Do All Social Media Experts Understand B2B? Why You Have to be Careful When Hiring

For some reason, it seems that people enjoy working with B2C businesses more than B2B. After all, the public is a little bit more fun to deal with than the stuffy business office that has to follow a certain code of conduct (even if “fun” means more stressful at times). This seems to be particularly true when it comes to social media, and for good reason. Social media does focus on the public, and most businesses want to use social media to connect with potential customers and clients. However, what many don’t realize is that although social media might yield better results if you’re a B2C company, it isn’t useless for the B2Bs.

How B2B Social Media Works Differently than B2C

There are a few different ways that B2B social media and B2C social media differ, all of which are somewhat subtle. Below are a few of the differences you’ll find depending on your audience:

  • Photos – The photos that you put up should be relevant to your audience and not just something that you personally think is interesting. It might sound obvious, but it’s harder than you might think.

For example: Putting up the company holiday party photos is really more for a B2C audience. If you’re a B2B company, you might not want to advertise how much fun you all have. It’s certainly OK if that’s what you choose to do, but those who see them will be thinking like a consumer, not a business.

  • Content – This is the easy part of social media. If you’re a B2B company, you will of course want to post content related to your industry. If you’re a B2C company this is still important, but you might want to throw in a little bit more engagement and a little bit less seriousness.

For example, a B2B company might post an article about a new Google update and ask companies how they are coping, while a B2C company might make the announcement and explain to customers how the company is fairing.

  • Analytics – The analytics that you will gather for both types of companies are the same, but what you focus on will differ slightly. In general, a B2C company will want to focus on clicks, whereas a B2B company will want to pay more attention to engagement.

For example, if a B2B company put up a few articles regarding Google updates and a few articles regarding email-marketing services, it’s important to see which one is getting more clicks; therefore answering the question of what is more in demand with your followers. A B2C company might want to see which posts are getting the most engagement because consumers aren’t always as likely to read an article—they might just “like” it which shows that they are active and paying attention. Still, both are important for both types of businesses, so the lines here do get a bit blurry.

Although the differences may be few, it’s important to realize that B2C strategies are more common than B2B strategies. Because of this, finding a good social media expert for a B2B company can be tricky.

How to Make Sure Your Social Media Expert Understands B2B 

At the risk of sounding like a therapist, understanding that this might be an issue is the first step. Many companies don’t really consider the difference in strategy that has to occur when it comes to social media (part of the reason they hire an “expert”). Unfortunately, many experts don’t realize it either.

Most put a focus on B2C because it’s more prevalent, so you need to make sure that you ask questions regarding the differences in strategy when you’re interviewing. Once again, understanding these differences yourself should help you find a good match.

How do you make sure your social media expert understands B2B? Have you ever hired someone who didn’t focus on your target audience? Let us know your thoughts or your story in the comments below.

Amanda DiSilvestro is a graduate of Illinois State University. Although she graduated with an English Education degree, she found herself working as a full-time blogger in the SEO/social media department at HigherVisibility SEO, a leading franchise SEO company.