Why Does Facebook Hate B2B Companies?

With the constant changes to Facebook’s platform, B2B marketers are already challenged to connect with customers and prospects on the platform. Now they are talking about making it worse. It makes me wonder why Facebook hates B2B companies. Was Mark Zuckerberg bit by a B2B company when he was a kid?

Social media site Mashable published an interview this weekend with Brad Smallwood, Facebook’s head of measurement and insights, where he discussed potential changes that Facebook is considering for measuring advertising success on the world’s largest social network.

Advertising on Facebook is currently measured using click through rates (CTR), as is most other online advertising. Smallwood is working with Nielsen to develop a system that considers the result of people’s exposure to the advertising, and if it changed people’s awareness of the product or the message. This sounds like he wants to bring the unmeasurable brand advertising of television to Facebook. You know where Nielsen got its start, right?

Facebook has created a platform where it doesn’t value its users and their privacy. They are just the creators of the product (their data) that is sold to advertisers. And businesses who don’t advertise are given a system of tools that is stacked against them of ever connecting with their customers and prospects.

B2B companies need the rigor of data to track their success in the online world. They are not coming to Facebook for a brand lift. They are looking to generate leads or new business from existing customers. One of the ways to break through the ever changing “Top News” algorithm is by using the advertising platform. They need to be able to track clicks on the ads as the first step to the top of the sales funnel. Whether those ads direct prospects to content on Facebook or on the company website, it is critical to have the click data.

Facebook CTR is low by online ad standards and if you start measuring intent for the already small audience of many B2B companies, rather than clicks, it all becomes irrelevant. If you have a B2B company that can benefit from this change in tracking, we would like to hear about it. If you think I am off-base, or I’m missing something, let me have it in the comments.

Photo: Mashable

Comments

  1. says

    We can argue if Facebook hates B2B companies. But I think we can agree that most B2B companies have not found its audience for its services. However, professional services firms are using the site for recruitment. Currently, LinkedIn company pages are also sites for recruitment and employee updates. If LinkedIn or Google+ figures our how to make their sites welcoming to B2B companies they will tap into a gold mine.

  2. says

    Hi Jeff, I agree on the brand lift comment, it seems the latest metric updates are great for viral measurement and vague vanity metrics, but as you point out B2B really need to dig deeper into numbers that guide into converting sales leads and steering improvement.

    I think this need is what will be driving popularity in more niche networks and hopefully better tools, especially in light of B2B really starting to sit up and get involved with social marketing, Forrester is predicting B2B social media spend to hit $54mil in 2014, up from $11mil in 2009.

  3. says

    Jeannette
    Too many B2B companies approach Facebook in a traditional manner and push out corporate messages. It is no surprise that they aren’t connecting with customers and prospects. They need to start by thinking differently. This is what is making sites like LinkedIn successful for B2B companies because marketers need to think about connections and relationship first, not traditional messaging.

    Chris
    Thanks for the comments and the stats. B2B companies need to be able to justify that spend, hence the requirement of real metrics.

  4. says

    I tend to agree with Jeannette Paladino’s statement that “But I think we can agree that most B2B companies have not found its audience for its services.”

    Facebook is more one on one marketing in my opinion and while it can be important to get the message to the right decision makers, the b2b relationship is difficult to find.

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