LinkedIn may be the king of lead generation for B2B companies using social media. But according to Inside View, Facebook has also generated leads for 41% of B2B companies that use it. We’ve certainly seen it work for our clients. Intuitively, it doesn’t make any sense. How did Facebook become such a powerful lead generation tool for B2B companies?
After all, when you log on to Facebook, you’re thinking about posting a birthday message to a friend or uploading pictures from your family vacation. But that’s when something very interesting — and incredibly powerful — happens.
You don’t log off.
You check your newsfeed to see what your friends have been posting. You scan through a photo album of your newborn niece. And you click through to articles that catch your attention.
And that’s the opportunity for B2B (and B2C) companies to share their insights and expertise, and perhaps lure you to their website or blog.
So how big is Facebook’s loitering “problem”? Huge.
In fact, comScore reports that 1 out of every 7 minutes spent online is spent on Facebook.
The average user spends nearly 8 hours per month on Facebook, while the average LinkedIn user spends just 17 minutes. (I’m betting that 8 hours is far below the average time readers of this blog log on Facebook each month.)
In total, Americans spend 53 billion minutes on Facebook every month. That’s 164x more time than Americans spend on LinkedIn (325 million minutes), according to Nielsen.
B2B marketers have learned that those billions of hours spent on Facebook mean billions of opportunities to build and strengthen relationships with clients, partners, and industry leaders. They also know that there’s a decent chance you’re logged onto Facebook at work, and that your time spent on the social network might be a little easier to justify (to yourself and your boss) if you happened to stumble across a white paper or an idea to help improve your business.
There are many reasons that Facebook has become an effective lead generation tool, but I believe the “loitering theory” is the most important.
What do you think makes Facebook such a successful platform for B2B marketing?
Note: I was inspired to write this post while reading Jeff Cohen and Kipp Bodnar’s The B2B Social Media Book. If you haven’t picked it up already, I encourage you to do so!
Want to chat about generating leads through Facebook? Give me a call at 919-858-6914 or shoot us an email. I’d love to have a conversation with you.