As a B2B manufacturer, it’s all too common to define your market presence by brick-and-mortar assets. Your facilities represent your company in some of the same ways your products or services do, which has some inherent value. However, such a limited view doesn’t allow room to acknowledge the human side of your business — and “humanness” carries its own influence when leveraged properly.
That’s where social media comes in, particularly the behemoth Facebook. Recent stats reflect that 74% of people use Facebook for professional purposes as do 46% of B2B marketers.1 The gap between individuals and marketers using Facebook marketing tools isn’t as alarming as the 54% of B2Bs ignoring or struggling with how to use Facebook for business.
Understanding and implementing these 7 best practices on your Facebook business page will help your company connect on a human level and reap key intangible benefits.
1. Attract Skilled Labor
It’s no secret that the ongoing and deepening skilled labor shortage has many manufacturers and industrial businesses at a disadvantage in filling current positions. Further, as Baby Boomers retire and younger generations are reluctant to enter the trades, recruitment efforts need to be adjusted to appeal to future workers on a personal level.
Why? Younger candidates expect workplaces to provide more than paychecks. They prioritize feeling a sense of community and being part of a strong culture, which may partially explain why 81% of job seekers turn to Facebook careers pages to find opportunities.2 The need to belong to something larger than themselves may also point to why 50% of Facebook users consider a brand or company page to be more insightful than its website when it comes to job-related information.2
Facebook is an excellent avenue for showcasing your organization’s human side and introducing potential hires to your company on a deeper, more meaningful level. Some top Facebook marketing tips include:
Running targeted Facebook ad campaigns to increase awareness about job openings
Promoting corporate culture through video, like our Weidert Group Culture Code video:
You can be sure that when a candidate is researching your company, they’ll check out how happy your current employees are and, in turn, determine if they can see themselves at your company.
2. Share Your Community Involvement
Many organizations support various causes within the community, which is attractive to existing and prospective employees. Facebook B2B marketing is an excellent avenue for fostering goodwill, increasing awareness, and encouraging followers to contribute their time and resources to various causes.
Does your organization sponsor a local charity or encourage employees to get involved in the community? Talk about it! Barcoding, Inc. used Facebook marketing tools to promote their Community Dumpster Day:
People want to know that the place they work at cares about them and the communities in which they live. It’s a pride point for existing employees. Also, when potential hires see this type of community participation, it might just put your company at the top of their list — a real advantage in a highly competitive job market.
3. Build Brand Awareness (and Be Found)
Let’s say you’ve established a solid inbound marketing strategy to attract sales qualified leads. As those leads engage with your company through blogs, eBooks, and other content, they’ll also likely do an online search to learn more about your company.
Since 48.5% of B2B decision-makers include Facebook in their primary research,3 you can bet they’re checking out your company page. As with prospective employees, prospective clients want to know brands and companies they’re doing business with are reputable and reflect values similar to their own.
Which brings up another important point about being found online. In the same way that a Google search for “John Smith” returns an unexaggerated 1.66 billion results, a search for your company name may bring up dozens of other similarly named businesses. If you’re waiting for prospects to wade through the confusion to find you, you’ll likely be disappointed. Having a presence on Facebook can provide quicker access to company information and make it easier for prospects to find you.
4. Engage Online B2B Communities
Many industrial products and services are associated with strong online communities. Facebook Groups is home to millions of these communities, and 1.8 billion people turn to them for questions, answers, discussion, and interaction with colleagues.3
Conversations are generally very niche for industrial B2Bs. For example, food manufacturers discuss regulations, formulation solutions, and trends. The medical industry shares news and the latest discoveries. Many mechanical pillars, including automakers, heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers, and machinery manufacturers engage firefighters, farmers, and military contractors.
If your company produces goods for these or other industries, there’s a good chance your customers are part of an online community talking about it on Facebook. Proactively taking part in these conversations demonstrates thought leadership, with the added benefit of being able to monitor industry trends.
5. Share Content
If you’re fully engaged in an inbound marketing strategy, you’re publishing lots of online content to establish your company’s industry expertise or provide foundational content like product catalogs. To maximize SEO and reach the greatest number of potential leads, it’s important to include links to that content in your Facebook B2B marketing.
PRO TIP: Use link shorteners like bitly, tinyurl, or Hootsuite to free up character count and streamline posts.
Stumped on what to post? Take advantage of Facebook Live. It’s a great way to build your video content library and also leverage other online sharing opportunities.
6. Maintain Brand Integrity
A company Facebook page adds to your organization’s credibility, provided the information is up-to-date and accurate. Intentionally untruthful negative comments posted by others or having your page claimed by an entity other than your company could spell trouble. Prospects may view it adversely or feel that your company doesn’t value engagement or transparency.
PRO TIP: Claim your company’s handle or social media name on social channels even if you don’t plan to use them right away. Doing so guarantees you’ll have the handle or name that best fits your brand when your team is ready to add platforms.
Brand integrity — like all of the Facebook marketing tips we discussed — relies heavily upon how your Facebook company page is set up.
7. Set Up and Optimize Your Facebook Company Page
The difference between having a Facebook presence and owning it like a boss largely depends on how you choose to set up and optimize the experience.
Naturally, what you share is critical; however, there are several other areas on your Facebook company page that warrant attention. Among the best HubSpot recommendations:
Brand your page cover photo and any profile photos: Images show up in search results, so the more recognizable the image, the more brand credibility you’ll accumulate
Use CTA buttons at the top of your page to promote key offers: Adding a “Watch Video” or “Register for Webinar” button alerts target audiences to can’t-miss content that builds your social network and drives traffic
Complete the “About” section: The info may no longer appear on the preview screen, but that doesn’t make “About” irrelevant. It’s a great way to summarize your mission, value prop, and story into easily digestible content that supports your brand and helps promote your business
Integrate Messenger: Personalized communications are desirable — and sought after — by prospects and customers alike as they visit your page. Messenger gives you the ability to interact in real-time, engage customers in conversations, and even help reinforce your company’s reputation as an industry authority. Messenger is versatile and vital to Facebook B2B marketing. It even integrates with some marketing automation platforms like HubSpot so your team can get notified and respond to messages from your CRM so no one falls through the cracks
Consistently post: Small business or large, stagnant Facebook pages are ineffective. Develop a social media editorial calendar that keeps you on-task in terms of scheduling and sharing content, including what may appear in your newsfeed
Learning why and how to use Facebook for business offers a number of benefits for your company, including a sustained competitive advantage. The 7 best practices and Facebook insights we offered here may compel you to start growing your business better with strategic tactics. Where to start? Get our complete guide to social media for complex industries:
Posted by Tammy Borden Tammy Borden is a copywriter at Weidert Group. With a lengthy background in insurance marketing and nonprofits, Tammy has in-depth knowledge of digital content creation and writing for a variety of industries.