Facebook and B2B lead generation. Have you considered Facebook as a channel for lead generation? Yes I know the jury is still out, but you can’t deny the power of Facebook as it relates to brand building and audience reach. According to a recent MarketingProfs survey with the Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers are increasingly looking to Facebook as a content distribution and engagement channel. In 2011, 70 percent of B2B marketers used Facebook to share content with their networks, a 30 percent increase over the previous year.
There’s plenty of content on the web about Facebook Business Pages. So let’s review a overall strategy on how to optimize your Facebook page engagement approach.
Understand EdgeRank. EdgeRank is the name of the algorithm which Facebook uses to determine what appears in their users’ news feeds. It determines not only which of your connections is the most important to you, meaning their content appears most frequently, but also which kinds of content should appear higher than others. Compelling content that attracts interaction will generally have higher Edgerank; meaning higher positions in the news feeds, higher message reach, and increased likelihood of page likes, meaning higher chance of users interested in your content which can lead to leads. Here’s a good primer on how Edgerank works: EdgeRank Information.
Understand Content Strategy. It’s best to utilize an editorial calendar to plan your posts. What’s most important is your content; and what to post. Read this carefully; every single post must be written to elicit a response from a page liker. So think of the mindset of one of your fans. When you plan a post- think “Is this post compelling enough for me to click it, like it, comment on it, or share it? As you know with social media, nobody likes to be sold too forcefully, so be tactful. Post interesting questions, photos, videos, tools, news, and thought-provoking comments. Research shows posts with videos and images have higher engagement than non-visual posts. Content generally falls under these categories:
- Original content. This is your voice; your tone; your brand. You’re creating a community. When you post your original content as described above, be personable, and respond to comments in a timely manner. Original content also includes your blog posts. That gets audiences to your website, and that means potential for website engagement and lead generation.
- Lead Gen Content. Although the time line is the main destination, you want to also have a compelling Welcome tab, and also tabs to your newsletters and downloadable content. Below is a sample Welcome tab developed by app maker PageMagix. This tab includes multiple opportunities for lead generation. Any URLs should be tagged with analytics UTM codes so that specific links can be tracked. Tabs may also link to specific landing pages, or wherever your content is housed. Alternatively, by embedding email forms into tabs, you can get audiences to sign up to newsletters or content right from Facebook. But a warning on that idea; audiences rarely return to a Facebook Business page once liking it, thus we recommend posting your content on your timeline, with a link to the landing page.
- Curated Content. This is content you’re sharing with your fans. This IS social media, and that means sharing other companies content (and hopefully they will reshare yours). Here are some ways to find content to share: Blogs you subscribe to, Twitter feeds, Google Alerts, YouTube videos, and pages that your firm likes on Facebook. All Facebook pages can like related business pages. When you review your own news feed, you can easily comment on other posts, and share those posts with your fans. But don’t forget to include a compelling, interesting post statement or question when you share. Give audiences a reason to engage.
Regarding posting frequency, you should post daily if possible; perhaps 2-3x per day, and measure the engagement. You don’t have to be overwhelmed by posting daily- Buffer is a program that allows you to schedule posts ahead of time. Keep an eye on Edgerank however. Facebook prefers posting from its own platform. Below is an example of post scheduling:
For Facebook, you’ll want to review two dashboards. Facebook’s own Insights, and Google Analytics. I’ll go over detailed measurement approaches in a future post. But here’s a taste:
For Facebook Insights, you’ll want to review the success of your posting strategy. Here’s a link to a PDF from Facebook on what’s covered in Insights. High Edgerank means high engagement. The front page of the Insights is as below.
- Reach: Number of people who’ve seen your post on their timeline
- Engaged Users: Number of people who clicked the post. This is a measure of interest, and gives you a clue on the value of that post’s content.
- Talking About This: This summarizes how many likes, comments, and shares your post received. This is a measure of how interactive your content is; and is a key contributor to Edgerank.
- Virality: This is a percentage of Talking About This to Reach. It also can be called a “Post Conversion Rate” Virality over 1% is considered good. Over 2% excellent.
From the above, you can then measure post types; like regular content posts, image posts, posts with links, video posts, and more.
For Google Analytics, you certainly want to track referrals from Facebook, track the engagement on your website, and track the conversion rates. Facebook leads can enter the funnel, and put into a nurturing sequence. By measuring a Facebook campaign, you’ll still be able to track ROI.
This is just a brief overview of how Facebook Page management works. Obviously each element above can be its own post, and of course there are many books on the subject. For our social media clients, we combine all of the above tactics and more (including Facebook advertising) to build engagement, website visits, leads, and sales. If you’re a B2B firm, and you are using Facebook as part of your marketing strategy, how are you doing with lead generation?