When Facebook premiered its “Like” feature in 2009, brands everywhere became obsessed with amassing as many thumbs up as possible. The “Like” became the Holy Grail of e-marketing, an enigmatic symbol of power and status. That was true for B2C marketers. Fast forward a few years, and the true value of the “Like” is a little clearer. Although a few thousand “Likes” won’t automatically result in higher sales, they do suggest that a lot of people have a keen interest in your brand. That’s important in this day and age – But it’s still taking quite a while for B2B brands to catch up.
Converting your fans and followers into customers requires a measured approach and a commitment to interaction. In other words, you have to engage your audience. Here are 5 tips to get you started.
Share and Be Shared
This infographic from Ambassador lays it out there for all to see: Facebook shares drive sales. This is doubly true for Thailand with it’s high adoption rates for social media and predilection for informal and social commerce. In fact social commerce in Thailand is probably well ahead of the curve even when compared to countries that have made much greater commitments towards IT infrastructure and education. But being Thai and being on Facebook aren’t enough to get you “shares”, for that you’ll have to prove you’re worth sharing…
One of the best ways to generate interest in your B2B brand and products is to reward your fans for liking you. This is easier for B2C brands – For example, an ice cream company could host something like this: “Share your best photo of you with our ice cream. The photo with the most votes wins a month’s supply of ice cream!”. B2B brands need to work harder and be more creative. But contests and other interactive marketing campaigns, are an opportunity to show just how interesting you can be, while reaching out and engaging your target audience.
The better you are at generating genuine interest, the more likely your fans are to share you—your contests, your content, your brand—with their friends, and by word-of-mouth you’ll pick up new “Likes” and, more importantly, new opportunities for conversions. When done correctly this chain of events eventually feeds itself.
Generate Newsletter Signups
Newsletters and email marketing have long been a staple of B2B marketing, and remain highly effective strategies.
There are thousands of great ways to generate interest through your email newsletters, but you need people to sign up for them before you can get creative.
Mention your newsletter in status updates, offer newsletter signups on your Facebook page—whatever your approach, be active in leveraging your “Likes” and opening new channels for communication with your customers.
As popular as social media channels are, the simple reality is that for most demographics, when it comes to marketing for effect – email still wins out over social media hands down.
Give Exclusive Information
Do you have a new eBook coming out? Provide an excerpt. Are you leading a webinar? Offer a teaser of the topics you’ll discuss. The idea here is to whet the appetite, driving up interest in your new products or services.
Looking at that earlier infographic from Ambassador, you’ll notice that 70 per cent of users follow you in order to get updates on special features and future products. So give them what they want. This a proven strategy for B2B marketers.
Promote Your Clients
Above all, people follow you because they want to interact with you. Reach out to your fans and clients.
Giving back will prove that you’re approachable and personable, and that’s what your fans want from you. They want a brand that’s a friend, not just an icon.
Extend Your Reach with Facebook Ads
Visibility is crucial to your success on social media, and Facebook ads are a great way to gain exposure, establish your brand as credible, and generate B2B leads.
Facebook ads are simple to create, which makes them particularly valuable to e-marketers who have a lot of duties to balance. Just remember to add call-to-action buttons (CTAs) to your ads, like “Sign up for our newsletter now” or “Download our new e-book today.” CTAs will bring more people to your page, increasing your “Likes” and giving you greater potential for conversions.