While sitting in a Facebook seminar the other day, someone in the audience asked about the success of Facebook pages for B2B companies. Beyond some of the very obvious Fortune 500 B2B companies such as Cisco, Intel and IBM, I found myself struggling to answer this question. It got me thinking about the topic and why B2B organizations should do some planning before launching a page on Facebook.
1. Who is your target audience? Did you know that the average Facebook user is 26 years old and most users are women (57%)? (Source: SocialMediaToday.com) On the other hand, the average users of LinkedIn are men and women, age 46 (Source: Marketing.LinkedIn.com). It’s important to understand who your customers are and where they’re hanging out.
2. What is the primary purpose of the page? Thought leadership? Recruiting? General company information? Customer service? Again, is your target demographic already using Facebook to collect this information or are they currently getting it somewhere else? A small percentage (11.9%) of Fan pages on Facebook are for products, the majority (46%) are for entertainment (Source: TechCrunch/Sysomos). Ensure that your organization has a clear vision for what the page will be used for.
3. Do you have a steady stream of remarkable and unique content to engage a fan base? Facebook users are returning to Facebook 40 times/month, spending 23 minutes per visit and expect frequent updates that are of value to them (Source: SocialMediaToday.com). If you’re struggling to think about what you would say on your page or the type of content you will create, you may want to consider a different platform that does not have such demanding content expectations. The average Facebook user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events, which means that you’re competing with that much more content (Source: Facebook Press Room).
4. Is your Facebook page going to be supported by a larger campaign or initiative to help amplify activity and awareness about your company? While integral to launching a page, promoting a Facebook page can be challenging, particularly if your organization is one that is not already in front of customers on a daily basis like a consumer brand may be. Consider how the page will be promoted once you have launched it.
Before engaging in any social initiatives you should set out some goals for what you want to accomplish. If Facebook is not going to be able to help you achieve those goals, it’s worth a second look.
If you are considering launching a Facebook page, still a good idea to do your due diligence and think through the above questions to ensure it’s the right platform for your organization to show its true business value and to be successful. Many B2B organizations have found success communicating with their audience on Facebook through proper listening and planning.