Facebook marketing and advertising has grown in leaps and bounds. Facebook’s 2011 revenue from advertising will approach $4 billion, about double what it was in 2010. What’s more, Facebook’s revenue is 126 percent what Google’s was at the same stage of their growth.
A number of case studies have demonstrated the revenue value and profitability of Facebook marketing. But many of these case studies are business-to-consumer marketing campaigns. What about business-to-business? Can B2B companies succeed with Facebook and other social media marketing?
It’s definitely a different game than B2B marketing with Google, and there are some hurdles, but Facebook marketing is a cheap and easy thing to test for your B2B company (perhaps with less than $1,000 of ad spend), so with that in mind, here are five steps to follow to increase your chances of success.
Step #1: Allocate Your Efforts to the Right Social Sites
LinkedIn is favored by more than three times as many B2B purchase decision-makers, compared to Facebook. I worked with a company that secured a $450,000 business deal it would not have had without LinkedIn. Does this mean you shouldn’t use Facebook? Facebook provides significant opportunities in terms of its audience size and advertising targeting.
Twitter is much beloved by many social media “gurus.” Many of them have had a love-hate relationship with Facebook. They love that Facebook has 750 million users, but they dislike Facebook’s privacy issues and frequent changes. But Twitter has nothing like Facebook’s advertising platform, and Twitter has, according to some sources, only 20 million active users-when the average B2B company goes looking for relevant contacts and influencers on Twitter, sometimes they don’t find a single one.
So my recommendation is to use all three, to a degree. You might allocate 50% of your efforts to LinkedIn, 40% to Facebook, and 10% to LinkedIn. You can adjust this allocation based on what opportunities you find and what results you see in the first month of your marketing efforts.