Now before anyone gets bent out of shape, let us share some thoughts. We believe both social media platforms are great; both have their purposes and can help your security company build your brand, lower attrition and interact with your existing customers, which can result in upsells and even generate leads for B2B. But we’re going to talk about the results of two specific campaigns: one aimed at generating leads and the other aimed at generating RSVPs for an end user educational event. For these campaigns we used both a purchased list and an existing database. 

We just got back from PSA-TEC where social media seemed to be a hot topic — as it very well should be because it works. We’ve also sat in some sessions at ISC West, PSA-TEC and other smaller conferences in which some presenters believe that Facebook is strictly meant for playing and doing cool things. While business may accidently be generated on Facebook, most of your focus should be on LinkedIn where “real” business is conducted… and to that we say, BS. We’re Marketing Madmen, and we’re here to turn things upside down a bit.

In just the past six months we have generated “real” commercial leads for our dealers/integrators/manufactures through Facebook. So forget the stigma that Facebook is only for shenanigans, because we have proof otherwise.

Recently, two clients contracted us. One wanted us to promote an education event they were doing with a large manufacturer, so they wanted bodies in the seats. Another client had a limited budget and asked our opinion about how to generate commercial leads with around $600 a month, so we suggested Facebook — oh, and let us mention this particular commercial security dealer had a past database of potential customers along with a newly purchased list of warehouses, manufacturing, retail and Fantastic Sam’s chains within their service area. The existing list of lost or potential customers was 800, and the existing customer list was about 1,500.

Now get your pens out, call your marketing dude over, call your marketing agency and tell them this: You can import a list of emails within Facebook to create ads that will show only to that specific list. Why some dealers waste their time with shotgun campaigns like TV and radio baffles us. The days of guessing where to market are over, security peeps. It’s all about “laser” (yes, like Austin Powers) targeting when it comes to your marketing efforts.

Once we imported the list of 800, only 450 email addresses were registered with Facebook; as for the list of 1,500, only 620 email addresses were registered with Facebook, meaning your ads will show only to those using Facebook with a registered email you are importing. We also segmented the databases so our ads would reflect the demographic, warehouses, manufacturing, etc.

We then created the ads specific to whom they were targeting. Within one month we spent a total of $800 (yes, over budget a bit) but were able to generate 15,000 views (great for brand) and a total of 12 leads and 51 page likes, all commercial. And that’s only in the first month. With a little bit of tweaking and split A/B testing we’re sure to improve upon these numbers in the months to come.

We then tested the same ad, not with the imported database, because LinkedIn only launched this feature literally days ago. That generated only one lead, and we spent around $900.

LinkedIn has been improving when it comes to its advertising capabilities on targeting and using purchased or collected email lists as well, but in our opinion it is far more expensive and does not generate as many results. Think about it for a second: how many times do you tap into Facebook a day? And how many times do you tap into LinkedIn a day? We believe people will check Facebook five times more than LinkedIn, and users are a little bit more inclined to comment, like and engage with your company’s brand or ads on Facebook.

Lately some have called into question our talking up Facebook against LinkedIn, but we always encourage constructive criticism. We do, however, handle more than 30 Facebook ad accounts and do this every day for customers across the entire nation, and we say roll with Facebook; it costs less to start and has been proven to generate leads for our customers — and even us for that matter.