Business-to-business (B2B) Marketers are often distracted in their advertising and marketing efforts by focusing solely on a channel’s reach. Whenever I’m speaking with clients about the channels they utilize or don’t utilize, it’s essential to understand the motivation of their buyers for using the platform they’re on. Let’s discuss why users generally utilize LinkedIn vs. Facebook:
- Professional Networking: LinkedIn is primarily used to build and maintain professional connections, network with colleagues, and grow one’s career.
- Job Seeking: Individuals use LinkedIn to search for job opportunities, connect with recruiters, and showcase their professional qualifications and experience.
- Personal Branding: LinkedIn allows users to establish and promote their brand, share industry insights, and demonstrate expertise in their field.
- Learning and Development: Users can access educational content and courses on LinkedIn to enhance their skills and stay updated in their respective industries.
- B2B Connections: LinkedIn is a valuable platform for business professionals to connect with potential clients, partners, and collaborators in the business-to-business space.
- Social Connection: People use Facebook to connect with friends and family, share personal updates, and stay in touch with loved ones.
- Entertainment: Users turn to Facebook for entertainment, including watching videos, playing games, and discovering engaging content.
- Information and News: Many individuals use Facebook to stay informed about current events, follow news outlets, and discuss trending topics.
- Community and Groups: Facebook provides a platform for users to join and participate in various interest-based communities and groups, fostering discussions and connections around shared hobbies or interests.
- Event Planning: Users utilize Facebook to create and manage events, invite guests, and keep track of upcoming social gatherings.
Social media platforms have become indispensable tools for businesses looking to expand their reach, connect with potential clients, and close deals. While many associate social media with B2C marketing, it’s a common misconception that these platforms are unsuitable for B2B marketing. Let’s explore how LinkedIn and Facebook can be utilized for B2B marketing, both organically and through paid marketing strategies.
The Four Main Challenges of B2B Marketing
Before delving into the specific platforms, it’s essential to understand the key challenges that B2B marketers encounter:
- Prospecting: Identifying and reaching out to a wider client base can be a significant challenge, with 40% of salespeople naming prospecting as the most challenging part of the sales process.
- Customer Education: Educating prospective clients about your products or services is crucial but can be challenging, especially when resources are limited.
- Long Buyer Journey: The decision-making process in B2B transactions is often lengthy and complex, requiring patience and persistence.
- Closing Deals: Converting prospects into actual sales is notoriously difficult, with only 19% of interactions leading to successful deals.
B2B social media marketing has emerged as a powerful solution to these challenges, offering a range of benefits:
- Prospecting: 65% of salespeople who use social media effectively fill their sales pipeline, demonstrating its prospecting potential.
- Customer Education: Providing educational content on social media can lead to a 131% increase in customer willingness to purchase after reading such content.
- Long Buyer Journey: Approximately 27% of the time spent in the B2B buying decision-making process is dedicated to independent online research, making it crucial to have a digital presence.
- Closing Deals: 40% of salespeople have successfully closed between two and five deals using social media marketing.
How do LinkedIn and Facebook can help you address these challenges and achieve your B2B marketing goals?
LinkedIn: Connecting with Professionals
LinkedIn is the go-to platform for targeting professionals. If you need to connect with decision-makers in the C-suite of companies, LinkedIn is the ideal platform to reach out to them.
- Precise Targeting: LinkedIn offers numerous targeting options, allowing you to narrow your audience by job seniority, company size, job functions, age group, and industry.
- Thought Leadership: Share industry insights, thought leadership articles, build industry groups, and engage in meaningful discussions to establish your brand’s authority.
- Real-Time Data: LinkedIn sources user data directly, ensuring precise targeting based on job positions, industry, and more.
- Large User Base: Your reach is significant, with 675 million monthly users and a 14% increase in early 2020.
- Global Reach: A LinkedIn ad can potentially reach 12% of the world’s population.
Facebook: More Than Socializing
While Facebook may be commonly associated with social interactions, it offers valuable organic features for B2B marketing:
- Market Research: Conduct market research, surveys, and gather insights about your target audience.
- Videos and Content: Share explainer videos, tutorials, interviews, corporate videos, and high-quality content to engage and educate your audience.
- News Updates: Keep your audience informed about industry news and trends.
- Active User Base: With over 2.7 billion active users, Facebook’s audience is massive.
- Professional Engagement: 74% of Facebook users engage with the platform for professional purposes, making it suitable for B2B marketing.
- Lead Generation: Target decision-makers for lead generation and capture email subscriptions.
- Content Promotion: Promote high-end content like whitepapers to showcase your industry knowledge and establish thought leadership.
How To Tap Into Each Audience’s Motivations
Here are five different B2B marketing efforts and how you might optimize them for each channel.
Certainly, let’s explore how marketing campaign strategies can be modified to effectively engage LinkedIn and Facebook users based on their primary reasons for using each platform.
|Promotion||Promote products and platforms related to industry-specific problems to attract professionals looking to improve business results.||Promote social events, such as product launches, online parties, or contests, to capture the attention of users looking for fun and interactive experiences.|
|Recruitment||Share job postings, company culture insights, and employee testimonials to attract potential candidates interested in career growth.||Showcase success stories of your employees, highlighting their achievements within the company. This humanizes the brand and can pique the interest of potential recruits.|
|Retargeting||Share content that highlights the unique value your products or services offer to businesses.||Share engaging content, such as explainer videos or customer testimonials, to remind them of your brand and its benefits.|
|Awareness||Share thought leadership content, industry reports, and insights to establish your brand’s authority and value within the professional community.||Emphasize your company’s core values, social responsibility initiatives, and community involvement. Users on this platform appreciate brands that align with their values.|
|Authority||Share educational content such as industry trends, market reports, and whitepapers to inform and educate LinkedIn users seeking valuable industry insights.||Promote blog posts and how-to guides that address common pain points or questions your audience may have, providing them with actionable knowledge.|
By tailoring your marketing strategies to align with the primary reasons users visit LinkedIn and Facebook, you can effectively engage your target audience on each platform. Understanding the user’s intent and adapting your content to meet their needs will result in more successful marketing campaigns.
Don’t Underestimate Social Media for Closing Deals
Social media can effectively address the main challenges of B2B marketing. To achieve the best results, it’s recommended to use both LinkedIn and Facebook, both organically and through paid marketing. Regularly posting videos, news updates, and high-quality content will help you build a robust online presence, engage your audience, and ultimately close more deals.
In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook is not just an option; it’s a strategic imperative for B2B marketers.