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Is Social Media Marketing Better for B2C Businesses or B2B Businesses?
Companies today are moving towards digital infrastructure and, hence, the future is digital. We have all four Ps of marketing (product, price, place, and promotion) in our digital infrastructure. Promotional activities carried out by businesses in the digital world are known as "digital marketing activities." A very prominent part of digital marketing is known as social media marketing. This branch of marketing is growing by leaps and bounds because more than 4.7 billion people in the world today are on social media platforms.
In this article, we will be diving deep into the concepts of social media platforms, B2B businesses, and B2C businesses. We will also understand why social media marketing is better for B2C businesses than B2B businesses.
Basic Understanding of Different Terminologies Involved
Social Media Platforms
Today, we as a society are connected. It is very easy for us to meet and interact with people across regions and borders. Fast-speed internet, technology, and mobile phones have made it possible. Social media platforms allow users to connect with like-minded individuals, share their thoughts, and do a myriad range of activities. Some of the trending social media platforms today in India are Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Telegram, Hike, and others.
Social Media Marketing
Companies today are leveraging the above-mentioned platforms for their advertising activities. They have their own accounts or handles, and they keep posting news about the business. Companies generally post content about their new products or services, how the company is expanding, if they are hiring talent, customer reviews, and other engagement activities to keep the users or fan base entertained. They have their payment channel linked, and it is very convenient for a user to order the same. Another form of social media marketing could be affiliate marketing. In affiliate marketing, the brand does a collaboration with other influencers on the platform, and the affiliate marketers get a commission on every sale the company makes because of the content of the affiliate marketer. Social media marketing is a very effective form of marketing, both in terms of impact and cost. According to a survey, 80% of the notifications received by a user are read.
A business-to-business (B2B) channel is a type of channel where the business is selling its products or services to another business and not the end consumer of the product or service. For example, the manufacturers of brick, cement, and steel rods will be selling their end products to the construction industry and not to the end consumer. The construction industry is going to use those products to create something that the end consumer can use, like a house or building, or a laptop manufacturer will sell its laptop to an IT firm that will deliver the laptops to individual employees for their office-related work. Companies generally use social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter for connecting with society, advertising their products or services, hiring talent, and other purposes.
A business-to-Consumer channel is where businesses connect with end consumers. Businesses here try to sell their products or services to end consumers, hire talent, showcase new products or services, or keep their customer bases updated on the latest news of the business. For example, Nike as a brand develops its own account and advertises its product, and a customer who was looking for a shoe finds it and orders it. Here, the customer who purchases the product is generally the one who is going to consume it. The money involved in this is generally lower than the money involved in B2B businesses.
Social media marketing is better for B2C consumers than B2B consumers for the following reasons &mminus;
After getting a clear understanding of each term involved in the question, it is time to understand why social media marketing is better for B2C customers than for B2B customers.
Amount of information − While making a purchase decision in a B2B business, the buyer requires a lot of information. A company generally does B2B transactions in order to be better than its competitors in terms of technology and efficiency. Hence, before making the purchase, they need to analyze all the aspects of the deal. Personal selling and email marketing are better forms of marketing strategies when it comes to B2B selling. On the other hand, in B2C, the products are generally fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), so the consumers do not require a lot of information. They get the basic information regarding quality, price, refund policy, and delivery cost, and they are good to go.
The cost involved − Generally, a B2B transaction costs much more than a B2C transaction. B2C transactions are like buying a shoe for yourself for Rs 2000, whereas B2B transactions are like buying 1000 shoes for Rs 2000. Since the money involved is huge, consumers need to do their thinking and cannot go for an impulse purchase or a fast purchase.
Mood while browsing social media − Consumers generally use social media platforms to refresh themselves and are in a very laid-back attitude while scrolling on social media channels. They do not want to be thinking about work while using the platforms in their free or break time. Hence the general tendency is to ignore the data presented to them.
The authenticity of information − The essence of each platform is different. Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat, it is to interact with your friends and family and have a great time. For Twitter and LinkedIn, it is to see what is going on in the business and political worlds. So if a company is advertising its newest technology that will make the hiring process easier on LinkedIn and Twitter, that is still acceptable, but the conversion ratio when it advertises the same ad on Instagram and Facebook will be near zero.
Type of products − It is very easy to sell B2C products to consumers on social media because the consumers, while using social media, want to refresh themselves and are looking out for recreational activities. A nice dinner after work, some energy drinks to gain back the strength, or a new type of coffee will target the right sentiments, and the consumers will order the same. But if you are in the administration department and you have to make a bulk order for coffee (B2B), even if you see that ad, you will skip it because it means doing your work in your free time and hence starting the chain of emails.
Advertising is not about using all the trending channels and advertising your products on them. It will only lead to a waste of time and resources. It is about understanding the essence of the product offering, the essence of the platform that you will be using to advertise your product, and the mood in which the consumer generally is when they are on those platforms. If the company fails to sync all this information together, its marketing strategies are surely going to fail. It is past time for us to recognize what is good for us and invest in it rather than running in the rat race.
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