3 Ways B2B Companies Should Be Using Facebook For Lead Generation

The discussion of the value of Facebook for many B2B companies is a valid one. The truth is that it is not the best engagement platform for all B2B companies. However, it is a great fit for some. The problem is that most B2B companies are only using Facebook for a small fraction of what it can really do. Today I wanted to share three lead generation tips for Facebook that many companies seem to be ignoring.

Blue Sky Factory, Inc | Facebook

1. Generate Leads through E-mail subscriptionsBlue Sky Factory does a great job of this, granted the should since they are an e-mail marketing company. However, most B2B companies simply settle for out of the box options that Facebook provides instead of thinking about how they can best maximize their network on Facebook. By including an e-mail subscription form in the side bar of their Facebook page Blue Sky Factory creates another possible way to build its e-mail newsletter distribution and leverage that newsletter to generate sales.

HubSpot | Facebook

2. Provide a Special Offer or Link to Customer Support
– Sure conversations happen on Facebook, but if someone is checking out the fan page for your business odds are they are interested in your product or at worst interested in the knowledge that you are sharing. Give them a reason to find out more about your product. Make a special offer or a free trail (see Hubspot example above) or make it very easy for them to start a live chat or call with a customer service representative that is able to answer their questions. Both of these levels of customer contacts can help generate quality leads that could pontential transition into sales.

forrester
3. Mix Paid Content with Free ContentForrester Research publishes over 20 blogs and many of the posts are linked or republished on their Facebook Fan Page. This consolidation of free content draws fans’ attention to Forrester’s thought leadership on a variety of topics. Forrester is in the business of selling research reports, planning a variety of real world and online events, and consulting with clients. By mixing sales offers for full research reports and paid event listings with loads of free content, which by the way demonstrates the value of their research, Forrester primes fans to take that first step to make a purchase. While those purchases, or event registrations, generate income, they have more value as leads to develop new client business. So Forrester is actually using the freemium model, giving something away and knowing that some people will pay to upgrade or get more, as a lead generation tool for a much large business relationship.

So these are three simple examples of B2B companies generating real leads with their Facebook fan pages. All three of these companies are engaging with their fans and providing value over the Facebook platform, but it is also driving business. Let us know if have other examples of B2B companies driving leads through Facebook by adding to the comments below.

Comments

  1. says

    Kipp – Thanks so much for highlighting Blue Sky Factory (BSF) in this post. At the end of the day, it’s all about the leads, right? I mean, no leads –> no $$ –> no company. Looking forward to seeing you guys next month.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

  2. says

    Brent –

    I’d be more than happy to share with you how we (Blue Sky Factory) created that sign up form. I’m pretty sure it’s some simple code. However, I’m not sure what FBML is? Facebook ML?

    Feel free to connect w/ me on Twitter (@djwaldow) or email (djwaldow AT blueskyfactory DOT COM)

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

  3. Sara Martin says

    Well in my opinion companies should avoid first step to make purchase policy. Free trial for 1 week is better. However I would give email subscription low priority. But free trial option and mixed paid content with free content is more profitable. A visitor won’t sign up unless he/she trusts a company. So Personally I think that giving them free trial and valuable customer support can cause to generate sales.

  4. says

    True, Facebook can be a nice addition to a current lead program. However, I’d guess that at least 80% of b2b companies should be focusing on improving their current websites, content there, capturing leads, etc. before doing anything with Facebook. Many people probably understand this, but I think it’s good to remind people.

    -Jason Peck
    Project Manager, Social Media
    eWayDirect
    @ewaydirect or @jasonpeck

  5. says

    Thanks for the reminder Jason.
    You are probably correct. Facebook is the popular shiny object in the room (so is Twitter). These shiny, fancy add-ons will do little for you if you don’t have the foundation laid down first with an organized, content rich website – full of user conversion to turn visits into leads. A twitter account or Facebook page essentially, is to direct traffic to your website or engage users in another way (like an email newsletter signup). If you don’t have the content or any engagement level on your site, you have lost that lead you started on Facebook.
    We especially in the B2B world need to keep all of our communication strategies consistent and relevant to business.
    Thanks again, A

  6. says

    @Sara: Hoping you could expand on your comment, “I would give email subscription low priority.” I’m clearly biased as I’ve worked in the email space for 5 years, but email is still the digital glue. Why not lock in the email address *and* give them a free trial?

    @Jason/@Amanda: Agree. Agree. Agree. Need I say more?

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory
    @djwaldow

  7. says

    Being an active participant in social media allows companies to widen their circle of influence and extend their influence to others. The web is a 24/7 window into information about your company, products, and services. You now have the opportunity to be in front of potential buyers even when you physically cannot be. And, if you are not, your competition will be. Identify where your customers and influencers have an online presence and join in.

  8. says

    There are lots of valid reasons to use Facebook. One thing to note is, because it’s a public space, companies should be very careful about what information they publish.

    This is applies to employees as well with facebook or twitter accounts. Privacy in the digital age is a whole new ball game.

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