We love working in the business-to-business world, and love helping our clients learn how to overcome the challenges of using social media channels to market their businesses. One of the biggest challenges is related to Facebook, where we encounter a good deal of cynicism.
If you are a B2B company that has struggled to incorporate Facebook into its social media marketing mix, then you may find some of these tips, and the free e-book, very helpful. One of the things I like most about using Facebook as a business marketing tool is how it forces a company to think critically about business objectives, about its audience, about its lead generation strategies and about the type of content that will help you engage this audience.
Let's break that down a bit. First, do your business objectives include a social media marketing component? If your business objectives include things like:
- Increasing online sales
- Launching a new product
- Building awareness, or
- Promoting a mobile app...
Then Facebook (and other social media channels) can help. But before you get to the all-important step of turning your Facebook fans into customers, you need to build an audience, then drive that traffic to your website, turn that traffic into qualified leads, and finally nurture those leads into customers.
Our free e-book offers some very specific guidelines that are related to the first bullet - generating leads and sales. Our e-book also addresses important tips for helping you to get noticed on Facebook so that you can build your audience and find the right targets for your messages.
With regard to your lead generation strategies, we advocate the approach of our technology partner HubSpot: you must create useful content that your audience finds valuable. HubSpot has amassed nearly 700,000 Facebook fans and generated nearly 200,000 leads from Facebook by following this approach.
The ability to create and disseminate useful and helpful content has been a central part of PWMG's approach since we've been in business (and long before we hooked up with HubSpot). The abilility to create valuable content continues to grow in importance today as the number of communication channels for reaching an audience continues to expand. Valuable content that helps your audience must be at the center of this approach, because it also will demonstrate your expertise and your approach to problem solving.
So, you may be asking, what type of content actually does help to engage my audience on Facebook? Facebook posts can often be something as simple as sharing a link to another news article, and preceded by a brief comment from your Facebook team that explains why the article matters.
Your Facebook content strategy needs to provide a blend of content that will link back directly to a landing page or your contact form (i.e., direct lead generation) as well as content that is just friendly, easily digestible and doesn't aim to get your visitor to sign up for anything or provide their contact information (i.e., indirect lead generation).
What? Goals other than sales?
Well, yes. It is vital to aim first to get your audience to interact with your posts. That’s why a balance of direct and indirect lead gen content is so important. Without eyeballs, you can’t get clicks, which means you can’t get traffic, leads, or customers!
This also means that every Facebook post must have some engagement goals attached to it. These goals will vary, too, depending on the nature of the post. Sometimes we really want to encourage comments because we want feedback. Other times, we may strive to for a high volume of shares because we want a particular message to spread as far and wide as possible.
The point of this is that by focusing on gaining more comments, likes, and shares, we garner more visibility in the Facebook News Feed, which ultimately increases our chances for click-throughs (traffic) and conversions (generated leads).
If you want to learn more, then check out our free e-book on the topic here: Using Facebook to Attract B2B Customers.