Facebook doesn't make it easy for you – and I would prefer to end my blog with this introduction. But unfortunately, it is not that easy. So, let´s look at some facts. Active Facebook users in Germany are aging, at least by online standards. And without permanent legal assistance and a permanent line to your data protection authority, using Facebook means you are constantly operating in a legal twilight zone. On the other hand, according to Facebook 23 million Germans visit Facebook every day (22 million of them mobile). And next to Google, Facebook and Instagram are the world's largest and still the most performant advertising networks.
What I don’t like about Facebook:
- The product: The rules by which posts are displayed in the user's timeline are sometimes arbitrary, not very transparent and subject to constant change.
- The legal aspect: Using Facebook in a way that is compliant to European data protection legislation is a challenge (or, depending on the jurisdiction, impossible).
- The costs: Without an advertising budget, the visibility of your own communication cannot be planned reliably.
- Totally subjective: For me, the Facebook brand is in stark contrast to how brands should act in general, and especially in the social media, when it comes to credibility and transparency.
Why I still don't ignore Facebook completely:
- 23 million active daily users in Germany (if the numbers are correct).
- Next to Google, it is the largest advertising network with a good performance and a broad variety of campaign options (especially with highly specific or small target groups).
- There is Instagram.
- Totally subjective: Sometimes, surprisingly active and interesting interactions with B2B-relevant users, followers and fans.
- Interesting and even innovative options for selecting or generating target groups.
- WhatsApp, transferring its data to Facebook (no further comments ...).
Even those who do not excel at reading between the lines have probably understood now that I don't like Facebook. But I can't ignore it, either. Below, I will try to stick with the facts and list a few examples of B2B activities that have been successful (only) through Facebook.
- Ads to support job ads and related postings on a Facebook page.
- As an additional support channel, offering special customer loyalty campaigns (partly paid).
- Regional advertising for franchise partners.
- As a supplement to Google campaigns with better-priced conversions.
Conclusion: Use Facebook if you are not afraid of intense debates about data protection and tracking and only if you are willing to also spend advertising budget. Decide whether you can best reach your target groups, customers or multipliers on Facebook and be prepared that while you may not understand the rules and ways of this channel, you have to grudgingly accept them.