Is Facebook B2B Marketing Dead?

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Over the past year, there’s been a lot of talk about the plummeting reach and engagement of Facebook brand pages. Which leads to the inevitable question: Is Facebook marketing dead?

There’s No Death in Marketing, Only Evolution

First off, nothing in marketing ever really dies. Usage just changes. Usually becoming less effective on a mass scale and more niche. Direct mail, for example, has died a thousand deaths. And yet businesses still use it everyday and see awesome results.

So we can steer clear of the “death” hyperbole. Nonetheless…

Not All B2B Companies Need to Be Active on Facebook

Make no mistake about it, Facebook organic reach for brands—specifically for B2B brands—has fallen off dramatically. To the point where B2B companies should no longer feel compelled to be active on Facebook. You should feel compelled to be active on social media, but not necessarily Facebook.

Let’s look at a couple of stats (from Forrester):

  • Ogilvy reported in February 2014 that large brands’ Facebook posts reached just 2% of their fans—a number that was falling by .5% per month.
  • Also in 2014, a Forrester study showed that on average only .07% of top brands’ Facebook fans interact with each of their posts.

Those numbers are depressing to say the least. Now mix them with this:

In a November 2014 post on its blog, Facebook made it clear that individuals will be seeing less content from brand pages in their news feeds in 2015.

With news feed placement weighed increasingly based on user relevance, the message is clear: It will be harder for brands to break through on Facebook.

Facebook Does Still Hold Some Value for Some Brands

All that is not to say that Facebook doesn’t still hold value for brands. Many B2C companies are still seeing good reach and engagement. Especially when using Facebook ads as a supplement.

Even for B2B companies, Facebook still holds some value:

  • As an SEO tool—search your company on Google and your Facebook page will most likely turn up at the top of the results. There’s value to that.
  • As an online space for employees to post photos and share information with each other
  • As a place for clients to leave testimonials, questions and comments

But There Are Better Social Media Options for B2B Engagement

Facebook just isn’t (and probably will never be again) the B2B engagement tool and lead generator it was just a few years ago. And that’s OK. It’s OK because there are many other social media sites out there now. And many better social media sites for B2B engagement.

  • LinkedIn and Twitter still top the list. Both these sites are great places to make connections and share content with people interested in the same topics and areas that your business covers.
  • Google Plus, with its different communities and truly active user base, can also be a great option.

And in terms of raising brand awareness and engaging potential customers, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Vine all offer unique and interesting ways to connect with people. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg (view the top 15 social sites here and an even longer list here).

The Bottom Line:

Don’t feel obligated to stick with Facebook just because you’ve been doing it for years. Your loyalty lies with your audience and your business/marketing goals, not with a specific social network.