Which Facebook group is useful for marketers
Facebook in B2B - do fan pages & Co. make sense for companies?
Facebook currently has over 28 million active users in Germany. This also raises the question of having their own Facebook page, an app or a group on Facebook for companies in B2B. With this article, we want to pick up on the trending topic of Facebook in corporate communications and try to help companies in B2B as to whether and when Facebook makes sense for companies.
A specialist article by Markus Mattscheck
Prejudice: "Facebook is only used privately". That is not true (anymore). If there are millions of users active on Facebook, then also decision-makers, decision-makers and multipliers from your target group. Facebook offers the functionality to separate private and professional information, for example with the list function. On Facebook, for example, it is possible to make other content accessible to friends and relatives than to professional contacts.
If you have interesting content for your B2B target group on your Facebook page (also fanpage) or offer them in a group or make a useful app available on Facebook, relevant users can become your "fans". You then have the opportunity to enter into a dialogue with them.
Strategies and goals on Facebook in B2B
There are many ways to use Facebook meaningfully for B2B companies. Not only in marketing or in corporate communication, the sustainable operation of a fan page or group can pursue a wide variety of objectives, for example ...
- Provide support
- increase popularity
- Maintain image
- Generate inquiries
- Strengthen customer loyalty
- Get opinions
- Generate traffic for your own company website or blog
- Search engine optimization *
- Advanced training
- Exchange of information
* Social media is also of growing importance for search engine optimization. Information that is distributed / “shared” or rated / “liked” as a link via Facebook, Twitter or Google+ is rated as “more interesting” by general search engines than information on comparable websites for which there are no social media activities . The "social activity" on a website thus becomes a relevant ranking factor and must be taken into account in search engine optimization.
10 questions about the use of Facebook in B2B
With the following questions you can clarify whether the use of Facebook in B2B can be considered for your company:
- What are the goals?
- Which target group do I want to reach?
- Does a Facebook page, group or app support the top marketing and communication goals?
- How do I make the Facebook page, group or app known?
- How do I measure success?
- Do I have content that is relevant and interesting for my B2B target group?
- How regularly can I offer new content on the Facebook page?
- Should agencies participate in the development and support?
- Are communication-secure employees available?
- Do these employees have the time?
Key figures for measuring success
A successful presence on the social web costs money and working time. For this reason, those responsible in marketing and communication are asked questions about the success of social media marketing in B2B.
There are quantitative and qualitative criteriathat can be used to measure social media success. A classification can be made based on range, extent of user participation, quality of user participation and the influence of your social media engagement on users.
examples for Range metrics and scope of user participation:
- Number of fans, group members or app users
- Impressions of the status reports
- Traffic for your own website or online shop
- Number of comments
- Number of “likes”, ie clicks on the “Like” button, of individual posts
examples for Quality indicators user participation and the influence of social media engagement on users:
- Number of returning visitors
- Content of the comments
- Subscriptions, leads, and sales through your social media initiatives
Options for using Facebook in B2B: Facebook Pages, groups or apps
Companies can post status reports - for example on company news, products or services -, notes, links, photos and videos on Facebook Pages. With so-called iFrame tabs and apps, companies can expand the scope of their Facebook page and tailor it to their requirements.
Every user and every company can set up groups in Facebook. These groups can be open or closed. In closed groups, only members of this group have access to the content and certain functions, such as group chat. Companies can, for example, use groups as an open or closed help forum, use them for training purposes, or set up a group for product testers. An intensive exchange on a product can take place. The results from this could then be taken into account in future product developments.
Facebook Apps (App; Short form for application) are applications that expand the functionality of Facebook. In most cases, these are not provided by Facebook, but by other companies. Facebook apps are available for many purposes, from games and tools to extensions for the Facebook page, such as creating an individually designed start page.
Three examples from B2B practice
A few examples show how companies in B2B use Facebook creatively:
"Who delivers what?" - facebook.com/werliefertwas
Interested users can find current information on innovations in the supplier search engine here. Via the number of clicks on the "Like" button and via comments, "Who delivers what" receives feedback from the market on these innovations and can take this feedback into account for future developments. The video tips on products and services that are not quite commonplace are also interesting.
Reinhausen machine factory - facebook.com/Reinhausen.com
B2B companies are an exciting, varied and challenging field of activity. The medium-sized company shows this to its now more than 80,000 fans on the fan page. Recruiting is in the foreground here. Many of the contributions show pupils and trainees at events. Current job offers are also communicated via the fan page.
KUKAnizer, eine app from KUKA Robotics - facebook.com/KUKA.Robotics
With its KUKAnizer app on Facebook, the manufacturer of industrial robots delivers what a provider in the automation industry has to deliver: a tool to increase efficiency. Only cars are not welded together here, but status reports for Facebook are automatically generated and posted. The user can make some settings such as mood, rhythm and language and the KUKAnizer then regularly posts ready-made status messages such as "I'm looking forward to summer like a snow king" or "I'm totally happy right now, who else?" On the user's pin board. Requirements for using the tool: The user must be a fan of the KUKA Robotics Facebook page.
Facebook can also be used very successfully in B2B and generate added value. The goals of a Facebook page, app or group are complex and, depending on the goals, maintaining a Facebook page or group can be quite time-consuming. The effort and benefit must be in an appropriate relationship. If you have considered all of this, then companies in B2B can also use Facebook very sensibly.
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