Myth #1: Facebook isn’t for B2B marketing, it suits only B2C marketers

As 2016 draws to a close, we are looking to wipe out certain myths that have been perpetuated in the B2B marketing ecosystem. Starting this month, we will work on a series of topics that seeks to debunk the idea that Facebook is not suited for B2B marketing from any aspect, be it the audience, the platform or the nature of advertising. In this first part of the series, we will look to debunk the myth that Facebook is more suited for B2C marketing and not B2B marketing.

Myth: Traditionally, B2C marketers have used Facebook to reach out to consumers and B2B marketers have used LinkedIn to reach out to professionals. Besides, they killed organic reach. Hence, Facebook is not for B2B.

Reality: Facebook is not just a good idea for B2B marketers, but an absolute must. Here are some stats that businesses need to consider. As of Q3 2016, Facebook has 1.79 billion monthly active users. Facebook users spend an average of 50 minutes on the platform. That’s almost an hour of an individual’s time on a single social media platform. You will realize that its nearest rival is way behind—Alphabet’s YouTube, where users spend 17 minutes a day. According to comScore, users spend just two minutes on LinkedIn and one minute on Twitter. Why am I talking about time here? Because in social media, time spent means engagement, which in turn translates to effective advertising. For a B2B marketer, that time matters.

Businesses cannot ignore the enormous amount of content sharing that takes place on Facebook, when compared to Twitter or LinkedIn. People share 1.3 million. pieces of content on Facebook every minute of every day. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge. Given the sheer size of the user base, it is logical that great content will have a multi-fold impact on users. It will be a challenge though to stand out among so much content.

Content aimed at B2B customers need not be the staid, boring kinds. It can be informative and useful, while also being entertaining at the same time. General Electric, Cisco & Siemens are examples of companies who have excellent Facebook B2B campaigns. In a B2B Facebook campaign, it is important to showcase company culture that is friendly, enables employees and can prove to be an indirect hiring tool as these campaigns will serve the purpose of attracting the right talent. This humanizes the brand and makes it more accessible!

Of course, B2B marketers would do well to know their audience first and their expectations and you can track how the audience responds to your content through Facebook Insights. According to Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, about 46% of marketers feel their Facebook efforts are working.

Without a doubt, Facebook has been a godsend for B2C marketers. They have been able to offer discounts, promote sales and retarget buyers who have left items in their carts through Facebook advertising. And many think that it doesn’t quite work that way for the B2B crowd. Guess what? They are wrong! Facebook offers a myriad of solutions for B2B marketers to be able to target their customers such as creating a lookalike audience, making custom audiences, by targeting people through work categories such as employer, job title and new job.

As we all know, lead generation is the main objective for B2B marketers. By promoting the right kind of content such as whitepapers, or inviting people to register for a webinar or get users to visit your website and offer from great content. If users don’t generate leads, then fear not. Facebook retargeting will help in gaining some of the lost prospects. It is critical to engage the audience with interesting industry content, with blog posts and social media posts driving the traffic. The social media and content marketing strategies should be in sync with the overall marketing strategy to ensure the best possible outcome. Facebook is certainly too vast and important for any B2B marketer to ignore.