“Should We Be Using Facebook to Generate B2B Leads?”

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Michiko Morales

Our B2B clients ask us often about whether they should be using Facebook for their digital advertising and marketing.

Your technology business does not need Facebook.

There, we said it.

Unless you’re aiming to make your grandma proud of the organization you’ve built and turn her into a lead, Facebook is not the best place for business-to-business communication to transpire.

Why? There’s five primary reasons:

1. Low Quality Leads 

Facebook can be great for community engagement, and even though most of the world is on the platform, the quality of potential leads is much lower compared to LinkedIn, Google or, more importantly, from inbound marketing strategies.

2. Focus on Consumers

Facebook’s overall style is optimized for consumer consumption, which makes it a better platform for B2C marketing. B2B marketing can benefit from Facebook, but only as one arrow in your quiver.

3. Lots of Content Restrictions

Paid targeting on Facebook also falls under heavier scrutiny than other channels due to Facebook’s poor history of data handling. There is a litany of restrictions on social issues and that can mean that even ads related to careers, jobs and employment, even if you’re a SaaS tool looking for recruiters, will face a much higher — and subjective — degree of probing, potentially leading to unintended consequences from a PR standpoint.

4. Tracking Challenges

Facebook makes it very difficult to track how your audience interacts with your ads and posts due to the heavier IT challenges of remarketing and retargeting.

5. Mobile-First Is Not the Best Fit for B2B assets

Most Facebook activity is on mobile devices, and in a world where B2B marketing is heavily reliant on PDF assets and demo requests, it can be difficult for a mobile user to retain an interest in your brand when they’re interacting with content optimized for larger screens.

Understanding Inbound vs. Outbound

Facebook is commonly used as an outbound marketing tool, meaning it’s less optimized for intent-driven leads and more optimized for posting messages in a billboard-esque setting — albeit, with far more data than a real billboard could ever acquire. In terms of commerce, Facebook is more used for, and optimized around, B2C sales. And as far as Instagram, well, it’s basically just a product catalog now.

With outbound marketing, Facebook can increase brand recognition, engagement and visibility and can add validation to your brand. Using Facebook can drive qualified traffic to your site but that does not mean they have any intention of becoming a lead or a customer. This traffic can be helpful down the line but the reality is that the potential lead will need several more touchpoints before becoming an actual lead.

With Facebook, the Key is Retargeting

Yes, the employees at a company who are responsible for purchasing decisions will probably scroll through Facebook. And others still will probably actively research on Google. So, this creates a gap that Facebook ads can fill and be useful. Because of Facebook’s wide coverage, potential leads that don’t spend time Googling or actively scrolling through LinkedIn could be more likely to see your ads.

Using Facebook for retargeting from other channels can actually positively impact lead generation. By retargeting intent-driven traffic, you can net potential leads from an inbound campaign back to your website, and possibly be more ready to convert into a lead. By remarketing to your existing database, you can help move existing leads to request demos, or into other activities deeper in your pipeline. Warmer traffic seeing middle-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel ads can keep prospects engaged and sales teams busy. Small target audiences tend to feel “tapped out” because the same small group sees the same repeated ads. Some experts believe a 30-day ad campaign should not have a frequency — the number of overall impressions divided by the number of unique users seeing the ad — of 5 or 10. Others will say 10 or 20 is fine, as the core group isn’t even seeing the ad every day.

Facebook is But One Tool

Using Facebook ads in conjunction with LinkedIn ads can help find your audiences where they are. While LinkedIn does have incredibly up-to-date targeting for professionals, Facebook also has far more people, period. LinkedIn can attract higher quality leads but can cost more per lead and Facebook can offer more leads for less. The quality may be lower than a platform like LinkedIn, but the higher volume may make up for that, especially for companies trying to generate leads that aren’t as social media or tech-savvy. Organic search and paid search are all intent-driven, whereas paid social is all about creating demand and curiosity, so lead volume is lower. This all points to a question of Facebook vs. LinkedIn.

Without a proper campaign strategy to light the path for your business, you could be wasting precious time and resources waiting for cold prospects to convert — and they rarely will.

Getting aligned with a top tech PR and marketing firm that understands marketing and PR best practices will help your brand take the right approach to reach your target audience effectively.

At GMG, we are exclusively a technology marketing company, specializing in generating leads for B2B tech organizations — and yes, you can still use Facebook too.

Contact us today to discover how GMG can move the needle for your company by taking the right approach with a qualified marketing communications strategy and proven tactics in advertising campaign planning.

Ready to talk? Schedule a consultation today!

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Leah Nurik