eightbitmatt
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Facebook is no good for you if you’re in B2B marketing.

The social media Goliath, which is massive compared to its next nearest competitor fails in one thing and I don’t think it is ashamed.  B2B Marketing isn’t high on its priorities and is unlikely to move up the list anytime soon. Why? What can you do and what will they do?

Facebook doesn’t have a good track record with businesses

Facebook’s relationship with businesses has been sketchy at best over the past few years. The support is lacking and things have been changing, so the platform works against businesses growing on it.

In 2014 they changed their algorithm which meant it became harder for businesses to reach their audience organically. This ended up forcing businesses to be required to pay for any decent reach, making the platform a no-go for SMEs.

Four years on and the wound is still open.  Business to business Facebook pages have never found something that works. This isn’t just me, a lot of my industry colleagues have also found the same problem.

Why doesn’t it work for Business to Business?

There are a few reasons, in my opinion, why Facebook is failing to help support business to business marketing organically. Something that I think Facebook will be unwilling to change, especially now with the Cambridge Analytica trust issues. 

The first reason is there is no page-to-page interaction, I think this is the same reason LinkedIn, is struggling.  The reason that Twitter is still as popular is largely due to pages as entities chatting to each other. Facebook is purely an advertising body with a social media platform built around it. 

Secondly, I think Facebook has firmly put itself in a niche of “I refuse to think about anything to do with work when I am on Facebook”. I don’t think that people are likely to engage with a business when they are switched off from their professional life. Facebook’s main audience is now firmly middle-aged local town gossipers.  Which should be ringing alarm bells for Mark Zuckerberg, he’s got a whole new generation to convince that Facebook is cool otherwise we could end up looking at another Myspace. 

The above may seem irrelevant, but Twitter works well because other people can interact with businesses as well as businesses. We run the risk of creating a silo for businesses chatting to each other if the above mindset exists.

Why can Facebook change and what will Facebook change?

Facebook could do a lot of changes to its platform to make it more friendly to business to business people.  It would likely need to roll back its algorithm changes, to enable businesses to get more airtime on the platform.  This does mean they could lose a key revenue stream which will not please investors. 

Enabling more interaction between pages, my main example would be bringing back a business pages personal feeds. This would give more businesses the chance to talk to their main customers, it could also give Facebook a new revenue stream. 

But the bigger question is, will Facebook make these changes to its platform? Probably not. 

Facebook is an advertising platform, as much as Zuck says it isn’t. It’s geared to help advertisers reach consumers and it now has (I believe) one of the biggest audiences out there. So advertisers will likely be willing to pay a hell of a lot to get in front of their customers.

Alternatives

Twitter is my go-to alternative for B2B comms.  It’s a good platform and you can grow an audience on it pretty rapidly. Outside of Twitter, LinkedIn would be my second go-to. Sometimes you don’t get as much engagement, but your audience and reach grow quite quickly, so a worthwhile replacement. 

I wouldn’t even bother with looking at Facebook for social media, I don’t think it’s even worth advertising on there. You could probably spend your money wiser by working with industry-focused blogs, magazines or things that people will be reading in their offices.

I’ve also written posts about LinkedIn and Twitter, if this one got your interest.