Is your B2B Facebook campaign working?
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Is your B2B Facebook campaign working?

How do you know if your B2B Facebook campaign is working?

It’s a simple enough question and you’d think it would yield a simple answer. Not so fast.

It was once said that if punters ‘interacted’ with your post or advertisement it was effective.

But then it was discovered that, in fact, very few people were actually interacting. In the case of advertising, that meant less than one click in every thousand views of a banner ad.

Therefore, the rationale changed. Next, it was decided that it was actually all about ‘engagement’.

Except it was soon realised that few were really engaging either. In fact, only seven people in 10,000 of a brand's Facebook fans ever engage with a post.

So what’s the new story?

According to one digital director, it’s this: “brand marketers may well be better off getting people to stare in awe at their creative marketing, rather than trying to force them to click their way through it."

But will anyone stand in awe at a Facebook post?

Even now, businesses continue to spend millions on growing their number of Facebook likes, often via mindless competitions, discounts and giveaways which “reveal low level involvement over the medium term” (as stated by a Harvard study) and do very little for the brand at all.

That strategy is now wearing thin. This year, a staggering $25billion in media billings have gone into review in a trend US trade magazine Adweek has dubbed 'Mediapalooza 2015'.

Many marketers clearly don’t feel they are getting their money’s worth from social media channels.

The truth is that regular folk see social networks such as Facebook as a place to connect, create and build their own brand identity. They find it difficult to really care about brands. As a recent Harvard study revealed: “levels of following, participating and sharing brands' content are generally low.”

So instead of thinking about all of the ways to reach customers or drive engagement, B2B companies should instead be thinking of the ways to improve their relationship with customersso that they reach one another. If what your company is doing is worthwhile, word will get out.

Or, put another way, if your business can tune in to social media’s fundamental promise - to make all of our lives simpler, less confusing, less alienating, more efficient and more meaningful - it will be much more likely to succeed on Facebook.

And when I say succeed, I mean drive profit.

Canadian custom house builder, Martell, fit GPS tracking devices on their contractors’ vehicles so that their customers can just glance at their smartphones to know where their contractor is when on the job. They can also view photos of their homes as they are being built and, crucially, share all of this with their pals on Facebook.

A Michigan restaurant invites customers to tweet their interest in a reservation. Then, an online hostess tweets them back saying: “Great, you’re on the list. See you in a little while.”

Oscar de la Renta famously debuted his fall fashion line on Instagram so that fans could see it pre-catwalk. The grandad of B2B communication, Ted Talks, regularly delivers real value to their fans via informative videos. Likes don’t mean much, but Ted has 7.8million of them anyway.

We might not all have Ted’s budget, but I’d argue that all of these ideas have something more in common: they use the social network for what it was intended for ­– improving people’s lives by blending technology and human relationships.

That’s the next generation of social business thinking. And once it’s working for you, you’ll know.

Thomas Brown Former Director, Strategy and Marketing CIM
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