It’s astonishing the number of people who proclaim this without having even tried using the platform for B2B. “Facebook is more of a consumer channel. We use Twitter and LinkedIn.” Yet, when pressed, the spokesperson rarely has any supporting evidence or experience as to why they’ve landed at this conclusion.
Let me be clear on this next point. Facebook is the best performing platform for all of the B2B clients we work with. Remember, we represent a few of the biggest in industry.
Back in 2010 there was an argument that Facebook was only for Consumer marketing. However, the correct statement should have been “Facebook hasn’t been adopted by B2Bs yet”. There was opportunity. Opportunity we’ve been grabbing for over five-years for the likes of Fujitsu.
The flawed consumer only statement that subsequently became urban myth was cultivated by lazy marketers who don’t innovate or experiment with their marketing. I’m rather sure these are the same people who would proclaim to be strategic despite a track record of assuming facts rather than evidencing a truth.
The brilliance of social media is the fact it’s anchored in data. Data that can quickly evidence a truth to you. You just have to run the right test campaigns to surface your learning. Too few people follow the data. And too few people make creative leaps once they’ve gathered said data. Data will show you a path to take. Your creativity and innovation will determine if you can exploit the opportunity a path presents.
Since 2005 Facebook has acquired 76 companies. These acquisitions don’t always receive the acclaim or attention of the 2014 $19b purchase of WhatsApp. However, if you look closely at the list of acquisitions, you’ll see that many years ago Facebook purchased analytics, aggregation, collaboration software and internet application software. Shortly after these acquisitions, Facebook enforced a personal data update requiring you to include your job title within the data Facebook held on you. You were also given the unenforced option of declaring your place of work. Facebook was starting to gather job titles and business data.
Despite last year’s GDPR enforced changes and the more recent Facebook led evolutions of ‘Clear Data’ following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is well set with data relating to businesses across the globe and their employees. Now consider the potency of their behaviours, interests and geography data and you can start to realise the potential of reaching specific job titles and industries and using data searches to ensure you’re reaching the people senior or junior enough for your relevant propositions and services.
At IF we’ve exploited this to great success. For example, last November we created, managed, presented and executed the two- and half-day live broadcast of Fujitsu Forum TV. We exclusively targeted the long-form live interviews to C-Suite – the most time-poor people on Social Media. People who don’t have time to watch long-form content; they only have time to watch a few seconds of video. WRONG. Another urban myth we’ve obliterated.
Fujitsu Forum TV had an average run time of 12-minutes per live interview. It was a Bloomberg or BBC News style debate of technology and the impact felt by corporations globally. Remember, we only targeted the content on Facebook and to C-Suite audiences. By the close of day two, we had received over 48,000 minutes of view time. Not the number of views for only a second or two. 48,000 minutes of actual viewed content.
What’s this equivalent to? It’s the same as CEOs binge-watching all 8 seasons of Game of Thrones, back-to-back and 17 times over.
Facebook is a beast of a platform. Not only is it a leading B2B marketing platform, but it’s a means to reach and influence the most time-poor of business people. Also, it’s worth saying that it’s a snip of the Ad price of LinkedIn. And before people say, “there’s a better quality of conversion from LinkedIn!” We’re serving content like-for-like on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The budgets deployed and targeting used are similar. Facebook (in a recent campaign) has yielded 3x the number of click-throughs to the landing page that LinkedIn served. Further, bounce rates are low, page dwell time is positive and form fills are impressive. It’s working really well.
In short, Facebook is leading the charge right now. Great content, with smart and innovative stories and messages, will cut-through. BUT it has to be great content first. Then, if you target well and use the right channels, great things can happen.
Don’t follow the myths. Be curious and follow the smarts of data.