Facebook: A Waste Of Time For B2B Marketers?
Updating our Facebook page recently, it occurred to me that almost all of the Facebook followers that are active on our page (that is, liking and commenting on our posts, writing on our wall etc.) were our friends and not our clients. I suppose this is no surprise. Facebook is a place for friends to connect, and as much as the platform has changed in recent years to try and become more open, it remains for the most part a place to share pictures and life updates with a select number of friends – not keep track of potential business partners.
As much as we love our friends (thanks for all the support guys!), as a business, you have to ask yourself the question: what return am I getting for the time I am putting into this platform?
In my experience, as far as business-to-business marketing is concerned Facebook has seen limited returns. There’s no doubt that FB can see great results for business-to-consumer brands, just look at Innocent’s work (a personal favourite). But for B2B marketing, I’ve found LinkedIn and particularly Twitter far more effective for generating leads for the sales guys to chase up.
However, this is only my experience. I’m sure that there are certain businesses out there who have seen Facebook produce some nice new business leads. Despite this though, I’m not actually convinced that they’ve provided content any differently from others. Instead, Facebook works for them because that’s where their clients can be found.
I guess the bottom line is actually very simple: if your potential clients are likely to be using a certain social media platform – be it Facebook or something else, then go ahead and invest in it, plough content into it and reap the rewards (this set of slides provides a slightly more strategic insight into this process). But if the influential people in the businesses that you are targeting for new business leads are elsewhere – focus your efforts on where they are.
This might sound obvious, and I suppose it is. But it’s easy for a business to jump on the social media bandwagon just because they think they should. Before you start investing your time and money into feeding these channels, make sure that the people who are going to be seeing them are the ones that count.