One of our earlier posts had talked about how b2b marketers can use social media. That was a more bird’s eye view post giving an impetus to B2B brands to adopt social media; this article, will mainly explore how just Facebook as a tool can be used by B2B marketers.
Please remember that having a standalone Facebook page will not do wonders. You can refer to the earlier post and create a sound strategy with a clear roadmap and vision, and only then should you move on to reading this post to recreate your vision.
So let’s look at how B2B marketers can use Facebook:
First define the objective:
Your objective should ideally be one of these:
- Brand your Company.
- Generate leads.
- Brand your company as a great company to work with (Talent Acquisition)
Get the basics right
Get your vanity url in place. It helps a lot when it comes to SEO and it’s important that you try to keep it consistent across all platforms. If, say Facebook.com/Socialsamosa is not available, the next best solution would be Facebook.com/socialsamosadotcom.
Get the creatives in place:
The profile picture should ideally be the logo. It is the profile picture which will be shown as a thumbnail on the walls of the users, so having any random picture with no connection to the brand, would really not create any value.
The cover photo also is a crucial creative piece. According to a study done by EyeTrackShop the users look at the cover photo for about 0.5 seconds and it is also the first thing he/she sees. This provides you with a huge scope to be creative and make a good first impression.
Following are some good cover photos I found that will illustrate my point :
Every brand has a history and a serious buyer or prospective employee wants to know that history. Facebook allows you to create a historical Timeline using your Facebook page. The milestone feature allows you to showcase the formation of the company,the achievements spread across the years of the company’s existence, and you can even mark it with specific dates.
The reason why they are called custom tabs is because they are highly customizable. You can use these to showcase other aspects of your brand, to display more information, to collect contact details etc. You can also create one to describe in detail what your product offerings are.
Some good examples of custom tabs of b2b brands are:
Contrary to the belief, Social media needs investment of both time and money. Depending on your budget and objective, run highly targeted ads to get initial set of people to join your community.
You can target these ads based on location, age, gender, profession, interests, education etc. Get these initial set of likes, engage with them, generate leads. Conversing with them on Facebook will help you reach out to their network too.
Other ways to get the initial likes are
- Send an email to existing employees or customers.
- Send an email to your circle telling them you are now on Facebook.
- Include the Facebook like box on your website.
- Include the Facebook URL in your email signature or visiting cards.
Share relevant content:
Content with context is the thing that will effectively drive your b2b marketing campaign. Share content in the form of updates on your Facebook page. Original, expert content will help create value in the online experience of people.
For e.g. A robotics manufacturing company can create case studies that showcase effective usage of robots by their clients. Or, it can create articles on how technology adoption cuts base line cost in the long run etc.
You can also share employee activities to give your brand a human touch, since in most b2b cases, clients would want to know the face behind the brand. Also, once in a while, share how your product/service can add value to the users’ life.
Good examples of content sharing on Facebook are:
Monitor and engage
Just sharing content and not interacting with the users won’t get us anywhere. Monitor and respond to their likes, comments, and interactions. Be human, talk to them as if you would talk to them in an offline event. Ask open ended questions, get feedback, share your thoughts and opinions.
It would be nice if the person who is responding is an inhouse team member and writes his name by the end of the comment. That way he can have a one to one interaction with the users.
It is crucial to be regular in all three: Content creation, Content sharing and Engaging/responding. Priority is given to posts which are fresh and have more likes and comments. The higher the engagement, the better the chances of the post showing on the users’ walls. The more people the post reaches, the higher the chances of you getting business.
Also, the sooner you respond to a query or a comment the higher the chance of the person responding soon too. Thus Facebook sees it as a hot conversation and throws it back on the users’ walls. Responding quickly also shows the company’s integrity and sincerity.
Running contests on timelines as well as via custom tabs is a great way to get traction and derive some really valuable results. Organizing a contest that resonates with your brand and has a specific objective will go a long way in fulfilling your business needs.
The Path to Success contest by Accenture on Facebook is one of the most interesting campaigns I have come across in the recent times. The contest is leveraging Facebook’s virality and aims to build a pool of talent for Accenture.
Summing it up..
So as you can see, there are many many ways B2B marketers can use Facebook. All you need to do is to think a little out of the box and stay interesting. It isn’t much of a pain, to be honest.
Featured Image by: Freedigitalphotos.net