Lots of our clients sell to other businesses and I’m often asked, ‘Is it worth doing Facebook?’  I think it’s a mistake to completely ignore it and the secret is in having the right strategy for your business and your target customers.

Facebook is a social platform, now highly optimised for advertising revenue.  So your free-to-post business information isn’t going to appear in individual members’ feeds when an ad for the latest gizmo is delivering revenue to Facebook for every click.  This has made it much harder for business page owners to gain traction without investing in Facebook advertising.

Facebook for B2B business

Of course, there are millions of business owners who are active on Facebook.  The big question is what is their focus while they’re active on the platform.  In most cases the answer is that they’re likely to be looking at personal stuff so:

  • Keeping in touch with their friends and family
  • Entertainment via video material that appeals to them
  • Buying things they want – including lots of impulse buys

This list doesn’t include ‘looking for useful business solutions’!  However, that doesn’t mean that the right posts won’t attract their attention. 

At this point you might have to make a decision on your connection strategy.  Do you accept friend requests from your business contacts on your personal Facebook account or not?  Do you ask them to like your business page instead?  My personal strategy is to only connect with people as friends who are actually friends.  Remember that, they see what your other friends and family post on your profile, that may not necessarily be something you want to open to your business contacts

The next step is to consider what material would influence casual browsers to actively engage with your business post.  Then you’ll have to bite the bullet and invest in some Facebook ads to get the traffic you want. 

There are two strands to this – firstly, having good content on your Facebook page, secondly, having ads that intrigue and engage strongly enough to bring people to the page.  If you do ads before developing a bank of good content, you’ll spend a lot of money on people who arrive on the page, find nothing useful and leave, never to be seen again!

Facebook likes people to post on the platform, not send posts in from elsewhere.  So your plan needs to include time to post directly, rather than use a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Buffer.

Your ads need to be carefully thought through – and tested – before you jump into a full campaign.

Facebook for B2C business

A successful Facebook page is easier to get right if you’re selling direct to consumers.  They’re open to buying stuff they like and want whether that’s for themselves or as gifts. 

That doesn’t mean you should chuck any old stuff in – there is plenty of competition, so your material has to stand out.  Follow the same process of understanding what your target market is looking for and how to hit those hot buttons.  The rules for sales still apply – get attention, engage the reader/viewer, make them want what you’re offering by stressing the benefits and the problems of NOT having it – and then make an offer they can’t refuse.

If you’re thinking, ‘What’s that got to do with Facebook pages?’ – remember you’re running a business and the idea is to encourage people to want to spend time on your page, return to it and – become a customer.

Case studies, customer feedback and anecdotes are great – but don’t forget to entertain them too.