Some businesses get confused about the marketing power of Facebook and I’d like to clear it up.
The first big question is:
Can you Market B2B?
For companies selling B2B (i.e. to other businesses) Facebook is rarely the right network.
Some B2B marketers do foolishly try to market on Facebook and they will defend it for what seem to me to be strange reasons – but debunking those is the topic of another blog post.
To my mind, selling to other businesses on Facebook is as silly as advertising tampons on pre-schooler’s TV.
You can do it. Some mums will see it, and a few may not be annoyed by the totally inappropriate sales technique. So some might one day buy your tampons, but surely it’s not a good return on your investment!
Okay – so Facebook is for B2C?
Yes and no.
B2C products can be marketed effectively on Facebook, but not all of them.
How to Know the Difference?
Before we explore which consumer products can be effectively marketed on Facebook, a clarification:
This article is about marketing by engaging and networking on Facebook. It’s not about buying Pay-per-click advertisements. That’s a very different topic with very different answers about what you can sell and what you can’t. Unfortunately many discussions confuse them so it’s important to be clear up front.
So which consumer products would benefit from the powerful engaging and networking tools that Facebook make available?
The simple answer is products that generate some passion and interest. To know what these are, look at what people are currently discussing; what are they chatting about? What’s hot? What are people buying that they also discuss at dinner parties, the gym, the football, barbeques, or at the pub?
It’s Different for Different Target Markets
As always, different target markets are talking about different things.
For women it will likely include fashion (clothing, accessories and shoes), kids’ stuff, holidays and interesting new gadgets (new iPhone perhaps). For men it might be sports, car stuff, new technology and gadgets.
You can bet your life that nobody is discussing serviettes, ironing boards, deodorant, clothes lines or guttering!
The advice we give to all our clients is simple: Don’t try and create interest on social networks if there is nothing there now. Find out who is discussing the services you are trying to sell, and join the conversation; then slowly gather them into your networks.
In summary then, what can you market on Facebook?
Nothing or very little if you sell B2B; just have a presence there – a brochure page; don’t spend much time on it.
If you sell B2C, it had better be interesting or sexy if you want to use Facebook as a linchpin of your marketing strategy!
If you sell B2B, learn how you can utilize Social Media for Lead Generation.