Why Social networks are more suitable for B2B
We are used to think that social media are more suitable for B2C companies than B2B. If we look at the characteristics of each market, we can easily guess that Social Networks are more suitable for B2B than B2C.
B2B market , indeed, is usually described as relationship driven, aiming to maximize the value of relationship within a small and focused target market. The Brand identity is created on personal relationship and the sell/buying process is configured as a multi-step and long cycle one. In B2B, more than the B2C, the main activity is to build the credibility and the reputation able to help company to perform sales. This happens because the buying process depends more from rational than emotional needs. So the relationship has to be able to respond to rational needs of the audience. In B2B companies, the large and important part of relationship are personal and developed in a 1-to-1 approach among the parts.
Let’s consider social networks. A social network is a group of actors that build relations among them. Any network (meaning a group of person) is limited and grouped by common interests. Within the network actors exchange informations and contents according to their interests and their personal needs. Within a social network, a member build its reputation demonstrating to be credible and accurate. From its activity people will define his reputation.
So, comparing the description of B2B market and social network, we can guess many common points:
- Both Social Network and B2B are size limited
- Both are based on 1-to-1 relationship
- Relationship (and conversation) helps to develop reputation
- The brand identiy (personal and business) are created on personal relationship
Many B2B marketers (and companies) fail in social networks focusing only on a classic brand awareness or lead generation tactic, without taking advantage of the possibility to include the social network relationship within the business process. For a B2B enterprise, social networks should became the way to effectively add value to the relationship (usually demanded to people).
Do you use social media to improve relationship with your audience? how?