It seems the ‘B2B never use Facebook’ myth just won’t die.
On the PnR podcast (This Old Marketing) with Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose – one of my favourite podcasts – they tend to mention this regularly. Especially for B2B Manufacturing companies – the opinion being that if you are in B2B manufacturing then you are wasting your time creating and promoting content for Facebook.
My view is a little different to theirs, mine is: test and measure
It may work, it may not.
Just this week the topic came up again in a meeting with a B2B company – we won’t be using Facebook for much/any of our promotion… “after all CIOs and IT Managers aren’t on Facebook…”
I’m puzzled how this opinion continues to be accepted. The test is simple: ask the marketing manager, or IT Manager, or CIO of the company you work for if they themselves are on Facebook. Although there will be exceptions, most will answer with an affirmative.
The irony (to incorrectly use the word) of it all is that often when marketing managers in B2B marketing companies spout forth the ‘B2B isn’t on Facebook’ opinion it sometimes turns out they’ve learnt it from an ebook or whitepaper that they themselves found via Facebook.
Take Pardot for example. They are currently running an amazing retargeting campaign on Facebook. Visit their site and navigate through a few pages. Then wait for the retargeting on Facebook to begin. It’s a beautiful campaign, because once you’ve downloaded their first ebook they then target you with the next. In all I’ve been pushed through 4 campaigns by them – all on Facebook. And their content is excellent.
Account Based Marketing
The other important piece to understand in all this is that most B2B sales involve multiple people through the process – it’s classic Account Based Marketing. The research may begin with a more junior position and guide them through consideration points. Once they’ve got their list of options they then take it to their CIO or IT Manager. So even if the CIO is’t on Facebook (a view I challenge obviously) guess where those more junior people are…
I’m not saying B2B marketing on Facebook is a guaranteed thing. Rather I’m saying that you should always test and measure. To assume that FB isn’t a good fit is a missed opportunity at best and big mistake at worst.
Solve for the Problem
One more thing though. Make sure you are solving for the problem. If your problem is that leads aren’t converting to sales, then no amount of Facebook or any other channel promotion is going to help that. You have sales process issues. But if you have an awareness or lead generation issue, then considering other channels – even those you may previously thought not a fit – is definitely recommended.