Social Media in B2B #3: Facebook

  • Facebook B2B

Here is the third article on the use of social media for B2B companies. I’ve talked about LinkedIn and Twitter; now it’s time to focus on Facebook.

And yes, Facebook is the largest social media in the world with about 1.4 billion users… But in B2B, LinkedIn and Twitter are more efficient in terms of lead generation. With their growth in this segment of the market, Facebook’s results on B2B have been decreasing to the point where B2B marketers do not even consider it necessary.

Facebook is a bit different from LinkedIn and Twitter. Numbers show that 84% of B2B marketers are using it (below Twitter’s 87% and LinkedIn’s 94%). However, most marketers claim it’s not such a great B2B tool. Numbers would tend to support that: B2B leads generated with social media mainly come from LinkedIn (80%) and far after Twitter (13%). Facebook stands for less than 5% of them.

The question then is:

As a B2B company, is Facebook worth your efforts?

Yes, it is.

  • 1.4 billion users. What does that mean? It’s very, very likely that your potential audience is the largest of all networks.
  • Facebook profiles are very detailed (and filled by their owners):
    • The profile itself (name, age, location, job, interests, friends, etc.)
    • Pictures and videos are easily shared – and Facebook Live is on everybody’s mouth
    • Events
    • Hashtags
    • Apps, etc. are all features that are used on a daily basis and that allow to target and find people

For your own profile, it’ll allow you to offer a nice page to visit!

  • If you own a Facebook page, metrics are automatically provided for you to follow your results and analyse your reach.
  • Thanks to the detailed profile pages, Facebook Ads can target with a high precision the people who are most likely to be interested in your product.

However for these efforts to work, it’s implied that a professional page on a network that, despite everything, remains personal, could interest the B2B actors you’re targeting.

No, it’s not.

  • As mentioned above, Facebook members are not looking for the product or service that is going to revolutionise their company when looking at their news feed. What they want are funny pictures or videos, updates on their family and friends, ideas for B2C purchases and even – let’s admit it – a look at their own profile page. You may be able to target with precision who should, in theory, be interested in you but it’s far from guaranteed that they will be receptive to your message.
  • Messenger: it’s both something positive and negative. Ads and chatbots on Messenger are real opportunities for B2B companies to directly engage with a person in charge of the decision-making for their products. However, Facebook’s usage is mainly mobile. And if Messenger is far from being bigger than Facebook, it’s still affecting how we behave. Now, people connect more often on Messenger to send messages or reply to their friends and less on Facebook itself. That results in posts from companies being less often seen.
  • There are no influencers. LinkedIn and Twitter are full of them and they are great ways to reach more people. They can give you ideas, content, debates or even promote you. But on Facebook, in B2B, they don’t exist.

Here you have what I consider the main advantages and drawbacks for Facebook for business-to-business. It’s up to you to decide if your efforts spent on this network are worth it!

Thanks for reading me; next week I’ll conclude our B2B social media theme with a focus on YouTube. Until then, feel free to share or comment the article!

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