We can all agree on the value of PR and B2B Marketing, but do we know the differences?

We’d be the first to agree that PR can be hugely important for a company. Without a doubt, media relations are an essential chess piece in the strategy for getting the word out about a business or enterprise.

For example, what CEO, CMO or startup founder doesn’t start panting over the thought of having Mashable, Forbes.com or Forrester Research gushing about how their company is redefining, or better yet, disrupting an entire industry? PR can help with that.

B2B Social Marketing is Different than PR

On the other hand, why do we keep hearing from senior B2B marketers that their PR firm doesn’t seem to get what they’re trying to achieve with social media? The answer is obvious, at least to us. B2B social marketing is different than PR. Don’t believe it? Read on…

Here are six reasons why B2B social marketing is different than PR:

  1. B2B social marketing is about engaging prospects and customers. PR is about influencing the news media and industry analysts.
  2. B2B social marketing is about finding, engaging, and converting prospects into qualified leads. PR is about driving brand awareness and social buzz.
  3. B2B social marketing is about building relationships. PR is about making news.
  4. B2B social marketing is about bestowing value with helpful content and conversations. PR is about talking about your company and why it’s special.
  5. B2B social marketing is about what’s relevant to prospects and customers. PR is about what’s relevant to influencers.
  6. B2B social marketing is about the quality of your social community. PR is about the amount of fans, followers, and social reach you have.

Where PR Should and Shouldn’t be Focused

With that said, do we still think there’s value in having a PR firm work on social media for a B2B company? Sure. It’s just that their role should be focused on what they do best: influencing the influencers and building prestige for your business.

Their role should NOT be focused on:

Learning Opportunities

  • Crafting your B2B social marketing strategy.
  • Finding and engaging your prospects and customers using social media.
  • Developing and optimizing your content marketing for social engagement.
  • Deciding whether or not you’re succeeding with social media.
  • Growing your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels since it’s not about how many fans and followers you have, it’s about the quality of your social community (think: filled to the brim with prospects and customers!)

Of course, if your goals are focused on building brand awareness and social media buzz, then forget everything you just read. But keep in mind, your company is B2B not B2C. That means your social marketing strategy needs to be different. Otherwise, have fun explaining to your CMO or CFO how your social media efforts are generating a positive ROI. (Seriously, good luck with that.)

Have more reasons that B2B social marketing is different than PR? Or maybe you disagree with us? Let’s discuss!

Image courtesy of vgm (Shutterstock)

Editor's Note: Read more of Carter's B2B Marketing advice in Struggling with B2B Social Marketing? Here's What to Do Now