Social media is often regarded as an overarching business-building strategy, but the fact is more B2C companies value social media than their B2B counterparts, according to a new survey from B2B ratings and reviews firm Clutch and marketing analysis publisher Smart Insights. The findings indicate a growing consumer preference to make purchasing decisions based on their social media activity, a reality that favors B2C companies.
Nearly 60 percent of the B2C companies surveyed report that social media helps increase their revenue and sales, compared to 46 percent of B2B companies. Experts say the current social media environment is ideal for consumers and the B2C businesses that have a presence there.
“[Social media] makes more sense for B2C companies because of the mindset people are in when they’re on social media,” said Steve Pearson, CEO of Friendemic, in a news release. “They’re in consumer mode, not business mode.”
B2C companies prefer consumer-focused social media channels, such as Facebook and YouTube, while B2B companies prefer LinkedIn and Twitter because they can easily target other businesses.
B2C companies (82 percent) also tend to post more original content to social media than B2Bs (74 percent).
“B2B lends itself to curated content, where brands can help their audience by sharing curated news and best practice content to help individuals develop their skills and careers,” said Smart Insights CEO Dave Chaffey, in the release. “In B2C, there is less scope for sharing news and advice, so instead, brands tend to share more original content related to their products and services.”
B2B businesses typically use social media with the objective of becoming an authority in their respective industry, while B2C companies are driven to influence customers to buy something.
The study also identifies the social media content that engages consumers best—articles, videos, and images—and the challenges social media marketers face, such as not having enough resources and problems with refining social media efforts into a formal strategy.
Clutch’s 2017 Social Media Survey included 344 social media marketers at companies from around the world with more than 10 employees; the respondents are split evenly between B2B companies and B2C companies.