Does social media make sense for B2B companies? Though this is a question that we have started encountering recently, it originates from a much broader conversation about the marketing differences between B2B and B2C companies.  

B2B marketers, David Meerman Scott suggests, have this idea that something is different about what they do compared to what B2C marketers do. “But, you know, you are just marketing to people,” he adds. 

Despite the differences in product price and length of sales cycles, both environments share a goal for successfully engaging with a target market. So how would a B2B company go about social media then?

Don’t Think You Are Different

Don’t create excuses why you are not engaging in certain marketing behaviors because you are a B2B company. Be open-minded and willing to experiment with new techniques. There are tons of lessons B2B marketers can learn from B2C marketing situations and you should take advantage of these opportunities.

Examine Broader Group of Marketing Successes

Expand your thinking to include a broader selection of inbound marketing case studies. For example, take a look at what musicians are doing and emulate that. As Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead   by Brian Halligan and David Meerman Scott suggests, the music industry can teach us a lot about business innovation. Educational institutions are another B2C group that can offer valuable lessons for B2B marketers.

While there are some differences between B2B and B2C marketing, they shouldn’t be exaggerated or created artificially. Companies such as Cisco, with their videos , social media engagement and blogging , have already proven that B2B marketers have a thing or two to learn from B2C environments. And yes, social media makes sense for B2B companies.


Originally published Dec 6, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016