By the end of 2018, there were more than 2.32 billion monthly active users (MAU) on Facebook, of which almost 15% in Europe. Considering the growth with 9% of MAU in Q4 2018 (from 2.27 billion in Q3, despite the spicy debates that occurred in 2018), any businessman would see a growing potential of using the platform. By the same time, over 1.5 billion were active on a daily basis. Add here the fact that business decision makers spend 74% more time on Facebook than other employees, and engage with a wider variety of topics. Getting warmer?
Why should you not ignore B2B Facebook marketing?
Facebook offers a wide range of possibilities to follow the reactions of people who engage with you, your product or company page. If you do make a comprehensive study, you may get interesting insights. Here I am not just talking about some stats. I mean identifying buyer personas and building the profiles of your most valuable B2B buyers, especially from the perspective of understanding who are the people who represent them. Note, that audiences from the UK are different from these located in, say, Singapore, and in the US and so on. Thus, promoting locally is different from doing so internationally, and aspects vary from one country to another. The same thing regards the prices of ads and when planning the budget of your campaigns take this into consideration.
Similarly, you can create and manage a business page for your company, and engage in comments from your personal profile on that page. Be patient to critics, be grateful for compliments (or vice versa). However, do not be promotional. Try to explain and answer the questions from the buyers’ point of view. Another extremely important point here is to respect grammar and be correct with both spelling and punctuation. Just imagine the disastrous effect of making a B2B sales offer or an ad with mistakes. High-quality well-thought design and videos will most probably catch the attention of business people who usually have an experienced refined view.
Keep the company page updated. I’d suggest posting on your business page regularly. Although there are general proved theories about Facebook use hours, these might not be relevant to
your particular case, so simply start paying attention to the hours when your audience engages with your page the most and be ready to both meat them with some interesting new stuff, as well as to be there to answer their questions. Transform the process in a routine or use some kind of automation (e.g. Buffer, Planable and many more). Some businesses post on their pages twice a day every day, others are not that active.
Depending on what your company is about, how big you are and how efficient it is for you to engage with Facebook users (this includes categorizing by the generation/s you are willing to address), you should identify your own perfect schedule in not more that 2–3 months. Use Facebook storytelling and make sure that every post has visuals (including branded images). As a hint, I may tell you that square images get higher engagement. So do videos less than one minute long with subtitles and GIFs. It is also a good option to place your how-to and product description videos providing both useful information to your audience and feedback in the form of engagement for yourself. Moreover, you can create live webinars and events, and/or start groups by interest. Some of the newest ways to organize meetups is by creating virtual events, which could bring a huge contribution to keeping your business audiences informed about your product.
Even the mistakes you make can be redirected to good use. In case you’ve omitted an error, measure its negative influence on your KPIs and you’ll be now ready to estimate the impact a similar event may have.
I am not planning to go into Facebook ads and the set up thereof in this article, as it is a complex topic worthy of its own separate page. However, what I’d really like to point out is that selecting the audience for your ads depends on the suggestions I’ve made above, especially identifying the buyer personas, and further researching the lookalikes too. Note, that B2B Facebook advertising should mainly aim to grow brand awareness, traffic, leads and conversions, rather than direct immediate sales.
Other important facts to consider
Many users have an erroneous view of Facebook as if it is just related to an individual’s personal life and social interactions thereof. Even if, in most cases, it is more personal than, say, LinkedIn, it is still a decent place to connect with other businessmen just like yourself. Business people are people too, and can easily use Facebook for both personal and business purposes. Do not forget, that Facebook is not limited to the platform itself, some of the ‘family’ giants also being Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
However, one should not ignore the difference between a ‘personal’ platform and a ‘social’ one. In the case of the latter, people engage with each other and with the content they see and this is exactly what Facebook is about. Similarly to the ways people reveal their eagerness to watch the new Game of Thrones episode (one of the ‘hottest’ topics in the UK on Facebook as of January 2019), they can also discuss one product or another.
Facebook, as a still social platform, is about relationships between people. Thus your primary goal here should be building relationships instead of trying to sell something or close a deal. As a devoted businessman, you can (and oftentimes should) engage with the crowd and explain as much as possible what your product is about. Answer all the questions, but do not forget that your answers should not advertise in any way. You should be there to help and not sound promotional. The more knowledge you demonstrate about a given product, the more people will tend to ask you about it and will respect you as an influencer and, most importantly, as the person to go to when interested in that particular product.
However, the flip side is that not only your engagement with others should be professional, but your profile as well. By that I don’t just mean your public profile, but the one you display to the people on your friends list as well. Therefore, a thorough clean-up is needed if you are really willing to benefit of the opportunities Facebook has to offer to B2B marketing. If you want to assert yourself as a professional, you should understand that your personal page now represents the page and face of the company too.
When you have both Facebook advertising and promotion done right, your B2B Facebook marketing will surely generate you the results you tend to achieve, and will also serve as the basis for future data-driven decisions and actions.