If you think Facebook is no place for B2B marketers, think again. And consider the experience of Motorola Solutions.
“Facebook was one of the first places we started engaging on social media,” Belinda Hudmon, Senior Director, Global Digital Strategy and Operations, Motorola Solutions, said.
Why? Because that’s the site, the company’s government customers were using.
“Our strategy has always been, ‘Go where the audience is,’” she explained. “Firefighters, policemen, and other public-safety personnel were engaging on Facebook. They weren’t only talking about their personal lives. They were talking about their jobs.”
The company followed the conversations of its Facebook audience. It developed a Motorola Solutions Facebook business page, which features links to relevant content – such as a whitepaper on next-generation public safety – that responded to the ongoing conversation.
However, they didn’t create content specifically for Facebook. Instead, Facebook worked as an extension of Motorola’s publishing arm, which consists of a global editorial team that manages 16 websites in 11 languages. Hudmon’s team introduces their content to their target audience on Facebook by addressing audience questions and concerns. She indicated it is beneficial when the team does the following:
- Use photos. Hudmon said images drive a 20% higher response.
- Ask questions related to the content and create a conversation around it.
“We’ll pose a question that talks a little bit about what our point of view is, but the goal is really to get that dialogue started,” Hudmon explained.
- Promote the company’s Facebook presence. Hudmon noted the Facebook page sees the most traffic around events such as tradeshows and conferences. This is why the team ensures the page is integrated into all company online and offline channels. After all, if the marketplace doesn’t know it’s there, they won’t come.
- Don’t approach Facebook like an advertising channel.
“When you say, ‘Here is this new thing you should buy and here is the offer,’ that will really turn people off,” Hudmon said. “Instead, we position new services and products in thought-leadership content that discusses them in the context of industry issues.”
While Hudmon can’t reveal exactly how many leads her team receives from Facebook, she said it generates more sales, support, and general inquiries about Motorola Solutions’ offerings than any other social media channel.
“We do not measure return on investment at this point, but we are starting to put mechanisms in place to do so,” she said. “We know this is where our audience is, and we need to be there, too. It’s like the Internet a decade or so ago. We knew we had to have a presence, and we had to make sure we were driving the most effectiveness from it, but we didn’t fully understand its value yet.”
In the future, Hudmon would like to test advertising on Facebook. She said Facebook collects much more personal data than most other social media sites. That makes it easier to target advertising based on what prospects like, their interests, or their connections, in addition to demographics and geography.
“While we’ve always looked at Facebook as an engagement channel, it has granular-level marketplace information that is tough to find anywhere else,” Hudmon said. “We would like to start testing this as an advertising channel [by placing our information on news streams] to see if we can get the right mix of targeting and content that will attract more people to engage with us.”