Welcome back to another episode of More Than Marketing. I’m your host, Arsham Mirshah. I am joined by Miss Charlee Bonne, a senior digital media strategist, specializing in B2B social media marketing. We’re gonna be discussing:
- why should B2B use social media (and reasons they’re on Facebook even if you think they aren’t)
- B2B social media marketing tips
- the current social media advertising landscape
- emerging techniques and platforms make her most excited
- what formats and B2B marketing strategies on social media are working and not working right now
– [Charlee] It’s not new anymore, so you have to do something to keep people there and keep people engaged, and reel them in. Excitement is gone, and a little lackluster, so I think they need to keep changing in order to keep our attention.
– Welcome back to another episode of More Than Marketing. I’m your host, Arsham Mirshah. I am joined by Miss Charlee Bonne, not Charles.
– Charlee with two Es, a female, right?
– Yes, thank you.
– I’m sorry that people confuse it. I guess I kind of could understand why. But anyway, doesn’t matter.
– Appreciate the clarification.
– Yeah, you got it. If anyone watching the video, I think it’s very clear, right? But, so Charlee’s a senior digital media strategist here, specializing in social media, organic and paid, on the advertising side as well. Add, change, delete anything?
– Sounds good to me.
– Sounds good to you, okay, perfect, I like it. So, on the bleeding edge of social media. I remember when social media just came out, right?
– Me, too.
– You do, right.
– Yeah, I was in middle school.
– And so, what do you remember about it?
– I remember I actually hated it at first.
– Yeah. I was like, this is too creepy. I’m not comfortable, what’s the point? Takes too much time, yeah. So I had Facebook when it first came out, and then I got rid of it and I didn’t get it back for, like, five years.
– But when Facebook first came out, I don’t think they were calling it social media then. Maybe they were, I don’t know.
– I don’t think so.
– But that term is like, now it’s ubiquitous, right, social media is ubiquitous and there’s always a new platform. But, I remember when it first came out, it was like, we had just started WebMechanix and it was like, as marketers and advertisers, it was like, oh my god, you have to be on social media! If you don’t have a social profile, what are you doing?
– Yeah, you’re not real.
– You’re not real, right? And do you think that that’s true still today?
– 100%, even if I’m looking for something and they don’t have a good website or social media, I don’t trust it, you’re sketch, I don’t believe you.
– I know, and it’s funny because, like, I for so long, I wanted to say, I wanted to fight, I wanted to be on the opposite. I wanted to oppose that. And I still think that there’s some validity to some opposition, so, for instance, if you’re like a B to B, maybe you don’t need Snapchat. You know what I mean?
– It’s about finding the right platform for wherever your audience already is. They’re definitely using social media, it’s just a matter of which one.
– That is absolutely correct. So thank you, so that’s right because, now, if you’re B to C, and you’re a brand, now it’s like Snapchat makes more sense, right? So to your point, your audience is certainly using it, even if you’re a B to B, they are using it. But it’s, are you gonna prospect on that platform, or are you gonna re-market on that platform? So anyway, what’s your favorite social media platform these days?
– So, personally, I really like Instagram. I think I’m just tired of Facebook. It’s mean to say, like, they’re dominating, everyone has to be there, but I’m bored at this point and I think Instagram just, when I’m on there, I definitely feel happier. Like, sometimes you get on social media and you don’t always feel the best, but Instagram, I think, has a lot more positive focus.
– I could see that, yeah.
– A lot more food.
– And a lot more food, yeah, and dogs, and cats.
– All my favorite things.
– All your favorite things, right, exactly, food and dogs, I love it. For the audience, why do you love dogs? Or tell me about dogs and you.
– Yeah, so Sully, unfortunately, can’t see him, but he comes to the office with me every day.
– Why is he not in this room right now?
– I thought he might knock over the camera or something.
– He’s napping, though, under my desk.
– Aw, what a good boy!
– And I have a cat at home, too, so I love looking at all animals.
– And didn’t you work?
– Yes, I used to work for a couple of animal nonprofits, but most recently, the Humane Society, so it was really fun.
– That’s awesome. Good for you, and were you doing social media there?
– Yes, I was doing all the marketing there.
– Right, right, right.
– So when you’re in a nonprofit, you do a little bit of everything, so it was all the platforms, but social media has been my favorite for a while, so I’ve been kind of honed in there.
– Cool, yeah, and with all things digital, and you’re gonna hear some terms, some phrases, that I use all the time, right? So, here’s one. In all things digital, digital marketing, advertising, is changing faster than your underwear, so hopefully it’s changing really fast, but that’s what that’s supposed to mean. So in social media, you would agree with that, I imagine, changing really fast?
– Yeah, definitely. I think there’s a lot of pressure on them to be better now that people are more aware. Things are becoming more transparent.
– Yeah, with privacy and all that?
– Yeah, with privacy and just some of the scandals that have been going on, but also just the fact that it’s not new anymore, so you have to do something to keep people there and keep people engaged and reel them in, and because it’s a standard, it’s, excitement is gone, and a little lackluster, so I think they need to keep changing in order to keep our attention.
– Right, so in that sense, what is lackluster, not as exciting, well, what to you as someone who, like, that’s, you’re on there as kind of your job, right? What is exciting to you, then?
– So, my favorite part about social media is just the fact that it is social, so being able to engage with people and talk to them, I know a lot of people hate that part, hate the comments, hate monitoring it, but I think it’s fun, and it’s the psychology behind it and what’s getting someone to interact with something, so a lot of those more engaging units and platforms that are coming out. So I know Snapchat is really engaging, but they lost the people when they did a huge change, and they haven’t recovered from that, but Instagram learned from that mistake and they didn’t make it, and so the Instagram stories, they saw an opportunity in Snapchat, and they ran with it, and they saw the errors Snapchat was making, and they’ve been able to kind of learn from them.
– Yeah, without having to make their own mistakes, so I really like that.
– That’s cool, that’s good, yeah, and I also like that component, now that you mention it. I didn’t think about it, but I like that component, because if you, here’s what I’m seeing kind of in a macro sense in business, is that businesses are becoming more and more human, right? Like, long, long gone are the days of, like, well, long, Vanderbilt and all those. Business has to be more empathetic. Business owners, business management, leadership, they have to be more empathetic, because that’s what today’s workforce is attracted to, I believe, this is my theory, so this is my opinion. But, so social media is kind of like an outlet for that, right, it’s that human connection, whereas something like display advertising is very much like, here’s my message, please see it, I hope you’re reading it, come click on it, do something, you know? As opposed to, it’s a one-way street, social’s kind of two.
– And I think we kind of saw this coming when social responsibility was a big thing for companies and being able to say, if you do this, we donate back, or we give back in some kind of way. I think that was the first thing that really started that, and what better way to know if people like something than hearing exactly what they’re saying about it?
– What better way to get feedback from your customers, than right there in the most transparent of ways, you know? Everyone can read this comment.
– And you don’t even have to ask, they give their opinion on their own.
-Really don’t have to ask, they’ll tell you. Which is good and bad, right? There’s obviously the bad part, but the good part is, you don’t have to just sit there and take it. You can respond, and you can act on that, and you should act on it, that’s the best, you know? So, that’s really cool. Okay, I like it, so then, so what about formats? Instagram stories, we can advertise in that now. Any other formats, any other, what’s new and exciting?
– In terms of being new, they’re definitely updating the Instagram stories, so now that we can do carousels, and we can do canvas units in there, and you can attach lead forms to Instagram now, they’re really taking the things that are working in Facebook, and pulling them over, which is really great.
– That is great.
– They’re not new, but they’re good to be able to use. In terms of Facebook, they’re really hoping their stories catch on, too. I have seen things work there, but they just don’t have the same volume as Instagram, so if they can bring that up, I think that would be exciting. And then the Messenger ads are kind of the new thing. That’s what everyone’s looking for now, is sending sponsored messages, but also, just having messages in your inbox that look like a regular ad. A lot of people are starting to see success with those, and so, it’s kind of a matter of, is it success because there’s no competition yet, or is it successful because it’s a good medium?
– I would say, for me as a social media user, when someone hits me up on Messenger, I, for instance, get a notification about it, right? Or it shows up in my Facebook when I’m on desktop, so it’s very in my face, whereas email, I get a ton of email. If you wanna reach me, email’s not the best way, so Facebook Messenger’s a better way, or similarly, LinkedIn, if I get a LinkedIn message, I’m more apt to read that than I am an email, for example.
– Yeah, and I even think with Facebook Messenger, it’s not as obvious. Like, as soon as I open LinkedIn, I see all my sponsored messages.
– And you know which one’s the ad. Those you know which are sponsored, even in your feed, you know what’s sponsored pretty quickly and you might scroll past it.
– Yeah, in Messenger, it looks a little bit more native. It’s not as screaming in your face as an ad.
– Right, looks native, no, I agree with that, yeah. I’m actually excited about the not-so-big-name platforms coming out with their own self-service ads, so like Quora and like Reddit, I love that, because there’s huge audiences there that we didn’t used to be able to tap into, but now we are able to tap into, in a self-service manner.
– Yeah, and Quora just beefed up a lot recently. They just unleashed a ton of targeting that we’ve been waiting for, so that’s exciting.
– Yay! Over here fist-pumping the air ’cause that’s exciting. No, that’s really cool, and that format, the question and answer format is very easy to get your brand out there and to answer some of the questions that the people have, right? With your brand, with your solution.
– I think those ads are really relevant, but at the same time, the way that I was so excited about hearing what people have to say, they’re not so excited about us being there on Quora and Reddit, so, on Facebook, everyone’s used to it, but because they’re so new, there’s just a lot of, I don’t want you here, opposition. Not even that your ad is bad or I know you.
– It’s unfortunate, and it’s true, and it’s understandable and I agree, and I agree, right? But at the same time, those services have to make money, so understand that. And also, from my perspective, look, I’m biased. I’m an advertiser, right, and so are you. So I’m biased, I actually like ads, why? I learn new things about new products, you know? Or I learn things about products that I’m already engaged in that I didn’t know. So I kind of take that empathetic approach towards advertising, again, biased, I do it all day, right?
– I’m the same way. I mean, I know a lot of people don’t like the feeling of invasion of privacy or thinking about the psychology behind it, but I’m happy when you show me something I want, like, yeah, I wanna buy that!
– Yes, yes, thank you Charlee! Thank you, Charlee, that’s what I’m talking about! Like, when you show me an ad for something that I actually want, I’m happy. I don’t like to see ads for things that just make no sense to me, right? So yes, thank you, so good, we’re aligned on that. Put it here, that’s what I’m talking about. All right, that’s good. So let’s talk a little bit real quick about, like, what channels, which channels work for certain businesses and don’t. I like to stay macro level, we’re not gonna go, like, if you’re home services, you do this, if you’re a lawyer, you do that, right? I think the sectors, B to B versus B to C, I like to stay at that top level, and do you have success stories? So, I’ll make a blanket statement. Generally speaking, B to B, if you’re on social media, generally speaking, LinkedIn makes the most sense, ’cause that’s where the professionals are. Generally speaking, like, Instagram is like, doesn’t make as much sense because it’s like, you know, pictures of dogs and cats, and food, right? But that’s not necessarily true, right? There are exceptions.
– Yeah, so like I said, everyone is on Facebook, your audience is there, you just have to know how to find them. So, for me, everyone comes in there like, B to B, I need to be on LinkedIn, and being on LinkedIn, in some cases, is right, and it’s helpful if you only wanna target job titles. Like, that’s great, LinkedIn has that on lock. People don’t care about posting that on Facebook, but they’re still on Facebook, and I think that’s a big misconception is like, oh, the CEO doesn’t have Facebook. He 100% has Facebook.
– Oh, yes.
– He’s sharing pictures of his kid and dog, too.
– He, she, they, yes, they all, yes, they have Facebook, in fact, they definitely, I mean, that’s, yeah.
– And Facebook’s interest targeting, LinkedIn just rolled out a tiny bit of interest targeting, but Facebook blows that out of the water, so being able to say you work in these programs or these platforms, and you’re interested in certain types of industries, Facebook has that, too, and a lot of times, we’ll test the same campaign on both, and I’ll see Facebook’s leads always cheaper, almost always cheaper, so.
– And you know from working on WebMechanix’s marketing, too, that same thing. Facebook, the names we capture from Facebook, the leads we get from there, again, always cheaper, always cheaper, by orders of magnitude, of sometimes five times as inexpensive.
– And I think a lot of that is, Facebook just has more volume. People are on there more often. I checked my LinkedIn when I got a new job. Other than that, I’m not really in the habit. Like, I don’t need you anymore, but Facebook, everyone’s there all the time, and so, they’re able to drive more impressions, have more people interact with your ad. But they’re also just a better UI, and just the experience on LinkedIn, even for an advertiser, is not good.
– It’s not, yeah, I know. You either get into that newsfeed, which everyone knows which one is sponsored, unless you’re really good at advertising, then you can make it kind of look more native. Or, it’s on the sidebar, which, I don’t know how many people are looking there. They have some jobs advertising, but I think retargeting. Retargeting, B to B, B to C, especially for B to B, if you retarget your audience on Facebook, and then also on Instagram, right? In stories or otherwise, I think that’s a great way to progress people down your funnel. Would you agree with that?
– Yeah. I definitely agree with that, and I think there’s a lot of restrictions on LinkedIn that I don’t think people realize, so if you have that smaller budget, LinkedIn is, its minimum is $300 a month, for one audience, so if you have a bunch of different retargeting audiences, that’s gonna drain you really quick, whereas Facebook, you can run smaller audiences. You can go down to one dollar a day if you really want to, and so it gives you that control and you can just–
– The flexibility.
– Yep. Just show them, kind of keep your name in front of them, and be able to push them down, for sure.
– I agree, and I mean, you know with us, ’cause I was actually a little bit questioning if we should do anything on any prospecting or any advertising on Instagram, right? But then, when I think about it, it’s like, dude, everyone is logged into their Facebook, on their browser, and so, when they’re at work, they’re on their browser, so then they go to your website. Now, that cookie, that person, their Facebook ID, knows that you’ve been to that business’s website and all the other websites you’ve been to, right? So now, when you’re on your phone, and you’re on Instagram, by the way, Facebook owns Instagram, if anyone didn’t know that. Do you know they also own WhatsApp?
– Yes, they’re trying to capitalize on that. I don’t know how well it’s gonna take off.
– I see stories in WhatsApp, and no one does them, so it’s like, not, it’s even worse than Facebook. But anyway, so, yeah. So retargeting works. The point here is like, for B to B, retargeting works. Now, for B to C, your options are unlimited, right? I mean, retargeting is just the tip of the iceberg, but your prospecting game is just super tight when it comes to those channels.
– And it’s very similar to Google, and a lot of people don’t realize that, but when you’re logged into Google, it can see you on all your devices, and so can Facebook. So, those options to be able to carry you from your desktop to your tablet to your phone, Facebook has the same thing.
– Definitely has it, yeah. Exciting times, exciting times. Lot of opportunity, and a lot more to come, too. These things are gonna keep changing. The targeting’s gonna get better. Hopefully, I mean, it’s good when the targeting gets better. I don’t, I wanna make sure that’s not confused with your privacy going out the door, no. It’s, you want relevant ads. You don’t want crap ads, you know? And so, and I think the platforms want that, too, because they, well, if they get paid per click, they want that, but on a CPM basis, then maybe they don’t.
– Yeah, and it’s also, there can be times, like I have a good example recently where I got a Netflix ad that I shouldn’t have gotten, and it was saying that they are releasing all of the Harry Potter movies in the US. So I was like, this is so exciting, I’m gonna watch these all this weekend, but it was actually for Australia, so I was like, why did I get that ad? And Netflix, their marketing is usually pretty good!
– So they’re not releasing it to US?
– No, it’s Australia only, but they served me the ad, and so I’m just thinking, like, well, now I’m disappointed!
– What a tease!
– You’d better call Netflix.
– You want things to be relevant, not necessarily just things that you want, but you don’t wanna see things that you can’t apply for, and you get excited and you’re like, oh, I can get this, and then actually it turns out you’re not eligible.
– Right, no, I agree, and you don’t wanna see ads for stuff that you already bought, for instance. You wanna see stuff that’s relevant to us. So that’s good, that’s cool, okay. Yeah, so here’s what we’ll do. We’ll wrap this up, sew it up, boom, I’m gonna have you back, and we’ll talk about the evolution of social media and where else we’re seeing success, and actually just all the changes, ’cause there’s gonna be a lot in like a month.
– In a year, it’s gonna be like, Facebook doesn’t exist anymore! Now it’s something else, right? Real quick, for the audience, I think this is pretty interesting. Do you know how much they bought? Facebook bought Instagram and WhatsApp. First they bought Instagram, then they bought WhatsApp. Do you know how much they paid for each?
– I don’t.
– Do you want me to tell you?
– Go ahead. I think WhatsApp wasn’t too bad, but I remember Instagram was a lot, but it was a while ago, so a lot then, not as much as it is now.
– Well, both were billions. One was 19 billion and one was one billion. Which one was which?
– I thought the one billion was WhatsApp, but now you’re making me question it.
– And it only, you’re questioning it because it’s, you, the way I’m presenting it, right? And that’s true, they paid 19 billion for WhatsApp. 19 billion for WhatsApp, and only one for Instagram. You see how huge Instagram is now.
– Partially because of them.
– I mean, yes, definitely, sure. Yes, I would agree, and also, you see, like, the engagement that’s happening there, and I just think that’s fascinating.
– I think the WhatsApp is a big international play for them, so whether or not it works.
– You’re right. I believe if I read correctly, it’s international play, yes, and also, it was younger audience at that time, at the time that they bought it, as well.
– Highly recommend WhatsApp if you’re going on vacation. You can message for free.
– Yeah, and also, if you have friends, if you have an iPhone and your friend has an Android, if you try MMS, multimedia–
– Saves my life.
– Right, if you send a video or a picture–
– Group chats.
– Group chats, it’s great for, but let’s say, I have an Android and she has an iPhone. If she sends me a picture, or a video, even worse, the quality is just compressed and it looks like crap, in either direction, so then you use WhatsApp, and then it’s, they resolve that problem. Group chats, also great for it.
– Yep, they have gifs right in there.
– Good times, social media, baby, love it. Charlee, thank you so much for your time talking about social.
– Thank you for having me.
– My pleasure, we’ll do it again. For all y’all out there, hopefully you learned something. Targeting is getting better and better, by the day, it seems. Check out Quora. Check out, what, Reddit? Yeah, so some other social media that you may not have thought to advertise on. Or otherwise organically, be on, and see what’s going on. So, like, share, comment, subscribe, and we’ll see you next time, cheers.
Arsham MirshahCEO & Co-Founder
News + Business