How to Build a Great B2B Community on Facebook

b2b-facebookWe know you (yes, you B2B marketer) are skeptical. The social network of choice for many B2B marketers is LinkedIn. Even though Facebook is the largest social network by far (and one of the most trafficked websites overall), B2B marketers remain skeptical of Facebook’s viability for marketing impact.

Mike Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer of Peoplefluent kicked things off his session at MarketingProfs B2B Forum with a few important statistics courtesy of a recent Hubspot report about Facebook:

  • 750 million monthly visitors
  • 51% more likely to make a purchase after they “liked” a brand on Facebook
  • 41% of B2Bs surveyed indicated they have acquired customers through Facebook

Here are three examples of B2B Facebook pages worth reviewing:

Mike also showed a business page he worked on – Awareness Social Media Best Practices – and the key is / was content and communication (and literally, “best practices”). The page went from 0 – 10k likes in 2011 and more importantly the organization could track 22% of leads back to a first interaction on this Facebook page.

What makes these examples outstanding?

  • Audience engagement
  • Compelling and relevant conversations
  • Encouraging the share
  • No selling (direct selling at least)

6 Keys to effective B2B Facebook page development:

  • Paying Attention
  • Interaction
  • Content
  • Presence
  • Management
  • Measurement

On paying attention: listen to people and their actions and behaviors. This is the heart of a Facebook strategy but more importantly (taking a phrase from Chris Brogan – paraphrasing) ”It’s not what you say, it’s about what you hear.”

  • Why are you listening?
  • Where are you going to listen?
  • What are you going to pay attention to?

Silo your attention based on brand, keywords, buying signals, etc. Understand the market landscape, brand, competition, customers, influencers, buying intent phrases (situational, problems, etc), and of course, what’s happening on the page itself.

If attention is the yin, interaction is the yang. Mike outlined how to understand your extended audience, since your direct competition is not necessarily your competition on Facebook. You’re also competing with other brands, a person’s friends, family, network, etc.

At a high level, here is your extended audience and the basis for how to communicate with them:

  • Broad Extended Audience – share photos and videos
  • Passive – ask questions
  • Moderate – consistency is key
  • Active – make them champions
  • Influential – guest post opportunities

Considerations for improving and developing presence:

  • Use milestones
  • Star and highlight important information
  • Connect other channels
  • Use custom tabs within your Facebook page
  • Maintain consistent branding across Facebook page

All in all great examples and ideas that hopefully can sway a skeptical B2B market audience to do more with Facebook.

Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for the very informative article. I agree from all the social platforms Facebook is the one with more opportunities even for B2B. This article explains very well why.

  2. says

    Hubspot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report found that Facebook was the #1 social network in terms of customer acquisition for the survey respondents, which makes the prospects of marketing seem very lucrative.

    However, in my experience Facebook is a miss for my target audience. I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned measurement as an integral piece of effective Facebook communication. If I hadn’t been measuring, then I might still be marketing on Facebook today and generating less results than focusing more on Google Plus (my top social network for customer acquisition)

  3. says

    @Gloria – glad you liked the blog post and appreciate the comment!

    @Tatiana – good point and thanks for commenting. Measurement of performance in tactics is certainly a key. We all have limited resources, time, and budgets and need to make the most informed decisions in our marketing efforts as possible.

  4. SB says

    What about B2B companies that are skeptical about using social networking because they say they don’t want to give away their contacts? Such as people in real estate or wine trading? How can we convince them to use the internet for social networking?

  5. says

    @SB well the good thing is that you can build a community / page and hold off on inviting direct clients and customers to start. I would recommend doing this in the scenario I believe you’re laying out. I am sure there are professional colleagues, industry participants, and other points of connection that can be looked at first for community development.

    Hope this helps and thanks for commenting!

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