There’s no doubt that Facebook can be credited for starting the social media storm in the business world. Despite the recent events of GM ceasing to place ads on the site, one Businessweek article has this to say about what Facebook is trying to accomplish:
“The bigger picture is that Facebook is still struggling to prove that social forms of advertising work and that they are worth paying extra for.”
Hence, regardless of skepticism, Facebook continues to fight on in its advocacy of bringing a social element to marketing and encouraging stronger relations between business and consumer. However, even a casual business observer might notice one or two things about Facebook: it may not work for everybody.
Remember, there are two sides to the business world that companies cater to. One face represents the B2C relationships. In other words, these would be the businesses connecting their part of the world to the rest of it. On the other hand, we have the B2B side where companies connect and cooperate each other to improve on their services. A good example of a B2C company would be Hasbro or McDonald’s (and in this case, Facebook itself). B2B companies however would include the likes of IBM and SAP who supply businesses with management systems (e.g. BI software).
Here, when one sees the social media marketing attempts done on Facebook, it can be argued that B2C companies can experience a higher amount of success. On the other hand, Rich Karlgaard has written some interesting things on his blog that would hint as to why Facebook is not a good place for business leads.
“The company says it is zeroing in on a billion members. Good for Facebook, but what I would like to know is how many Facebook users have grown bored. I have not visited my Facebook page in two months. Almost every professional person I talk to who is over 25 years old has grown bored with Facebook.”
He even goes further and say that Facebook is not as much a necessity as some people would like to believe:
“I like Google, Intel, Cisco, IBM, Oracle, EMC and SAP because the world’s economy depends on them. Sure, we could live without them, but not without major disruption. The switching costs would be extremely high… Facebook is not integral to the global economy and its cool brand is rapidly fading.”
Naturally, some people might say that the social aspect is a necessity (as evidenced by some of the comments to the blog). While they may have some points, how much of those will hold for companies seeking to get leads out of it? ERP software groups are more likely to target professionals and decision makers. And as far as Karlgaard’s opinion goes, you won’t find plenty of them on Facebook. Many of those marketing within B2B companies still boast success with telemarketing services or setting software appointments than spending an unusual amount of time on Facebook. There’s a reason why some companies have blocked access to the site within their offices.