What’s App with That?
This article stems from a current national discussion and I believe this discussion is culturally and economically crucial. In fact, I encourage you to discuss this topic with your colleagues and get to the heart of the matter for your business.
We’re shifting our own “social media marketing” over to real professional networking on LinkedIn and within our chosen organizations. And by the way, email marketing still rocks!
We’re leaving the noisy social chatter and joining the focused, productive discussions both online and in real meetings. Care to join the movement?
Consider this analogy. Let’s say you commit a significant budget for radio advertising. Would you pay a radio group that only played your ads if they felt like it, or only according to a secret broadcast schedule, and then refused to give you independently verified data about audience reach, demographics and ratings stats? Welcome to Facebook! They’ll gladly take your money and then quite possibly hassle you about your ad content. If they let you run the campaign, they generate analytics reports that show “engagements” which are also called “vanity metrics” for a good reason. You might even hear from a tire kicker or two, perhaps a couple of trolls… and gain little or no new business.
This is the typical experience that I and numerous B2B colleagues have had advertising on Facebook.
Targeted demographics or advertising sales scam?
The top social media company says they know who your customers are (or would be) because they have the data, and they have it in spades, but not on everyone.
Supposedly, they pinpoint and distribute your ads to the right people; whatever they say their algorithm does, not what an independent auditor can analyze and measure, and you have no possible way of confirming or validating the analytics they provide. It’s whatever they say it is, not what you actually experience in results. I find it amazing that advertisers still widely accept this dubious scheme.
Where it Works
Social media does work for certain kinds of businesses, namely socially-driven businesses such as design, retail, fashion, beauty, health & fitness, coaching and lifestyle brands. That makes perfect sense.
What if you’re none of the above and sell things like heavy equipment, engineering services, contract manufacturing, commercial construction, IT services, application software and other B2B products & services? In these industries, Facebook is a time drain in a creepy crapshoot.
On the other hand, LinkedIn will connect you with dedicated career people in your chosen fields. The free LinkedIn personal profile provides the best functionality and user experience of any “social media” platform, and all in a business-driven environment!
- Will a clever Facebook ad resonate like a conversation between an engineer and their client CEO?
- Would a manufacturing company CEO be more likely to click an ad and request an appointment on Facebook or return a subject-relevant email from a potential supplier of critical components?
- What carries more weight, a pertinent direct message from a LinkedIn Connection or a message notification from a salesperson on your company Facebook page?
- How about a Facebook ad versus a product demo invitation from a company referred to you by someone in your network?
- How about seeing a mask-clad visitor dropping off a colorful brochure with large photos and bullet points that speak to your need? Compare that to the slight chance you will see a boosted Facebook video from that company sandwiched between an insane political meme complete with rant and your buddy’s latest vacation bragging.
B2B decision makers respond to messages that directly speak to their needs and they don’t use Facebook to look for those solutions! If you’re the odd CEO or Operations Manager who goes to Facebook to find crucial information to run your business, my advice is don’t be too distracted by the ugliness, and good luck finding any solutions that meet your needs.
Marketing Efforts Better Prioritized
When it comes to your B2B social media strategy, I offer this soothing advice. Relax!
The real social media value for most B2B marketing is having another nice looking brand presence online. That takes only minimal effort while it maintains some additional brand visibility.
If you’ve been struggling to make social media work for your company, pause and reconsider your entire marketing mix. Place social media where it belongs – as an ancillary extension of your primary online presence. Your website is far and away your higher priority!
Yes, of course you can use technology to reach more customers! PPC search marketing delivers validated and proven results, especially when your landing pages resonate with effective calls to action.
So first off, channel more creative energy into the only place on the internet over which you have total control – your website! Work hard on those campaign landing pages!
And remember, direct marketing and personal selling have always worked and still work wonders for small business.
If we’re not already connected on LinkedIn, please feel free to reach out and connect with me: linkedin.com/in/chucksink. Perhaps my network can help you and your network.