Updated B2B Facebook Page Examples with Data

This short post is to let you know that we updated the 10 Examples of B2B Facebook Pages post. As that has been one of the most popular posts on this site, and still generates regular traffic, we wanted to make sure the information was updated where readers are still going. But the best way to let you know about something in an old post is to write a new post that shows up at the top of the home page, in RSS and in email subscriptions. That was just a tip I hope you caught.

The original post now has a curent number of Likers, since they are no longer fans, and some updated observations about best practices and changes to the pages. Since I can’t let this post go without putting a little content in it, the following is a list of the pages and increase in people who like the page since December 2009. Note that over this time, Facebook users increased nearly 43% from 350 million to 500 million and almost all of these B2B Pages grew faster. The CDW Employee Perks Program page must not have worked for them, as it no longer exists.

Page Dec 2009 July 2010 %Increase
Dell 51,183 183,554 259%
Cisco 24,289 74,400 206%
Salesforce 3,569 8,513 139%
Sodexo 2,069 4,194 103%
Cintas 1,156 2,260 96%
Gartner 2,059 3,943 92%
Hubspot 8,046 14,123 76%
Forrester 2,593 3,726 44%
Ernst & Young 34,478 47,611 38%
CDW 753 0 -100%

And always, if you have B2B Pages that you think are doing a good job providing information and creating engagement, or just doing something different, let us know in the comments below. You can even share your own if it is worth sharing.

Presentation: 10 Examples of B2B Facebook Fan Pages

Last week we published a post 10 Examples of B2B Facebook Fan Pages and it was very well received by our readers. Since one of the goals of Social Media B2B is to educate people about the value and benefits of social media in B2B and provide advice on how to get started, I have converted that post to a slideshare presentation. Now, as you are talking internally about your social media plans for 2010, here is an easy reference to use to discuss Facebook Fan Pages.

The presentation includes some introductory bullets highlighting some of the benefits of having a Fan Page; 10 examples of Facebook Fan Pages including a link, number of fans and a brief explanation of why the page is notable; and a summary page of the 10 examples. Share this presentation with your colleagues and your boss to start the conversation about what you could do with a Facebook Fan Page for your company.

[Updated] 10 Examples of B2B Facebook Fan Pages

July 2010 Update: This post was written seven months ago and many things about Facebook have changed. People are no longer fans of company pages, but they Like them. This causes confusion in referring to them. Are they Likers of a Page? And this week Facebook passed 500 million users. So we saw this as a great opportunity to re-visit this post and provide some updates. All new additions to this post will be indicated. Note that screenshots have not been updated. You can click on them to view the live page.

As Facebook continues to grow, now over 350 million users worldwide, more and more B2B companies are setting up Facebook Fan Pages. These pages give a business a home on Facebook and allows their content to be shared with their fans, in the same information stream with updates and links from their friends. Studies have shown that many people follow brands on Twitter looking for special deals, but Facebook is different. People become fans of companies and brands on Facebook for two different reasons. The first is that they want to keep up with the company and learn more about them. The second is they want to associate themselves with the company. That is they want to express their love of the company with others. The origin of the word fan, after all, is fanatic.

While many large B2B companies and brands do have their fans, and we will see some below, why would someone become a fan of company they don’t love? The reasons are no different than connecting on other forms of social media. These are building relationship with the company, getting value from the content, customer service, and yes, opportunities for special offers. So below are 10 examples of B2B companies using Facebook Fan Pages in a variety of ways.

Dell (Dec 2009: 51,183 fans; July 2010: 183,554 People Like This)

dell-facebook-page
Dell’s Page
features a custom landing page and a set of custom tabs. They also tell people why they should become fans. July 2010 Update: Some have commented that this is a consumer page, and since we published this post, Dell has called this a Consumer Facebook Page and created a Dell Business Page on Facebook with 583 Likers. They have also created a hub listing all of their Facebook Pages and Groups: dell.com/facebook

Cisco (Dec 2009: 24,289 fans; 74,400 People Like This)

cisco-facebook-page
Cisco’s Page
does a great job of adding links of other Facebook Pages and other places to find them on the web. July 2010 Update: As this page has grown its Likers, on page engagement has continued to grow. Make sure you read our interview with Cisco’s Social Media Manager about their Facebook Page. That interview occurred as a result of this original post.

Hubspot (Dec 2009: 8,046 fans; July 2010: 14,123 People Like This)

hubspot-facebook-page
Hubspot’s Page
does a good job of providing content makes people comment. These comments show up in people’s profiles and with the revised Facebook News Feed, updates with more comments are more likely to show in fans’ information streams. July 2010 Update: Hubspot has expanded their wall posts to feature posts from other blogs, as many people do on Twitter, including a recent SocialMediaB2B post (Thanks Hubspotters). They also have regular features like a question of the week to increase engagement.

Salesforce.com (Dec 2009: 3,569 fans; July 2010: 8,535 People Like This)

salesforce-facebook-page
Salesforce.com’s Page
displays photos and videos, including user-provided ones, from a recent conference. July 2010 Update: Here’s the latest announcement on this page: Facebook has selected Salesforce CRM to manage its fast-growing sales operations.

Forrester Research (Dec 2009: 2,593 fans; July 2010: 3,726 People Like This)

forrester-facebook-page
Forrester’s Page
informs fans about upcoming seminars and other events, in addition to aggregating feeds from their analysts’ blogs.

Gartner (Dec 2009: 2,059 fans; July 2010: 3,943 People Like This)

gartner-facebook-page
Gartner’s Page
promotes its latest research findings and promotes its events.

Ernst & Young (Dec 2009: 34,478 fans; July 2010: 47,611 People Like This)

ernst-young-facebook-page
Ernst & Young’s Page
was started as a recruiting tool for college students when Facebook was mainly a college-based social network. It’s usage has grown as Facebook has grown. Rather than using a custom tab as a landing page, they use the boxes tab to show a variety of content instead of their wall. July 2010 Update: While they continue to post content on a weekly basis, much of the wall posts are job seekers posting questions and the E&Y page managers responding with comments. They also no longer us the boxes tab as a landing page, people who do not yet like the page go directly to the wall. They do however, have targeted content in other tabs, as they did in December.

Sodexo (Dec 2009: 2,069 fans; July 2010: 4,194 People Like This)

sodexho-facebook-page
Sodexo’s Page
is also used for recruiting and is a channel for customer service and followup with applicants and interested parties. July 2010 Update: Customer service and communication with recruiters continues to be an important element in this page.

Cintas (Dec 2009: 1,156 fans; July 2010: 2,260 People Like This)

cintas-facebook-page
Cintas’ Page
also uses the Boxes tab as a landing page to show a variety of content. There is a large custom graphic promoting their company values, along with links to social initiatives, posted videos and press release. This page also includes a Facebook FAQ describing why they are on Facebook and what is expected.

CDW (Dec 2009: 753 fans; July 2010: This page no longer exists)

cdw-facebook-page
CDW’s Page connects employees and partners to an outsourced discount program and they inform their employees about about current items in the program. July 2010 Update: I can only guess that Facebook was not an effective way to manage this program and they moved to a different solution.

And finally, become a fan of the Social Media B2B Facebook Page. It is another way to receive the content from our site, within your Facebook information stream. And we are using Network Blogs to push our feed to Facebook, rather than just importing it to the Notes tab. This provides some additional sharing opportunities for the content.

Hubspot has created an ebook (posted on Slideshare) that features 15 more examples of B2B Facebook Pages. Are there other B2B Facebook Pages that are connecting with fans in different and innovative ways? Let us know in the comments below.

UPDATE (12/10): This post is now available as a Slideshare presentation, making it easier to share and discuss with your colleagues.

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.

5 Ways B2B Companies Can Use Facebook’s New iPhone App

While we still owe our readers a Facebook Fan Pages primer for B2B, I will assume that you have already set up a Fan Page for your company and you are interacting with your fans. Or you are at least planning on doing so. Facebook’s new iphone app was just released in the iphone store and, in addition to a much better interface that matches some of the functionality of the web site, it now lets you update Facebook Fan Pages. Here are five ways the iphone app helps B2B companies manage customer and prospect engagement through Facebook Fan Pages. This article also assumes that you have an iphone, the de rigueur device of social media types, but not the smart phone of choice in the corporate world.

facebookhome

After updating the Facebook app on your iphone, you will see a new home page on your device. From the Facebook home page, click the plus sign in the upper left to bring up the Add a Favorite menu. Click Pages at the bottom right to bring up the pages you manage. It will also list the pages that you are a fan of. Tap the page you wish to add and it will add it to a second screen of the Facebook home page. Tap the image to view the page. From here you can do the following five things on the list below.

facebook

1. Mobile Updates

Since you have already set up your Facebook fan page and you have probably already linked your blog to the notes function, there is already a stream of content on your fan page. By using the iphone app, now you can post updates away from the office. Many companies use their Facebook pages to show the human side of a company. While it is not necessary to tell your fans what you are having for lunch, you could report from the floor of a trade show, update on new innovations in the lab, or even discuss new products in action live from the field. Think about topics that would engage your customer base and encourage them to leave comments and ask questions.

2. Mobile Engagement

Now that you are updating your page with compelling content, fans will want to engage and comment on your updates. The new app will let you respond to those comments directly from your iphone. Since the goal with these types of social media sites is to engage customers and prospects, this is one of the biggest advantages to the new application.

3. Mobile Photos

They say a picture speaks a thousand words and now you can fill you Facebook page with all of them. Mobile pictures are a great addition to customer interaction. Now you can tour your factory and post pictures of the manufacturing process. Visit client sites and highlight unique ways they are using your products. You can even show your trade show display to those that cannot make it to the show. If you plan to post pictures from the company picnic or office parties because you think it humanizes a company, do so sparingly.

4. Mobile Connections

As you build up a fan base on Facebook, you may decide to friend some of these people. The way Facebook Fan Pages currently work, and the iphone app is no exception, is that you can only interact with people you are personally friends with. You cannot see details about your fans if they have their privacy settings to only show those details to friends. This is a common way for people to set their profiles. So after engaging with fans on your page, you may consider friending them. This will let you interact with them directly from your iphone. A good example of this is a customer evangelist or industry influencer that you might want to message privately, rather than on the wall.

5. Mobile Video

And finally, if you have a new, shiny iphone 3Gs, which shoots video, you can upload those videos directly to your Facebook page. Interview the VP of Sales about the quarterly sales numbers. Talk to customer service reps about common, yet easily solved issues. Talk to industry leaders at the next conference.

Bonus: Post to Twitter

Since I know you have already read this post about the value of linking your Facebook Fan Page to Twitter, I will assume that you have done so. In my initial testing of these mobile posts to Facebook Fan Pages, they did not post to Twitter. It is not documented whether this should work or not, but I will assume that it not working is a function of a first release and that it will be fixed before too long. Because of that, I can’t call this a sixth way.

So as Facebook continues to grow among the general population and more and more businesses begin using it to connect with customers and prospects, this mobile app allows you to add compelling content from anywhere. And just because you know have to ability to share anything doesn’t mean that you should. Please leave a comment below about some innovative ways you have used, or are planning to use, Facebook Fan Pages for your B2B company.