For years, Facebook has rarely been the go-to choice for business-to-business (B2B) marketers seeking to reach potential customer. Very little content has been focused on businesses, unless it was someone complaining about a service or product.

Corporations have historically spent their social media marketing budgets on LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook has always had the reputation of being populated by people posting photos of family events, seeking suggestions on places to eat, giggling over funny cartoons, or writing less-than-complimentary opinions about politics.

Well, it’s still pretty much that way, but here’s an interesting fact: many of the 1.65 billion Facebook users shaking their fists at how bad the food was at a local sports bar, arguing over why their favorite football team is better than someone else’s, or posting loving pics of their kids riding ponies are business executives.

And marketers are starting to realize that.

After all, business executives and other corporate decision makers have personal lives too. I know, it’s hard to believe. And they enjoy unwinding on Facebook along with everyone else.

Admit it. You do too.

Decision makers spend more time on Facebook

Studies have shown that more B2B executives spend time on Facebook than any other social media platform, including LinkedIn and Twitter. According to Facebook, they are also 40% more likely to have greater than 200 friends.

And any of them could be your next customer.

More than ever, there is a huge opportunity to reach potential clients on Facebook, and B2B marketers are pursuing it aggressively. They’re just having to rethink their approach. They’re bypassing traditional marketing and making Facebook part of their content marketing strategy.

Content marketing has become an integral part of successful B2B marketing plans, and social media is a key source of sharing content. More and more company pages are popping up filled with engaging, useful information aimed at business professionals.

Companies are sharing videos, blogs, news reports, surveys, and other important announcements to keep existing and potential customers in the loop. They’re also crafting their marketing messages to be more holistic and helpful, rather than a blatant sales pitch.

Facebook is a powerful tool for collecting leads. Ask professionals to subscribe to newsletters or email updates. Invite them to visit your booth or see a presentation at live events (which are still a vital part of most marketing plans, even in today’s digital world).

Higher ROI on advertising campaigns

Companies are also spending a large portion of their social media budget running paid advertising campaigns. Facebook offers effective targeting options that help marketers pinpoint who they want to reach.

Metrics include gender, age, and geography, but also more business-related demographics like industry, job titles, and company size. Plus, tools such as the Custom Audiences feature allows users to target existing customers by uploading their own contact lists, and the Lookalike Audiences option helps reach prospects similar to current customers.

Want to keep marketing to people who visited your website after they leave your site? Retarget them by adding a Facebook ‘pixel’ tracking code onto your site. It will attach a cookie to the visitor’s browser which will activate your ads every time they browse Facebook.

Studies find that ROI for Facebook B2B ads is even better than LinkedIn. Click-through costs are lower, and you have a better chance of reaching prospects because they spend more time on Facebook. The only drawback is that average click-through rates are low at .18%, but it’s still higher than LinkedIn at .025%.

So should you skip LinkedIn and focus only on Facebook?

Not at all. LinkedIn has always been and still is a valuable source for content marketing. More than 90% of B2B marketers use it to share relevant content.

Use both Facebook and LinkedIn. Together, they open up a wide world of possible customers who need your products and services.

Speaking of social media, we invite you to like us on Facebook and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for the latest on trending marketing topics.

And then contact us to discuss how we can help you reach the people who want your products through social media.

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