Facebook Isn’t a B2B Marketing Channel? Baloney!
That’s right, baloney. And I don’t even like baloney. I just felt like it was the best word to use. In fact, I’m not really sure what baloney is made of, but I’m pretty sure it’s not good. It’s like the hot dog of sandwich meats.
But, enough about meats! Let’s talk about Facebook.
As digital marketers, we hear it all the time:
“Facebook is not a business channel.”
“Facebook is only for consumers and consumer products.”
“Facebook is a waste of time for us because our professional audiences are not on Facebook.”
And we get it. There are countless articles and B2B thought leaders that repeat this day in and day out. They say to rely on LinkedIn. They claim that Twitter is better for professional audiences.
Well, I’m here to prove otherwise. And I have data to back it up! Yes, data. In a world of alternative facts and feelings over facts, data is too often forgotten.
Ready, set, go!
First, let’s talk about the most important part of social media – attention.
You want to be where your professional audiences are participating online. You want to be where their eyes are online. This is step #1, but often ignored. Many people make the mistake of judging the value of a social network based on pre-conceived characteristics instead of the potential to capture attention (where your audience is active online). LinkedIn, for example, has long been established as a professional social media network and the go-to place for B2B marketing, despite lower overall audience engagement and activity.
When looking at Pew’s “Social Media Update 2016” the data is clear. Facebook has by far the largest audience among major social networks:
Facebook also significantly outpaces Twitter and LinkedIn when it comes to daily usage:
This is most important.
Audience size means nothing if there’s no engagement (cough, Google Plus, cough). You can have the greatest ad campaign and the greatest creative in world, but if it’s not seen, it’s never going to make a positive impact.
And if you want even more data, check this out. 79% of online adults with at least a college degree are on Facebook. Goodness, I love this report. Way to go, Pew!
In short, EVERYONE is on Facebook. And this is the key. Regardless of your industry vertical, your audience is actively on Facebook scrolling through updates from family and friends and/or catching up on industry news, world news, and fun pieces of content. Despite being a “professional” audience, your audience is still human.
Which brings me to my second point – the power of Facebook targeting.
With a combination of demographic, interest and behavioral targeting at your finger tips, your audience is on Facebook and they can be reached. I guarantee this.
If you have an audience that can’t be reached on Facebook, let me know. If we can’t figure out a way to reach your audience, I will personally donate $50 to your favorite charity. And I’m a millennial. I’m in debt up to my eyeballs with minimal savings and no assets to my name. But hey, I’m confident.
For demographics, Facebook will let you target users based on such criteria as job titles, employers, fields of study, industries, and even job type.
If you want to reach lawyers, no problem. There are over 1.5 million Facebook users in the United Stated who have identified themselves as being a lawyer via the job title profile field.
Here’s just a snippet of some of the job titles:
And if you want an even bigger audience of lawyers, you can also target all United States Facebook users who have studied Law.
Want to reach pharmacists? Well, there are 674k Facebook users who label themselves as pharmacists.
How about educators? In addition to demographic targeting, we have found that targeting people interested in professional organizations is a fantastic way to reach professional audiences. In this case, we can reach over a million people who we deem to be mostly educators:
Want to reach nurses? There’s a Facebook behavior for that too. It’s still hard to believe and a little scary, but Facebook can actually determine certain job roles based on users’ behavior on Facebook. For nurses, there are over 500k users who Facebook believes are nurses.
And lastly – look-a-like audiences should be embraced by B2B marketers.
By using your organization’s email list and/or website retargeting audiences, you can use Facebook’s look-a-like audience tool to reach Facebook users who are similar to your customers/members and website visitors. This is extremely powerful for top-of-funnel targeting.
While this targeting is great for expanding your reach and increasing your pipeline, we’ve actually seen these audiences convert at very high levels. It’s machine learning at work!
I hope this article proved that Facebook 100% needs to be part of your B2B marketing plan. If you agree, and if you need help taking your B2B Facebook marketing to the next level, we’re here to help. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or needs.
I’ll now step off my pedestal and go back to eating my non-baloney sandwich.