How to use Facebook marketing for business
I’ve spent most of my marketing career as a business-to-business (b2b) marketer. I am one of those people who if you’d asked a few years ago about Facebook as part of the b2b mix, you’d have found me sceptical. Personally, I’ve come full circle and now see the platform as one of the most powerful available – both to consumer and business marketers. Accredited Consultant, Ros Conkie, explains why. ~ Bryony Thomas
Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular social media channel with over 1 billion users accessing it every day. Facebook users encompass a wide cross-section of society, so unless you are selling to teenagers (who are moving away from Facebook) or non-internet users, there’s a good chance that much of your market is on Facebook. So, why wouldn’t you want to access them via this powerful channel?
Common misconceptions about Facebook marketing for business:
- It’s only for B2C (Business to Consumer) markets – not true: many B2B businesses (including Watertight Marketing!) use it to great effect.
- It’s expensive – not necessarily true: any advertising can be wasteful if not planned carefully, but with Facebook you can easily run a test campaign to a narrow target audience for a tiny budget, refine it over a few weeks and then, when it’s working effectively, ramp it up.
- It’s only for lead generation – not at all true: there are loads of other strategies that can be employed to support customers at every stage of the sales process. So let’s map it onto the Watertight Marketing framework and see where it fits…
And since this is Watertight Marketing, we’ll start at the bottom and work our way up! (See: What are the Thirteen Touchpoint Leaks?)
Let’s look at the Bucket…
Using Facebook marketing to drive Loyalty
Groups work well here. Using Facebook to keep in touch with your existing customers is a great way of plugging Leak 1: Forgotten Customers. Can you use Facebook to engage and converse with your existing customers? It can be a great place to provide them with useful information and content. Closed Facebook groups (like the one we have for Watertight Marketing Members Club) are a great way to help and engage with existing customers, and support them in using your product or service.
Using Facebook marketing to secure Adoption
Groups and ads work well here. As well as using groups as part of your customer welcome process, Facebook custom audiences allows you to upload the email addresses of as few as 20 people. This means you can advertise specifically to them. Could you use this as an up-sell or cross-sell opportunity?
Make sure your messaging reflects the fact that they will already know who you are, but don’t be creepy – people don’t like to feel ‘internet-stalked!’
Now, onto Funnels…
Using Facebook marketing to facilitate Trial
Facebook “retargeting” (advertising to people based on their previous internet behaviour) allows you to advertise specifically to people who have already been to your website. Combining this with an exclusion of your customer list, you can create an ad to people who are interested in your product but have not yet bought. This is an ideal audience to put your gateway product or new customer offer in front of! (See: How to incorporate a gateway product to win more business)
Using Facebook marketing to encourage Evaluation
Facebook Pages work well here. People tend to “Like” a business page either when they are already a customer, or when they are considering becoming one. So, new Page Likes might well be at Evaluation. Help them tick their logical check-boxes by posting case studies and testimonials, and by encouraging customers to post reviews of your business. You can also pay to Boost a post to all the people who Like your page.
And, lastly those Taps…
Using Facebook marketing to gain Interest
Posting content that gets engagement is the trick here. If you write a regular business blog, your Facebook page should be one of the first places you post it. Research has shown that posts that ask questions receive twice as many comments and shares as those that don’t, so can you increase engagement by posing a question relevant to your blog?
Using Facebook to generate Awareness
Then there’s advertising to cold traffic (people who have never heard of you). This is the thing most people think of using the platform for. We’d put that last on this list! It is probably the easiest way to waste money on Facebook. It can be effective if your targeting is highly specific and your messaging is relevant to that demographic. Using a ‘look-alike’ function to build up a list of people who share many characteristics with your actual customers can be a good place to start.
Understand your audience well, utilise the ‘interests’ feature to make sure your message is only put in front of people it will be relevant to, and make sure your ad offers a sensible next step. Remember that if people have never heard of you, they’re unlikely to go from Awareness to Adoption in one great leap, especially if your product or service is a considered purchase. Aiming to get people from Awareness to Interest or Evaluation is much more reasonable, so promote a blog, short video or other useful piece of content and allow them to get to know you comfortably.
Supporting every step of the sale
These are just a few ways you can use Facebook for your business to support your customers at every step of the sale. I’ll be going deeper into these techniques and more during my session on Facebook Marketing for Every Step of the Sale at the Watertight Marketing Online Conference on 20th July.
If you found this useful you might like these other posts:
- The 5 questions that drive your social media marketing
- 5 tips for getting started on Twitter
- How to plan top performing content
© Watertight Marketing Ltd
By Ros Conkie – Watertight Marketing Accredited Consultant. Ros is a strategic marketing consultant with an engineering background. She particularly enjoys working with B2B businesses in technical or software industries. She is based in Portishead and supports clients across the South West. See Ros’ full profile
Questions: Drop Ros a line on Twitter @rosconkie