Why B2Bs Should Be Using Facebook, Not Just LinkedIn

Written by Nick Stamoulis

There’s no question that B2Bs should be active on LinkedIn. After all it’s a social network with a business focus. People sign in to their LinkedIn account to read business related articles, make business connections, and update their professional profile. That’s why it’s no surprise that in a recent report from Social Media Examiner, the majority of B2B marketers surveyed said that LinkedIn was the most important social platform for their business. What was somewhat surprising is that the majority was just 33%. Just behind that, at 31%, was Facebook. Twitter was listed at just 16%. From this survey we can gather that Facebook is valued nearly at the same level as LinkedIn. So, if you’re a B2B marketer that has scoffed at the idea of utilizing Facebook as a marketing and branding tool, you may want to reconsider.

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Yes, signing in to Facebook and signing in to LinkedIn are two very different experiences, but what’s important to keep in mind is that Facebook has the largest user base of all social networks and also has the most active user base. You may look at Facebook as being B2C, but guess what- your B2B audience is also made up of consumers that are likely to have Facebook accounts! No matter what industry you are in (even if it’s a very niche one), members of your target audience are using Facebook.

According to a Forrester report, LinkedIn is ‘falling short on consumer engagement’ and doesn’t drive the same depth of social relationships as other social networks – such as Facebook. Here’s an excerpt from a MarketingWeek article:

The research found that 21 per cent of US online adults visit LinkedIn monthly, a significantly lower figure than for Facebook. Plus LinkedIn members are much less likely to engage with brands on the social network, with less than half doing so on LinkedIn compared to more than 70 per cent on Facebook.

So, if engagement is what you’re looking for, you might want to start ramping up your Facebook presence. (Of course this isn’t to say that you should ditch LinkedIn!)

If you haven’t done much with your Facebook Page until now, the first step is to work towards building up your audience (likes) and visibility. Once the Page looks good (all information has been updated, a high quality profile picture and cover image have been uploaded, and you’ve gotten into the habit of posting content regularly), you’ll want to start promoting your Page. Share a link to your Facebook Page on your website and within online marketing collateral. To take it to the next level, consider utilizing Facebook advertising to market your Page to people that might be interested in it. Facebook allows you to target very specific groups of people.

What is mostly different for B2Bs and B2Cs on Facebook is what they are sharing. B2Bs should be using Facebook to share thought leadership content (not coupons or daily deals). Once you’ve gained a respectable following, it can be worthwhile to pay to “boost” these posts to increase visibility and engagement rates.

If used strategically, Facebook has the user base and reach to be useful in your B2B marketing efforts. A time and money commitment may be necessary, but remember- you want to be where the people are. And the people are on Facebook.

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