social media networks

B2B vs. B2C: How to Choose Social Media Networks for Marketing

I am regularly asked about how to choose social media networks for marketing. The answers are highly individual for each business, of course. (You knew this wasn’t going to be quick and easy!)

So, the easiest way to tackle this is by looking at a few scenarios. From a very basic viewpoint, small businesses sell to other businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C). Thanks to today’s digital world, many companies have both local or national customers.

There are exceptions, of course. Many businesses can only cater to local customers: plumbers, music teachers, landscapers – you get the idea. And then there are the companies who want to reach everyone: destinations like Disney World and Internet service providers like Verizon.

For our purposes, we’re going to generalize a little bit. Let’s dive in.

How to choose social media networks for marketing

B2C companies

Facebook

People want to interact with brands they like and trust, but they’re not necessarily looking for business- or work-related information on Facebook. Consumer-facing companies that are fun – retail, restaurants, spas – stand out on Facebook – especially if they’re running a sale.

Instagram

Some companies are just more visual than others, and they tend to be consumer-facing as well. They are probably also inspirational and aspirations. Think clothing brands, vacation destinations, restaurants, furniture and home goods.

Yelp

Positive reviews – and lots of them – heavily influence consumer purchase decisions. Ignore Yelp and don’t ask for reviews at your own peril.

Google Reviews

Because Google reviews show up right at the top of search engine results, these are often the first thing people see when checking you out online. Set up Google My Business, and ask customers for reviews.

Pinterest

People make purchases on Pinterest, so if you sell products, use this platform! Create boards for your various categories of goods and turn each upload into a buyable pin.

B2B companies

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the Facebook for B2B companies. People want to get business-related information here. They want to connect with people in their networks, talk to them, share stuff and learn.

If you’re B2B, don’t focus on Facebook. Use it and see what happens, but you will likely get a better ROI from LinkedIn.

Twitter

Business owners, bloggers and journalists use Twitter. It’s a great place to connect with them and thought leaders in your field. And, as you’ve heard me say a million times, Twitter chats are incredibly social and a fantastic place to build relationships.

Google Reviews

While Yelp isn’t as important for B2B companies as B2C (people are just more excited to review a meal than their bookkeeping service), Google Reviews are super important for the same reason cited above. These reviews show up in search results, so encourage them.

So, those are our tips on how to choose social media networks for marketing. Got any questions? Definitely check out our ebook, The Small Business Guide to Social Media Marketing.

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