For a long time, Facebook was pretty much considered useless for B2B marketers. But is it worthwhile to use Facebook for B2B marketing?
Marketing specifically to clients that are other businesses, is referred to as B2B (business-to-business) marketing. The approach of marketing to businesses is slightly different than marketing to the end-consumer (referred to as B2C or business-to-consumer marketing).
For a long time, Facebook was pretty much considered useless for B2B marketers. That changed when Facebook implemented targeted audiences a while back. However, many business owners that sell to other businesses are still sceptical about using Facebook to market to potential clients. One thing they should keep in mind is that Facebook is an excellent tool for relationship building. Business clients value relationships even more than consumer clients.
Facebook for B2B marketing
Ignoring Facebook is almost as bad as not being visible online. The businesses you want to target with your marketing still has humans managing and owning them. Chances are that the decision-makers do have Facebook accounts. Facebook has 2 billion monthly active users compared to Twitter which only has 330 million monthly active users and LinkedIn with 500 million users. LinkedIn is still the social media channel of choice for many businesses, but here are our reasons for why you should consider using Facebook for B2B marketing:
An example of a company that would need to market to other businesses instead of end-consumers, is a company selling call centre software to businesses that have call centres. To target the decision-makers on Facebook, you can create a new audience like this one for example:
Sharing valuable content
You can share some “how-to” videos to assist your clients with issues they might encounter. You can also share industry news that they might find interesting, or you can share your own news relating to new product releases or services that you are working on. Another good idea is to create a blog and share the posts on Facebook. Remember to brand your content with your logo; if it gets shared, people can still link it back to you.
Credibility and transparency
Facebook gives your business a sense of credibility. If a potential client can’t find you online and you’re also not on Facebook, you might not exist (or be running a very dodgy business) for all that they know. If you’re on Facebook, potential business clients can verify that you are who you say you are and you do what you say you do, especially if your business is still small.
Showcasing your brand identity
Business clients care very much about your intentions and values. What better way to show them that you value your clients than having nice conversations with other clients on Facebook where they can see it? Linking to transparency, they can see how you respond to client concerns and decide if they want to do business with you. They can also see if your brand identity suits the idea of what they have in mind for themselves.
Social media, especially Facebook, is excellent for reputation management. When considering Facebook for B2B marketing, it is however very important that you assign a dedicated person to handle your accounts. Unattended social media is worse than no social media. Things can go awry when you have an angry client and no-one attending your social media pages. You might get the occasional troll, but many times it might just be a communication gap. However, both situations need to be attended to as timely as possible if you care about having a good reputation.