It’s becoming a popular notion that Facebook doesn’t seem an ideal place for B2B marketing. In fact, despite the popularity of social media marketing for several B2B companies, the nature of Facebook still begs the question if it’s the right social media site for it.
Recently, you may have read things like one of Hubspot’s guides to Facebook B2B marketing. These are likely to be the usual responses to the naysayers. However, don’t use that as an excuse to lose sight of what really brings up these questions in the first place. The following lists some of those factors and also how they could actually be neither for nor against the opposing sides of the Facebook marketing debate. It all depends on the kind of questions that they provoke.
- Facebook’s User Population – There’s no denying that with so many users, it’s easy to say that business owners could be among those teeming masses who are always logging in and out everyday. This is what makes it a viable source. With so many users, you’re just bound to at least attract one or two B2B prospects with your company page. Now, the other side to that though is that numbers don’t necessarily indicate the ‘mood’ of the population. You might be right that decision makers might have their own Facebook accounts but what makes you so sure that they’re on Facebook as the CEO of their company and not, for instance, simply Mr. Smith, father of two, husband to a charming wife, and resident of a nice house in the suburbs?
- Social Media Content – Regardless, an audience is still an audience right? Maybe not all decision makers are on Facebook for non-personal reasons. Maybe they could be using it for marketing and lead generation as well. Facebook wouldn’t enable you to put a company page if they knew that businesses couldn’t use it to speak to their intended market. Does the B2B context really make much of a difference? Well, maybe not. But even so, you shouldn’t forget that all businesses face the challenge of putting up engaging content. Without that kind of dynamic content, your page is boring and devoid of life. And guess what? There’s a key word right there: Boring. This is a dangerous risk that’s often overlooked by many B2B companies who sell high-end products (e.g. ERP software). Too much focus on technical jargon isn’t always a turn-on. It’s not very honest either if you force a decision maker to stay on your company’s page on Facebook just by having them read excessively long content.
- The Value of a “Like” - Social media is still a relatively new medium for marketers. As such, results in measuring it’s actual success can be difficult. No other way is this best demonstrated than through the way companies have been measuring “Likes” on Facebook. Yes, you can use likes as some form of CTA and they might be able to indicate the exposure you’re having. Still, you think that’s enough? Is a “Like” really enough to give you the details you need for qualified B2B sales leads?
No doubt Facebook can be used successfully for B2B but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a challenge. Don’t be too taken in by all the hype and view the criticisms not as just more arguments to counter. It might even be wiser to see them as challenges that need to be conquered.