Facebook has drastically changed the way we do things, including how we discover products, how we shop, and how we conduct business. Whether you are in e-commerce, retail, imports, wholesale, or manufacturing, your Facebook page is a great channel for promoting your business at minimal costs. B2B online marketers must not undermine the value of integrating Facebook in their B2B marketing campaigns – if they do not want to be left behind by savvy competitors that is.
I’ve searched Facebook one too many times for companies I would like to know more about only to come upon pages that are outdated or worse, completely neglected. I find myself wondering if these companies even realize what they are missing out on. B2B companies can use Facebook in pretty much the same way B2C companies do, with only some special considerations. Whereas B2C companies put the spotlight on their products, it’s a little trickier for B2B companies, most of which use social media mainly to build credibility, engage customers, and generate new leads.
Brand Networks CEO Jamie Tedford recommends using Facebook to tell the story behind your brand as a means to “humanize” your company. PR and social media expert George Guildford says the new Facebook pages enable you to create a visual identity that people can easily relate to. If you’re still in knots over Facebook marketing, you could stop worrying because here’s a checklist on how you can optimize your company page:
1. Complete all available fields on your profile.
When people come looking for a company to supply them with products they need, make sure you make it easy for them to reach you by providing important contact information on your about page. Include office hours, address, email, contact numbers, links to your social media profiles, and your company website. This might also be the best time to get a proper Facebook page URL.
2. Upload a cover photo: Think online “billboard” – minus the spending.
The cover photo is the first thing people visiting your profile see. With the Internet getting more visual, a well-chosen cover photo is sure to drum up interest in your business. The cover photo is your billboard of sorts and what is the primary purpose of billboards? They capture the essence of a brand and deliver a powerful message that persuades the customers to take action. Take for example Salesforce.com’s excellent cover photo:
Some ideas you can apply for cover photos:
- Highlight company culture.
- Feature events you went to.
- Your company logo, tagline, or description
- Use an original photo as much as possible
- Keep it fresh, creative, and interesting!
3. Stars and Pins: Highlight important posts.
Put important posts where visitors can immediately see them on your Facebook timeline. Pinned posts stay on the top left portion of your page for seven days even as you update the page with newer updates, after which, you can just re-pin it or pin on a new post. It is a good idea for B2B companies to pin up written call-to-action text.
Another way to bring attention to important posts is by starring a post. The timeline is divided into two columns. When you star a post, it expands to the entire width of your page, demanding the attention of anyone who scrolls down you page. It makes sense to star photos, videos, and graphics as they add visual appeal of your page.
- To pin a post, go to the upper right corner of the post and click ‘Edit or Remove’ (the pencil icon) and a dialog box will appear. Click ‘Pin to top’.
- To star a post, click the star icon in the upper right corner of the post, just beside the pencil icon.
- You cannot star and pin the same post at the same time.
An example of a starred post by GE:
4. Feature company milestones
The Facebook Timeline is called as such because it makes it easier for people to sort your updates by year and by month. The timeline allows you to fill in gaps in your timeline from the day your business was founded to present. There are plenty of creative ways to mark important milestones. Update your timeline with major company events and special announcements. If you have the budget, you can commission a designer to enhance or create images accompanied by a brief text or do illustrations, a cartoon strip, and graphics to provide an in-depth visual representation of your company. This milestone noted by AT&T in the example below was simply brilliant:
5. Less is More: Keep it Short and Sweet
Strengthening your Facebook presence does not entail posting new updates every couple of minutes. It is best to focus more instead on the quality of your posts – even if you only update once a day or a few times a week – than the quantity. Take time to respond to questions and comments by users to promote engagement. “Less is more” also applies to each of your posts, particularly written updates. Facebook research shows that posts limited to no more than 250 characters get 60% more likes than ones with more than 250 characters.
6. Balance your content.
It has earlier been mentioned that “storytelling” and visual presence are your strongest bets for a successful B2B marketing campaign on Facebook. As you continue updating your page with beautiful images and well-crafted text, spice things up a bit for your followers by throwing something a bit different into the mix from time to time such as polls, multimedia, and Q&As. Follow the example of global brand Coca-Cola, which knows exactly how to engage users:
7. Consult Insights for creating Facebook Ads.
Aside from providing real-time statistics on the Likes and Shares you get, Facebook tells you a lot about the behavior of online users visiting your page and which type of content they are most interested in through Facebook Insights. Study the metrics on your page visits and use the data to develop a strategic Facebook marketing and advertising plan. There is a huge potential to be tapped if you are cunning enough to use Insights data to your advantage.