Social Media for B2B Marketers: Facebook
Today's is the third entry in our Social Media for B2B Marketers blog series. Previous posts have covered LinkedIn and Twitter, and next week we'll finish our series with Google+. Each post covers how to set up an optimized profile for that social media platform and how begin building a social presence for your business there. You can also join us on Wednesday, April 10 for our webinar on how to choose your platforms and develop a social media plan for your B2B business!
The largest of all the social networks, Facebook is better known as a personal platform so you may not think of it as a place to conduct B2B business. However, every business is made up of individuals, and with a user base of over 1 billion people chances are your target audience is on Facebook. It’s a great place to start conversations, engage your audience with your brand, and promote your other content and social media platforms.
Setting Up Your Company Page
You don’t have to have a personal profile to set up a business page. If you don’t have one (or if you aren’t logged in) you can simply go to the Facebook homepage and click “Create a Page” in the bottom menu to begin setting up your business profile.
If you are logged into your personal profile, click “Like Pages” in the menu to the left of your home feed, then the green “Create a Page” button in the top right to get started.
Choose the page type that you want to set up, fill in the requested info, and click “Get Started” to set up your page. Add a profile picture and write up that reflect your brand and include your website and relevant keywords to let your audience know what your company does.
Finally, try to choose a Facebook URL as close to your company name or website as possible. As with your Twitter handle, you don’t want to use a person or product name here since potential customers may not associate that with your brand. You can’t change your URL once it’s been set, so make sure you like the one you choose.
Once your page is created, click the “Edit Page” button at the top and choose “Update Info” to populate your page with all your company information, images, and customized content. The menu to the left of the screen will enable you to add your company information, manage your settings, and assign admins from your company who can manage the page. You can also click the “Edit” button in the top left of any part of your page to edit the content in that section.
Your Settings & Manage Permissions
These two tabs allow you to set up your page and notification preferences. Some key settings include:
- Email notifications – it’s a good idea to enable these so that you can respond whenever someone interacts with your page.
- Country and age restrictions – if your page content isn’t appropriate for some users or if you want to filter access based on demographics.
- Posting ability – it’s generally a good idea to allow anyone to post to your page to encourage user interaction.
- Blocklists – if there are certain terms or profanity you don’t want to allow on your page.
Basic Information, Profile Picture, & Cover Image
This is where you add your company information including your business categories, location, contact information, and description. Make sure to maintain your brand voice in your write-ups and include relevant keywords so that customers know what your company does.
Update your profile picture from this tab or by mousing over it on your company page, which is also how you change your cover graphic. These two images can be used to express your brand or highlight a certain promotion, product, or service. It’s a good idea to use your company logo as your profile picture so that your page is easily recognizable and use the cover page for other promotional graphics.
Featured, Resources, & Admins
Use the Featured tab to highlight certain profiles or other pages on your page. This is useful if certain members of your team are well-known in your industry or if you have partner companies or organizations and would like to highlight those relationships.
The Resources tab, as its name suggests, is where you will find help documents and other useful links from Facebook.
The Admin Roles tab is where you give page access to members of your team and can set their permissions levels to determine what changes they are allowed to make.
Mobile & Apps
The Mobile tab enables you to set up access to your page from your phone, while the Apps tab gives you an overview of the apps you have set up on your page.
You can set up Apps by returning to your company page. These are the tabs to the right below your cover image, and you can add a variety of customized sections by clicking the + symbol next to any of the empty tabs. Choose apps that are relevant to your brand including news, social media, multimedia, and more. Experienced coders can also create custom apps and pages to display in these tabs.
Promoting Your Business on Facebook
Now that your page is completed, you can begin building your audience, promoting your brand, and creating customer relationships.
Get Fans to Like Your Page
The way to expand the reach of your content and begin engaging with potential customers on Facebook is by getting people to Like your page. Once they have, your updates will appear in their news feed, encouraging them to interact with your brand.
One effective way to attract Likes is to run a contest or promotion in which fans need to Like your page to participate. This can be tied in with an event or product launch to help gain attention for it and generate warm leads. Cross-promote your contest across your different platforms for maximum impact.
Another method that is sometimes used to encourage users to Like a page is called fan-gating. This is the practice of requiring visitors to Like your page before they can view or download your content. Done right, it can be an effective tactic, but reserve this for larger content items that users will consider worth the commitment of Liking your page. Fan-gating every post or article you produce is a surefire way to drive readers away from your blog or website.
Facebook ads and sponsored stories can also get your page in front of your target audience. If they like what they see when they get there, they may choose to engage with your brand and Like your page.
Share Engaging Content
Don’t just use your Facebook page to spit out advertisements for your products and services. The best way to attract Likes for your page is to share useful and interesting content that users will want to share with their friends. Post links to your blog posts, YouTube videos, and other content to establish yourself as an expert in your field, or share valuable or notable content from others.
Key things to keep in mind when posting to Facebook include:
- Photos and video have been proven to drive more engagement than links, which in turn drive more engagement than plain text updates. Facebook takes this into account when determining what content to run in users’ news feeds and posts more engaging content more often.
- The optimal length of a Facebook post has been determined to be between 100 and 250 characters. So, try to keep your posts short and provide links to longer pieces of information.
- Include calls to action in your posts – if there is something specific you want users to do, make it easy for them by telling them what it is.
- Post at least once or twice a week to keep your brand front of mind and keep users engaged. Newer content appears more frequently in users’ timelines than older content, and users will soon grow bored with your page if you rarely provide new information.
Make It Personal
Facebook is the social network for people’s personal lives, so you have to give your target market a reason to spend their time on your company page. Connect to your audience on a personal level and give them a glimpse into your company culture.
- Promote and post photos of your company social or charity events. This is a great way to show your company values and give potential customers an introduction to your team.
- Applaud achievements of your current customers or team members. Did your client just raise money for a local charity? Did one of your team members win an award, run a marathon, or display their artistic talents at a local event? Share that with your audience.
- Funny content can gain a lot of attention, but be careful that any humorous posts reflect well on your brand. Never share anything off-colour or potentially controversial.
- Provide customer service on your page. If someone shares a comment or complaint, reply appropriately and do your best to resolve their issue. This will help you maintain that customer relationship and show others that you are a responsive product or service provider.
No matter what content you choose to share, remember to always maintain your brand voice and consider the needs of your target audience.
Above all, Facebook is a social network, so be social! Like the pages of other brands and potential customers, share others’ content on your page (and give them credit), and join conversations on others’ pages and profiles. This will help you gain brand exposure and create relationships with potential new customers.
Next week we’ll talk about the newest of the big four social networks, Google+. Meanwhile, feel free as always to contact us or post questions, comments, and additional tips in the comments section below.