It’s no secret that Facebook is changing faster than ever before. From AI features like chatbots to adaptation of popular trends like stories and live streaming, Facebook has vastly expanded its capabilities in the past year alone.
The question is, can B2B marketers keep up?
It certainly seems that they’re trying to. In fact, 42% of B2B marketers plan to up their marketing budgets this year, and 19% of those budgets will be allocated entirely to social media marketing, according to a study of 350 B2B marketers.
Before putting money behind your B2B marketing, make sure you’re crafting smart strategy with the latest Facebook updates and trends in mind. Remember, understanding both the technology and how people are using it is the key to your company’s success on social.
Many B2B marketers have a “can’t live with it, can’t live without it” feeling toward Facebook. With the platform’s constantly changing algorithms and shifting public sentiment, who can blame them?
Facebook’s algorithm updates and the popularity of the channel have steadily moved the platform into a pay-to-play space, with organic reach choked nearly to zero. However, the platform still boasts the largest number of daily active users (2.27 billion, to be exact), making it an essential tool for connecting with audiences.
So, what can B2B marketers do to keep up with these changes? Here’s True’s take on the latest updates based on our own experience with B2B Facebook marketing across several industries:
Facebook’s announced that it is prioritizing “meaningful interactions” with friends and family in an attempt to rekindle trust with users, shifting the platform back to its original roots of keeping people connected. This affects both personal and business accounts — which may explain why you always see your controversial Aunt Rosy in the top of your feed.
These “meaningful interactions” include things like comments, emotional reactions (i.e. ‘love’ or ‘haha’ icon), commenting on replies and link sharing in Messenger. If your branded content earns these types of reactions, Facebook will reward your page with stronger organic reach – although combining this with paid is still always part of our recommendations.
While vanity metrics like number of likes and follows previously boosted organic performance, these types of interactions continue to become even less valuable.
Although Facebook’s updates are prioritizing user engagement, it’s important to note that trying to outsmart the algorithm won’t work. Posts that attempt to coax people into commenting and sharing will actually be demoted by Facebook. Instead, aim to earn engagement the old-fashioned way: With interesting, relevant content!
Speaking of relevant content… Let’s talk about content quality versus quantity for a moment.
Contrary to popular belief, higher post frequency doesn’t necessarily mean more visibility. In 2018, B2B marketers posted 48% more content to Facebook – yet they saw a 66% decline in reach, 26% decline in clicks and 75% decline in sharing. Ouch.
[caption id="attachment_1729" align="aligncenter" width="600"]
Graphic and research via Oktopost.[/caption]
What should we take from this? B2B industries can’t sacrifice quality for quantity, especially during a time when engagement is the key to improving visibility. It’s not about putting more out there in hopes of being seen – it’s about putting out the content that will drive your audiences through the purchase funnel until they become true brand advocates.
Facebook wants users to stay on its platform, so its algorithms reward native content with higher organic reach.
Videos are a great example: Posting videos directly through Facebook rather than linking from your YouTube account or other video hosts will boost its visibility. Plus, posting directly in the platform allows you to include and edit subtitles. This is particularly important to get audiences scrolling on mute to stop and watch your video.
Facebook’s video editor lets you adjust subtitles, tracking and more.[/caption]
Pro tip: Don’t jump on the video bandwagon simply because it’s trendy. Yes, audiences are viewing more video than ever before but not all video is created equal. Video that is relevant, topical or informative performs best in terms of getting people to engage and share with others.
Facebook has also added native tools to facilitate lead generation within paid advertisements. Typically, marketers attempt to drive traffic to strategic landing pages. Now, Facebook’s introduction of Lead Ads capture leads right within the platform. This cuts the extra step of redirecting users to other pages to fill out forms, ultimately streamlining the process.
Facebook Lead Ads streamline the conversion process with in-app lead capture.[/caption]
With these latest updates in mind, consider some of these strategies to win with your B2B audiences on Facebook:
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