketing has the added benefit of having a variety of social media platforms they can target. Having a lot of options means you have to collect more data to understand where your focus should be, but having more options doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The social media platforms to consider include:

These three social media platforms are all about building personal profiles and relationships with people. These relationships are strictly unprofessional in that they don’t have to do with work and people act as they would in private, informal settings. The point is to have fun or some kind of enjoyment, making these social media platforms the perfect place for businesses with consumer audiences.

One of the best ways to sell someone on something they could enjoy is to sell it to them while they are enjoying something. This isn’t to say interrupt their enjoyment, but market yourself alongside their enjoyment. People will make their own connections that will fuel their desire for your product or service.

What Social Media Platforms Don’t Work for B2C Marketing?

When it comes to B2C marketing, there’s only one site whose audiences aren’t ones a consumer-focused business should target: LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is focused on making connections between industry peers, learning about each other’s work experience, and potentially, finding work. Being on LinkedIn is not about the individual and their enjoyment when they leave work. Being on LinkedIn is about furthering your ability to grow in your company, and potentially your industry overall.

If you try to market to someone while they are working or furthering their work, you’re not advertising alongside their enjoyment. In all likelihood, you’d just be getting in their way, and that will have the opposite effect on their opinion of your brand. When you market to someone who’s trying to work, you have to be offering something that will improve their workload or work experience. More often than not, you’re not a consumer-focused business if your product or service improves someone’s day on the job.

There isn’t a hard-set rule that B2C marketing has no place on LinkedIn, but it should never be at the expense of marketing on other social platforms.

B2B Marketing on Social Media

B2B marketing is a different animal when it comes to social media marketing. You’re targeting a company, and you do it through their employees. You have a product or service that’s going to make work easier and get new clients, and you need to convince employees of your worth.

Employees are, in most instances, only in the mindset of work when they are working or on sites that encourage work relationships. There’s only one popular social media site that does that.

What Social Media Platforms Work for B2B Marketing?

LinkedIn is the premier social media platform for B2B marketing. It’s where your target audience is confirmed to be in the mindset of improving their workflow and often, their place of employment is a part of their profile description. LinkedIn literally helps you know who works where and if they work for a company you want to have as a client.

What Social Media Platforms Work for B2B Marketing?

On the flip side of the equation, all other platforms have little place for B2B marketing. If you’re a company on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, you’re going to be marketing to your consumer base, not answering to marketing aimed at your company.

In contrast to LinkedIn, it would also be unusual in most instances to say your profession. On Twitter and Instagram especially, you will be under the guise of anonymity. If you’re looking for employees of specific companies you want as clients, that’s going to be near impossible without some major data collection first. At this point, you would be better off marketing on LinkedIn, where finding out who works where is easier to do.

Contact ENX2 Marketing for Help Moving Through Social Media

Social media marketing, B2C marketing, and B2B marketing are three separate topics with enough crossover and differences to make someone’s head turn. Contact a marketing firm that specializes in keeping it all straight, utilizing platforms and strategies to produce the best results. Contact ENX2 Marketing.