Now that Facebook has officially filed for their initial public offering, what does that mean for B2B marketers? Many IPOs bring a needed infusion of cash to companies, but according to their submitted documents, Facebook already has profits to the tune of $1 billion. 85% of their revenue comes from advertising. That means they encourage users to share information about themselves and Facebook uses the data to target users with advertising. Here are some ways you can better leverage the platform to reach your B2B prospects and customers now that Facebook will have to answer to public shareholders.
1. Explore Facebook Advertising
Normally I would work my way towards advertising as the last item in the list, but I am starting with it because it is so important to Facebook’s success. There are a number of ways you can use advertising on Facebook, but here are two that have been shown to be most successful. Sponsored Stories target the friends of your fans to grow your fan base. You can also target your own fans with updates to increase Page engagement. The Facebook ad platform lets you target by demographics and keywords, as well as set your budget so you can begin testing this to reach your B2B target audience.
2. Monitor Facebook Advertising Changes
Look for Facebook to roll out more targeted and creative ways to reach people on the platform. They have expanded their ads to the point that they are engaging and active, for example people can like a page right from an ad. Since this is so core to their business, look for a new, non-disruptive type of advertising that feels even more like regular Facebook updates. Facebook users may balk at new ideas, but if Facebook can come up with a way to show targeted, non-ad like content (as they are likely working on), advertisers would pay for that. They could be a pricey option for many B2B companies, but if you can keep up with all their tests on the advertising category of Inside Facebook then you can evaluate options for your company.
3. Get Ready for the Timeline
If you haven’t yet heard of the Facebook Timeline, it is the new way personal profiles are shown on Facebook and they are coming to Business Pages soon. If you don’t have the timeline yet on your personal profile yet, click the link above to get it. Not only is the layout more visual, but there is a great branding opportunity with the large cover image at the top of your page. Think how you want to portray your B2B company with a large horizontal image. Don’t assume the staff photo from the company holiday card is the best thing you’ve got. Get creative. But don’t make a Photoshop montage of your products either. The other big change about a timeline is that you can post items to past dates. This is a chance to build a company timeline with historic photos as part of your Facebook Page. This can give some depth to your presence on the social network.
4. Post More Often
With all the changes on Facebook, it is more imperative to post content more often than before, at least a few times per day. This means sharing blog posts from your company and other sources, posting photos and videos, asking engaging questions and showing the fun or human side of your B2B company. There is so much noise on Facebook, as well as an algorithm that only shows people content that Facebook thinks they are interested in, that you need to get people to engage with your content so Facebook will show it to them. There is a balance here. Look at the Facebook Pages of B2B companies that you admire for examples.
5. Drive Facebook Likes from Other Sources
One of the ways to ensure that you have an active Facebook for your B2B company is to make sure you remind people that it is there and they should like it. If you are still printing catalogs, include your Facebook Page address. Add it to email signatures. Display it at your tradeshows. Make sure employees know the kinds of things you share on the Page so they can tell customers and prospects. Start with your own network of employees, customers and partners, and grow the Page from there.
What have you been doing on your B2B Facebook Page and what do anticipate changing in the future?