Facebook is dead! Haven’t you heard? Between that oddly researched Princeton study and loads of reports on a “mass exodus” of teens from Facebook, much has been made of the alleged oncoming demise of Facebook. A lot of people are talking about this, from my 13-year-old son who told me “nobody Facebooks Mom; it’s so old school,” to the 2.3 billion hits that come up in a Google search for “Facebook dead.” But here’s the thing: Facebook is not dead; it’s not likely to die anytime soon, and now more than ever, it’s a great place for a B2B marketer to be. Here’s why B2B marketers should use Facebook.
A lot of hay was made about Facebook being the “third largest country” in the world after it blew past the billion mark in its user count back in 2012. The popular Mark Twain misquote “rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated” is quite apropos here, as Facebook is not dead. Not nearly. Sure, some younger users have left the network recently—which Facebook admits—but on the flip side, more of their parents have joined the network. And you know who else is on Facebook? The mass affluent are.
Having access on Facebook to both, the mass affluent and the parents of teenagers is great news for B2B marketers. After all, for most B2B marketers, parents of teenagers are a better demographic to engage than teenagers. Not too many teenagers buy software for a fleet of computers or can afford anything with the word “enterprise” in it. Facebook isn’t just about the youth anymore.
Facebook is ubiquitous online (have you noticed those “like” buttons littering the Web like bugs stuck in a spider web?). Facebook drives a lot of traffic elsewhere, which makes it a great place to post content. Even better, is the massive reach that Facebook has in almost all demographics on the planet and the way it can effectively target ads to those who will respond to the content.
Just think about the kind of incredibly-detailed personas you could create for super micro targeted ads. And Facebook continues to make the micro-targeting algorithms better and better. For example, starting in March, advertisers will be able to target Facebook users based on their employer and job title. (I can just hear Facebook saying “Your move LinkedIn”).
For B2B companies who sell their products through the channel, Facebook is a goldmine. Intel (an onDemand CMO client!) has done a remarkable job of marketing to their end users on Facebook. Intel’s Facebook page has over 23 million likes and the content Intel posts is geared entirely toward consumers, rather than the hardware companies that actually buy Intel’s chips. This is worth repeating: Intel is successfully engaging 23 million people—the overwhelming majority will never ever directly purchase anything from Intel. It’s working for Intel.
Facebook may have some issues in the future if too many young people leave it, but that’s why it bought Instagram, the new cool kid at the social media party. And if you need to reach teens, Instagram may be the place for you. For the rest of us, Facebook is a great way to reach these teens’ parents.