Anik Singal Offers Insight on Why B2B Marketers Should Begin to Focus on Facebook
In a study conducted by Social Media Examiner, marketers revealed the social media channel they use most to be Facebook. The survey conducted in January 2017, covered 5,710 marketers from around the globe, with 33% of respondents working for B2B-focused firms and 67% working for B2C-focused firms.
While 94% of the respondents said Facebook was part of their marketing efforts, 68% said they use Twitter, 54% use Instagram, 56% use LinkedIn, 30% use Pinterest, 45% use YouTube, and 7% use Snapchat. Larger proportions of B2B marketers than B2C marketers use LinkedIn and Twitter for their marketing efforts.
62% of all respondents admitted that Facebook was the most important social media platform they use, placing Facebook above LinkedIn for the first time in the history of Social Media Examiner’s research as the foremost social platform preferred by B2B marketers. While Facebook is the most used page social platform with 93% of marketing ads on the network, 87% of B2B marketers run ads on the network, compared to 95% of B2C marketers.
In another report, this one by HubSpot, 74% of respondents admit that they use Facebook professionally, compared to 78% who use LinkedIn for professional reasons. While LinkedIn generally remains above Facebook, even if only by a small margin, in some regions, Facebook is more popular than the LinkedIn for professional use. For instance, in Latin America, 77% of respondents reported using Facebook for business purposes compared to 71% who said they were using LinkedIn.
Across the organizational hierarchy in companies, 69% of individual contributors reported they use Facebook for professional reasons, as did 72% of managers, 72% of VP or directors, and 80% of C-Level executives. Interestingly, C-level executives were found to use Facebook for professional purposes almost at the same level of frequency as they use LinkedIn, with 81% of C-level executives saying they use LinkedIn.
Both the HubSpot State of an Inbound report and the report by Social Media Examiner prove that Facebook is increasingly becoming a marketing tool that’s just as important as LinkedIn, if not more important for B2B marketers. Facebook has previously been left on the side lines by B2B marketers as they believed it wasn’t professional enough, making them focus on LinkedIn instead. Now, Facebook has improved its ad targeting options and enhanced its marketing tools, turning it into the popular option it is becoming today.
According to Brendan Wilde, the marketing manager at Umbrellar Cloud, one of New Zealand’s big web hosting company, getting your business on social media and setting up a company website must be top of your priority list if you want your business to stay competitive in the digital age.
“A lot of business is done online in today’s world, so it’s important to have a web presence,” he says.
B2B marketers need to start using Facebook if they haven’t already. Considering that it is not strictly a professional network like LinkedIn, they must learn to be able to achieve the same or better results as they normally would with LinkedIn.
How to make the most of Facebook
Create video content
Video content is one of the most effective ways of telling stories, and telling stories is one of the most effective ways of selling a brand. As a digital marketing expert, Anik Singal would say, many businesses are yet to understand the true potential of social media to project a brand to global fame within hours. Whether you produce your video content in-house or outsource, remember to not ramble on about your products or try to sound too professional, but attempt to connect with your audience as much as possible.
Advertise long-form content
Facebook users are not going to sign up for your product immediately unless they know what you are about. One of the best ways to inform potential customers about who you are and what you do is to provide long-form material that is driven by data, such as white papers and e-books that speak to their needs.