Frankly, that’s not so hot. But on the sunny side, 30% of those marketers did say their Facebook marketing is effective. Based on the two studies, I’d guess that roughly a third of B2B marketers are getting results from this platform. That’s not great, but clearly some people are getting Facebook to work for B2B.
So the question is … what are those successful B2B Facebook marketers doing?
1. They’re advertising.
You already know Facebook has become basically a “pay to play” platform. Now that we’ve had a few years to forgive them for that organic reach thing, more and more companies are leaning into Facebook advertising.
There’s good reason for this. Facebook’s advertising costs are usually cheaper than other social media platforms (lookin’ at you, LinkedIn). They’re also substantially cheaper than Google AdWords. Throw in the targeting capabilities that Facebook offers and it gets even more attractive. And there are plenty of case studies of how advertising on Facebook has gotten B2B companies great results.
To be more specific, the smart marketers on Facebook are:
- Using custom audiences to laser-target their ads.
- Uploading their email lists to Facebook advertising so they can create lookalike audiences
- Using Facebook’s retargeting options so they can show ads to anyone who’s visited a specific URL. So if someone looked at a whitepaper download page, or a webinar sign-up page, but didn’t act, clever B2B marketers can show them a customized ad to entice them to finish the process.
Those are all really cool features – and they work. The downside is you’ll have to get good at Facebook advertising or you’ll lose a truckload of money. But you’re a marketer in 2016, so I figure you’re pretty good at learning new things.
There are plenty of experts to teach you, too. Like Jon Loomer, Mari Smith and Andrea Vahl. If you’d like some creative inspiration to get started, check out Ad Espresso’s epic post of 50 B2B Facebook ad examples.
2. They’re focusing on lead generation.
Lead generation is most B2B marketers’ bread and butter. Facebook serves it up better than you’d think.
First, of course, are all the advertising options. You can get your landing pages and white papers and other lead gen tools in front of almost anybody. You can also use your posts to promote lead generation offers. And you can set up your Facebook page to promote your email newsletter.
But don’t forget about using quizzes and other interactive content. These are proven lead-generation devices, but they also play into the context of the Facebook experience.
People tend to give into distractions on social media, so if you can create a quiz or an online assessment that gathers information, entertains, and provides some value to your users, you might have a nice little lead generation engine. Tools like Formstack can help.