For many business owners, social media marketing is “the next big thing” that they’re still struggling to understand and use effectively. According to a 2014 Social Media Examiner poll, 97% of marketers are currently participating in social media but 85% of participants aren’t sure what social media tools are the best to use.

Social media marketing is not a one-size-fits-all marketing solution. And what works for B2C businesses is not necessarily the most effective strategy for B2B businesses.

Take Twitter for example. For a B2C business, there is immense value in building a large follower base and tweeting as often as possible – even several times a day. Through a Twitter following, a B2C business builds brand awareness, and does not necessarily sell products or services in their tweets. For example, breakfast chain Denny’s has over 230,000 followers and its tweets are not necessarily about what’s going on in their restaurants. Around the time last month that New Horizons was sending the first pictures of Pluto, the Denny’s account tweeted: “If Pluto were eggs, would you eat it?” A simple, funny tweet that keeps their brand front of mind.

However, this approach doesn’t work and isn’t necessary for B2B businesses. Using Twitter isn’t about growing a followers list or building brand awareness, it’s about being able to place a Twitter widget on your website to create dynamic content on your homepage. And dynamic content is what garners SEO benefits. For this, a business needs only tweet about four times a week. Ideally, these tweets are relevant to a company’s industry, without “selling” a product or service.

Facebook is another place where the B2C and B2B marketing tactics differ. For B2C businesses, Facebook is an important brand awareness tool because ads can be strategically placed in news feeds. But for B2B businesses, news feed ads are unnecessary and, in reality, there is very little use of even maintaining a company Facebook page.

For both B2B and B2C, LinkedIn is a useful social media tool. But, not for marketing; instead, LinkedIn is most useful as a recruiting tool.

For B2B businesses, the most effective social media tactic is to create a YouTube channel and produce regular, informative videos. Creating a viral video isn’t the goal; the goal is to educate and inform viewers (like regular blog posts) and to showcase your expertise in the industry.

Business managers looking to purchase from other businesses don’t want to be ‘sold to.’ If they are convinced of your expertise, they’ll come calling.

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