Is Facebook content worth the investment for B2B companies in 2024? The answer is still yes, but to get traction on the platform companies need to have concrete goals and be ready to pay for results.

The decline of organic reach on Facebook

In the early days of social media we all developed a certain naive understanding of how content arrived on our screens. On Facebook, we expected to keep seeing content from a page after liking a post or adding a comment. We certainly expected to see everything from the pages (or the people) we followed.

For marketing purposes, the platform (indeed, the whole web) once had that Field of Dreams vibe: If you build it (a website), they (customers) will come (customers).

In 2024, Facebook’s algorithm has other ideas.

Every Facebook post has an “organic reach.” In the tech industry, “organic” is a euphemism for “free.” Over time, Facebook’s monetization strategy has drawn an ever-smaller circle around organic reach. Today, the average organic engagement rate is around 1.5%. 

(The official line is that these changes are for the user’s benefit.)

Facebook is the gorilla in the room

The withering power of organic reach and the rise of alternatives like TikTok, Instagram, or WhatsApp are combining to make people question the value of Facebook as a marketing platform. Facebook, now Meta, bought Instagram a decade or so ago in anticipation of such things. 

Here’s the thing: Facebook is still the biggest gorilla in the social media zoo. And it’s not close.

DataReportal’s report on global social media statistics tells the story from a variety of useful angles. Facebook’s monthly user count is at around 3 billion. The next platform, Youtube, has around 2.5 billion monthly users. WhatsApp and Instagram are at around 2 billion each. After that, we’re talking about differences of at least one billion people per month.  

The zoo may have a new giraffe, a cute panda, and a lion cub, but the gorilla is still there—and people are still spending a lot of time with it. According to Facebook itself, business decision makers spend 74% more time on the platform than average people. They may be there for personal reasons—entertainment or keeping tabs on family and friends—but that doesn’t mean they can’t be influenced with the right content. 

Why should a business be on Facebook in 2024?

Does every business need to be on Facebook? The short answer is: absolutely, yes. 

Facebook is one of just a handful of sites people visit to get information about businesses. Establishing a page helps people find you. It’s a free, owned channel for communicating news about the company. Employees, customers, and prospects might stop by to see what the company is doing.

These are the top reasons B2B companies need to have an active Facebook presence, even if it relies strictly on organic reach:

  • Recruiting. Job seekers are motivated to read everything they can about your business. They will visit your Facebook page. What stories do they find there to inspire them to apply?
  • Retention. Your employees who follow your company’s page will see new posts. They can be inspired by the stories your company is telling about itself and about its people, making them more inclined to stick with the company even if the grass looks a bit greener across the street.
  • Branding. Brands continuously evolve. Facebook is one channel, among many, where businesses can express their brand with words and images. If nothing more, an active page keeps the company in control of its brand message.
  • Sustaining relationships. Because Facebook is approached as a “personal time” platform by many users, it offers an opportunity for informal interactions with stakeholders in your business. 

Casual visits from important stakeholders create an ongoing opportunity for the business to keep a fresh, consistent message visible on its Facebook page. The alternative is neglect. 

Think of your company’s Facebook page as a storefront. When a page only shows years-old posts, it sends a message: This company has nothing to celebrate and nothing to share. It’s in decline. 

(You might be interested in our recent article “Brand Neglect” by John Welches)

Those old posts look like partially broken neon lights, flickering in a dingy shop window. It’s a kind of brand neglect—check out this article by John Welches for more on that.

Upgrading the shopfront: what active organic content can look like

For many businesses, maintaining a sparkling brand presence is enough justification for investing in Facebook. 

A strong organic presence on Facebook starts with a consistent cadence of well-written, visually appealing posts. Posts can share news about the company, like promotions and case studies. They can also share insights into the company’s people, values, and expertise. Every business has stories to tell on social media.

Creating a group dedicated to the business is one way to boost engagement without paying for boosting or advertising. Here are some reasons they matter:

  • Visibility. Users who engage with a group are served more of that group’s content. This allows for the company’s organic reach to extend beyond that of posts alone.
  • Control. Facebook groups can be tightly controlled, allowing companies to maintain strict moderation over group membership and content. 
  • VIPs. Facebook groups offer a great opportunity to create a moderated, private forum for people who are motivated to stay in touch.

Active management is key to making a group work well. Moderators should do more than police the group for spammers. They also need to add real value for members by starting conversations and responding to posts.

Pay-to-play is the reality of Facebook lead generation

All this soft stuff is great, but what about sales?

Facebook’s vast user base gives the company enormous market power. The company knows it. If your business wants to tap into all those potential buyers, Facebook is going to make you pay for it.

Facebook’s advertising system offers marketers numerous sophisticated tools for reaching the right audience, but they are not without limitations. Many Facebook users don’t provide professional details on their profiles. They are there for friends and family, and they might not want to expose their private social media life to professional scrutiny. To make matters more challenging, privacy restrictions often prevent advertisers from getting as granular in their targeting as they would like.

An entire subindustry has arisen to help B2B marketers overcome these limitations. Facebook’s scale can make the investment worth the trouble.

Deciding if paid advertising is right for your business can be hard to determine in advance. Metrics may indicate that buyers are there, but will they rise to the bait? 

The answer typically only comes after an ad campaign has run. Advertising is always an experiment. Marketers use data to form hypotheses about the kind of return a campaign might produce. Each round of advertising reveals useful information that should allow the team to get better results the next time. 

Pursue the right marketing strategy on Facebook

B2B marketing on Facebook is no different than any other channel. Every marketing strategy needs to be grounded in the company’s goals. 

With few exceptions, Facebook still serves most business objectives: building and sustaining a strong brand, recruiting and retaining talent, delivering value to customers, and even finding new ones. 

Most B2B firms don’t need likes, they need recurring sales and great employees.  

Low engagement numbers from organic reach may be a red herring. The shop front is doing important work, even if no one is coming through the door.

If higher engagement matters—and for many businesses it matters—paying the platform to promote your content might be the right answer.

All this is to say: Facebook marketing strategy matters.

 If you’d like to explore how your business can get the most from Facebook, get in touch with us.  Red Mallard will work with you to design a content marketing strategy tailored to your distinct business goals.

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