I’ll admit that I’m late to the game here. In fact, I’ve never been an early adopter. This is because I’m cynical. Now, I’m finally giving in- your company should have its own Facebook page.
Why was I hesitant to suggest Facebook Pages for a business?
In my mind, Facebook was all about baby pictures (or cat pictures, for those without kids). Sure, you might be able to use this platform to market to consumers, but I never thought it was serious enough for B2B marketing.
What convinced me to recommend Facebook Pages for a business?
When I started my own business (which is, inherently, a B2B business) I wanted to brag to my friends. The easiest way to do this was to update my Facebook page with my new job. Do to this “right” I created a Facebook page for my new company. I guarded my presumption of disappointment (and lack of confidence in any value from this platform) by announcing that I woudn’t be updating it much.
Then, as part of my weekly dashboard, I started to notice something unexpected: I was getting traffic from Facebook. I wasn’t posting anything on Facebook, but I was still getting traffic! What perplexed me was the consistent amount of traffic I was getting from Facebook each week- far more than could be coming from my friends who were simply curious about where I was currently working. Traffic from Facebook was a result of Google searches- because my Facebook profile was showing up in the SERPs. If I’m getting traffic from a Facebook page that I’m not even maintaining, I thought, what could I get if I actually invested in it.
Where I was wrong about Facebook Pages for Businesses
Facebook is becoming the dominant and default social media platform. Almost everyone has a Facebook account. With this dominance people can’t help but mix business and pleasure. While most people start on Facebook to connect with friends, they inevitably expand into business. It starts, kinda like my story, with adding your own company to your Facebook page. After all, our work is an important part of our life. After that, we often connect with co-workers (who are also friends), not all of whom are still working with us- so we follow their companies, too. Next thing we know, we are mixing our personal lives with our business lives and there is an opportunity for B2B marketing on Facebook.
How to reach new B2B customers on Facebook?
Start by establishing a goal
What do you want to get out of Facebook? Every good online marketing campaign needs to have a clear goal. Without a goal, how will you know it it’s successful? While this might seem obvious I feel like I need to say this because so many businesses skip this step. To be honest, while writing this post, I almost forgot to mention it myself.
Here are some possible goals:
- Lead generation
- Establishing brand identity and authority
- Reaching a broader audience with your message
Once you know what you want to accomplish, find out how you are going to quantify these goals. What are you going to measure to make sure you’re successful? How do you know a tactic is working to achieve your goal unless you can measure it?
Second, use your employees.
Your employees have an interest in the success of your company. If your business is growing they have job security and promotion opportunities. Give your employees the opportunity to help your company grow by encouraging them to follow and participate on Facebook. How can you do this?
- Have a contest to see which of your employees can make a post go the furthest.
- Empower your employees to share content that they encounter, that would be helpful to customers.
- Empower your employees to be custom content creators. While it’s true that your employees have an interest in the growth of your business, the opposite is true too: if your employees are becoming experts in their field, your business will grow in respect and authority, too. Don’t hide your employees.
- Use paid Facebook ads to reach your employees’ network. The fact is, they might have friends in the same industry or related industries.
Just as you don’t want empty followers (followers for the sake of having followers) you shouldn’t make your employees follow your company on Facebook. I’m not a big believer in guilt being a productive motivator. Besides, there are certain privacy concerns when you gain access to employees personal lives through Facebook. Just leave the employees who don’t want to follow you alone.
Facebook is not the right solution for everyone
While I’m arguing that there is a place for Facebook in your B2B marketing efforts, that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.
How do you know if it will work for you? Establish a goal and measure it. If the data shows you that you’re not achieving your goal, establish a different goal or put your time (and money) into efforts that are more successful.
This is what’s awesome about online marketing. Analytics helps you see what works and what doesn’t. That way you don’t spend your money on fruitless efforts.
Or, another way of saying this: if you learn that Facebook marketing is working for you, put more money into it!
Have you tried to use Facebook to market to B2B customers? How did it work for you? Leave your thoughts in the comments, below.