More business-to-consumer (B2C) companies value social media compared to business-to-business (B2B) companies, according to a survey conducted by Clutch (in partnership with Smart insights).

“[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. “They’re in consumer mode, not business mode.”

The survey compared B2C and B2B values of social media platforms. B2C businesses prefer Facebook and YouTube, while B2B businesses see the most value in LinkedIn and Twitter.

But it could also come down to the objective of social media posting, with B2B customers more likely wanting to be viewed as authoritative figures in their chosen market, while B2C look to influence consumers to purchase products.

This is often reflected in their content, with B2C companies (82%) tending to post more original content to social media than B2Bs (74%) who were more likely to post curated content.

Companies that post original content show consumers more about themselves.

“It gives the person digesting the content the feeling that they’re having a unique experience with that brand,” said Clay Darrohn, founder of digital marketing firm fishbat(link is external). “If you see duplicate content throughout the web, it doesn’t give you the feeling that the brand you’re working with is authentic.”

The content that engages best is the content consumers have not seen anywhere else.

Another factor is the consideration and targeting of the audience.

“If I have responsibility over purchasing something for my organization, I generally do that on company time, where I’m dedicating effort to that project, and I’m not going to think to go on social media to do that,” Pearson said.

And while this is true, successful advertising is about audience retention, so being able to market to B2B customers on social media means considering the audience targeting with simple messaging that will make that user think “I could use this for work’.

In other words you need a clear and precise strategy with simple messages to allow for audience retention in a B2B market.

This requires resources, time, strategy and utilising your existing online presence.

According to the survey it discovered that these were also the major challenges companies face with social media.

Companies found they did not having enough human and financial resources (26%), lacked a formal strategy (24%), and  had no time in building a community of followers and influencers (24%).

To be successful in social media, businesses need company leaders to invest in the success of their social media efforts.

“The only way to overcome these challenges is to have a smarter strategy that is more focused,” B2B owner said. “Nothing replaces having a leadership team or decision maker inside an organization that gets social media and is willing to put in long-term effort.”

If a business’s leaders do not see value in social media, the business will continue to struggle with these challenges.