If I had one US dollar for every time I’ve been told Facebook isn’t right for B2B marketing, I wouldn’t be so concerned about the state of the British Pound and #Brexit.
As Google reflects, the whole Facebook vs LinkedIn debate has been raging for years. While actively discussing the virtues of both platforms is positive, what troubles me is that the majority of these articles are comparing Facebook to LinkedIn as an all-or-nothing ultimatum.
The reality is that all B2B social media strategies should have both a LinkedIn and a Facebook component – these are NOT mutually exclusive. There are pros and cons for each platform, which means a successful strategy should play to each platform’s strength and weakness.
With 80% of the Google search results writing off Facebook, let us examine the facts (these should at least get you thinking about why Facebook isn’t part of your B2B social media strategy).
Using the incredible social listening tool Epictions (a content intelligence platform) we have examined numerous B2B keywords and phrases to gain insight into which platform sees the highest level of engagement.
In addition to the information we can glean off Epictions (they have a free version – go have a play), there are numerous studies, surveys and research reports that clearly show Facebook has a place it all social media strategies.
Quoted directly from the Hotwire study:
The days when work stops when you leave the office are long since dead, if they ever even existed.
It’s a divide which dictates how marketing vendors define themselves – do you offer B2B or B2C services as your primary focus? It’s a divide which may have made sense in the past, but in the age of social media and always-on communications do key business decision makers across the marketing and IT functions still separate channels in this way?
Our research shows that they don’t – when asked which social media platforms decision makers consult when making a purchase decision it’s clear that these individuals are willing to consider relevant information regardless of the channel they find it on.
Still not convinced? Ask yourself – how many times a week do you check Facebook compared to LinkedIn?
In the face of so much evidence, why are B2B’ers still dismissing (even ‘fighting’) Facebook as a channel that should be part of their social strategy? I keep coming back to three points/camps:
- They are dogmatic about Facebook being a friends and family platform only.
- They have ‘tried’ it, and it doesn’t work (this has significant cross over to point 3).
- They don’t understand or have the knowledge/experience to see how Facebook would fit into a social strategy, so they dismiss it as ineffective.
The majority of the anti-B2B-Facebook advocates that I speak to, fit in camps 1 & 2 – and let’s face it, camp 3 is unlikely to admit that they don’t actually know how to do something.
What is more perplexing is that the majority of the ‘we haven’t tried’ Facebook camp are working with specialist agencies, that should’ve at least tried to run a Facebook pilot or two for you by now.
If your agency hasn’t, ask them two questions:
- Why aren’t we using our email lists to build Facebook Custom Audiences? (you already have these in your CRM, email lists etc. which can be uploaded to Facebook so that you can target these prospects/customers with specific posts/content/ads on their Facebook feeds).
- Why haven’t we got Facebook Pixels (formerly ‘Cookies’) on our website giving us the ability to re-target web traffic with specific posts/content/ads on their Facebook feeds? (again called Facebook Custom Audiences).
Even for the most sceptical, your agency should have advised you about the above mentioned. I’m only scratching the surface on what a B2B Facebook strategy should look like, but if your agency isn’t talking to you about Facebook – its time to have a serious word with them!