Successful Facebook Marketing for B2B Brands

We tell B2B focused clients to ignore Facebook,  other than setting up a basic business page and sharing blog posts, which in turn will drive “Bing” search results and ultimately Google. Here’s why:

  • Facebook is an Ad Platform disguised as a social network: success on Facebook is not going to happen unless you advertise.
  • Organic ‘fan reach” is dropping rapidly, as consumer newsfeeds are too crowded and Facebook is continuing to grow.
  • Some businesses are bailing on Facebook due to lack of real organic reach with consumers via status updates.
  • Facebook’s platform is designed for consumers not businesses! It’s painful to use for a business. See: round peg in square hole.
  • It takes 6-10 hours to set up a Business Page; what’s worse, requires an ongoing dose of Facebook Advertising to connect with and build a community of any size and downstream growth!
  • Expect to see huge swings in Reach and Engagement on the order of 50-75% - the biggest impact for these numbers is NOT sharing content and engaging– it’s advertising with Facebook. Remember it’s an an ad platform dressed up with a stream of unending selfies.
  • You thought Google Analytics might be a tad complicated or hard to use – wait till you see Facebook’s Insights; simple analysis is easy but deep dives into the data are not.
  • Facebook’s Edge Rank Algorithm is highly optimized for images (see: Instagram acquisition) – and you’re competing with every “selfie” geek in the world (consumers) uploading images.
  • Facebook has over 100K variables that impact a Newsfeed

Facebook Alternatives for Digital Brands in Need 

Build your brand on Twitter – you’ll find a lot more businesses and execs on this platform. Google monitors “social signals” and indexes (finds and lists) most links shared on Twitter in 24-48 hours. #SEOSuccess

Create a Content Marketing Strategy – this can be as simple as 1-3 blog posts per week that are shared via Twitter and LinkedIn with a built in rinse and repeat cycle. Over the long haul content marketing does so much for a business.

Basic Content Marketing is: great for SEO (Google “sees” frequent updates), drives thought leadership, engages web site visitors, builds brand engagement (comments) & can be socially syndicated forever.

Setup a Business Page and Profiles for all staff on LinkedIn; join targeted Groups and post Blog content, answer questions, become a thought leader on this high-growth business focused platform.

Build a Newsletter list and use email marketing: it still drives stellar conversions for most businesses.

Create Presence and upload PowerPoint Presentations with SlideShare – it’s owned by LinkedIn and a paid Pro Account will drive much more targeted traffic than a
Facebook page.

Google+ has grown exponentially in the last 18 months - it’s great for SEO. Jury is still out on real demonstrable traffic via the channel.


Exec Summary for Consumer Facing Brands Building a Business Page

  • You should be using Facebook and we don’t want to equivocate on this point - advertising on Facebook is a great media buy with much lower costs than PPC or most ad networks.
  • Whether your a big brand or small business, the key metric for effective social media marketing on Facebook is creating great content and engaging with the community.
  • Your profile description should be complete and your web site URL should be showing right at the top so it’s visible to anyone who visits your page, not buried in your text.
  • Use Tabs to give visibility for your other social platforms and email newsletter signs ups such as Pinterest, GetResponse (email vendor), YouTube, Awebber; the list is endless - you can have up to twelve tabs with four showing at one time.
  • Your Cover Photo should be creative and your Profile picture can/should be your company logo at launch; change these later and rotate images you think add some sizzle to your page.
  • Use Advertising on Facebook to accelerate growth for your page. But, don’t rely solely on advertising to build a large community, as engagement rules this platform: Facebook’s Edge Rank Algorithm is tuned to measure how this community is engaging with you: comments, your comments back, virality (shares of your content) and how/when consumers are sharing your content with their friends. Think of ads as the icing on the cake with your content being the foundation.


  • It’s a fools game to buy “likes” on this platform. Don’t do it - these consumers (if they are in fact real) will never engage with your brand and if you do this at some point you’ll have to delete your business page and start over.
  • Nurture your community on Facebook and cross promote your other social media channels and remember to “rinse and repeat” your content, as only about 20% of your community will see your status updates at one time.
  • Hasthtags are the new short form currency of the content realm. Don’t forget to use the same hashtags on Facebook your brand is (hopefully!) using on Twitter and Pinterest. These should be a brand specific hashtag that you can “own” and a series of second tier hashtags. If you are GEO Targeting we love the TrendsMap platform which will give you a visual representation in locales for trending hashtags.
  • Use WishPond to drive consumer engagement - they are the market leader in contests, email campaigns and landing pages. Their customer service is excellent, services are low cost/high value.
  • Facebook has a built in content filtering capability for businesses: use your “like” pages to curate content you want to see and share. Many brands never even use this built in resource on a business page.

Key takeaways: if your business to business focused Twitter, LinkedIn and maybe G+ may be better channels. But, if your targeting consumers, don’t ignore Facebook. Just know advertising on Facebook is now a critical component to a successful Facebook presence.





Building a Meaningful Consumer Brand like Torie & Howard


We love authentic brands, especially (full disclosure) those that take the time to reach out to us on Twiter and send us a Direct Message that is not another (ad nauseum) invite to connect on Facebook. Surprise! A DM that actually wasn’t a social solicitation but a request for our postal address for an inbound FedEx.

Our story starts with an introduction by Mark Strauss (@togomedia) made via Twitter which was followed up on with an @atmessage Tweet from Torie & Howard and then probably 6-8 mentions of our Tweets over a thirty day period.

Why We Have Brand Love for Torie & Howard

They took the time to follow up on an introduction via Twitter (can you believe it: a practical reason for Twitter Marketing! #weareshocked) with a Fed Ex of their mouthwatering (we fought over the product) organic hard candy.

We not in their market sweet spot - are Advertising geeks and our Twitter Follower base is a smorgasbord of agencies, small businesses, digital types - they may all have a “sweet tooth” but our connections are not consumers - but @torieandhowr invested time in social connectivity.

Their Twitter stream is more than just pitching product sales like some more mundane brands: it has personality, images, Tweets that educate and inform. Yes, they are promoting their brand but this promotion is under 15% which is what we counsel own clients to do.

Product packaging, web site and marketing materials reflect a consistent design - images, color scheme, logo and emphasis on “organic” is carried through via all design processes.

Torie & Howard are telling a brand story - this may sound like marketing fluff speak; but, it’s not. Their entrepreneurial spirit and attention to detail show through in their messaging, social stream, web site - building brand and winning customers.

The “T&H Promise” on their home page rings true and resonates with the visitor: touching on product quality, environmental impact and paying it forward by donating to autism speaks.

Their newsletter and social icons are “above the fold” and viewable to all, making it easy to connect and engage with their brand via Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Note: social channels are consumer facing and not B2B oriented: LinkedIn or G+ - marketing efforts are concentrated.

Perhaps the nicest touch of all is the simplest: just a handwritten note on a card - in this age of digital impersonalization sometimes the littlest things mean a lot - this card resonated with us!

Thanks Torie & Howard!



How to use Social Signals to Drive Branding

The din about how social media marketing will make you rich, famous and guarantee your cat will respond to your every command is endless – our succinct take it to the bank recommendations.

How do social signals help your brand? They drive incremental SEO rankings, traffic back to your web site and incremental sales, assuming your sales funnel is setup and optimized properly.

What are Baseline Social Signals your Business Should Measure

  • Number of Facebook shares
  • Number of people that “like” your Facebook Account
  • How many Twitter Followers
  • Number of Tweets mentioning your business or brand that may or may not have a link back to your site.
  • Number of professionals who have you in Google Circles (Google+)
  • Yelp Reviews of your business (positive and negative)
  • Number of Connections via LinkedIn (these impact the number of individuals who will see your updates)
  • Web Site Comments and Shares via Social Plugins



Key Content Social Media Marketing Initiatives Your Brand Should be Utilizing

Forget: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest until you have a minimum of 30 keyword optimized blog posts on your site. Once in place, you have meaningful content to share and build social connections & credibility – syndicate each 2-3 times per month.

Be a brand with a dynamic blog – blog 2-3 times, 500-750 words per post per week on WordPress integrated your own site, not via a hosted setup, use the Yoast SEO W/Press plug-in.

Don’t self promote your biz on social media more than 15% of the time - an iron clad rule that we’ve used successfully across social media campaigns last three plus years.

If a B2B brand, start first with LinkedIn (personal and biz profiles) then Twitter, SlideShare (paid account) and LinkedIn. Facebook – we don’t recommend Facebook other than a just a minimal presence for B2B brands. Too many selfies, image spam and oh did we say the traffic doesn’t convert well.

If B2C focused start with a Facebook biz page – complete profile with URL showing, status updates 2-3 times a day share quality content, have brand personality, run local or demographic targeted ads (low cost & will build leads/revenue). Then: Pinterest and Twitter accounts.

Google & Bing read social signals – for improved SEO & traffic generation: share page URLs via Twitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn on a rotating basis, repeat/recycle pages & blog posts 3-5 times per month via HootSuite. Note: Pinterest RePins & Likes drive SEO rankings.

In today’s social babble driven world content must be syndicated to be found.


An Editorial Calender will impart some real structure to any content marketing initiatives: this blog post on editorial calendar usage includes a link to no reg required download of a sample Editorial Calendar.

To achieve viable social signals use snackable (image centric) short form content and long form that tells a story.

Chunk your content up with a rinse and repeat cycle across all social media networks: all effective marketing has some repetitive components.

Don’t kick your email marketing to the proverbial curb as your business embraces social media. It’s still one of the most effective marketing methodologies with an ROI driver of 3-5X better than social if done properly. Our email marketing best practices with usage data.

Do an SEO Audit of your web site at least once a quarter and fix and adjust issues (tech, UI, SEO best practices) your SEO audit uncovers.

Think of social signals as a one to many broadcast signal that will get amplified across the social web, improving brand awareness on social channels, generating better SEO rankings and fostering engagement with consumers or professionals in your target market.




Top Tier Social Influencer Platforms

The number of available platforms is shifting constantly and bigger providers (Adobe, Marketo, Vertical Response, SalesForce) are adding this functionality to their terms of service.

We are in the early stages of how businesses and brands use social signals or influence marketing to measure and connect with what key influencer entities (brands, individuals, networks, groups, organizations) to leverage marketing costs and time to market. #staytuned





Pinterest Content Marketing for Brand Managers

Most brands used to think about Pinterest in the Context of Radio Caroline, the now infamous pirate radio station parked offshore in the English Channel, sending out a stream of rock and roll that offset the boring pulse of the BBC.

The signal was great but not a lot of market-share, or “scale” as start up geeks are prone to say.

That’s no longer the case.

Pinterest has morphed into a social media behemoth delivering stellar marketing ROI in the form of traffic, on site eCommerce incremental sales revenue and strong brand awareness.

Pinterest is Now a Must for Consumer Facing Brands

Publishers and brands ignore at your peril: he hard numbers underscore the blistering growth (especially among creative females), BuzzFeed’s second highest generator of referral traffic is now Pinterest!

Based on Comscore’s most recent numbers, Pinterest is in high growth mode (blistering) with an estimated 75M users as of the end of Q-2 2014. And, Pinterest user’s spend money, with an estimated $170. per purchase, contrasted with $95. via Facebook and $71. via Twitter users.

If your brand is targeted educated women buyers (you’ll strangely find lots of boards via men devoted to more mundane images) Pinterest is where you want to be.

With a demographic rich target market, comprising educated, sophisticated females with discriminating taste.

Who is on Pinterest: 52% between the ages of 24-34 (boomers are MIA), 57% have a four year college degree and a 88% have purchased a product they’ve pinned, win an average 105 repins on each image shared.

Content Curation Defines Your Brand on this Social Platform

If your images are primarily self-promotional and product-centric don’t expect repins (brand amplification) or interaction with Pinterest Users.

You can log in to Pinterest and find terabytes of funky images with descriptions written by amateurs with a low signal to noise ratio.

They aren’t doing anything for the brand they represent.

Spend time researching and sharing content - a good rule of thumb for image curation is 1-3 hours for a Pinterest Board with 30-40 images, 30-50% of images should be “lifestyle” oriented.

Check out Pardee Homes via Twitter and Pinterest - their boards are a superb example of stellar content curated and targeted for home buyers in Las Vegas and L.A.

Why Pardee Homes Stands Out

Pinterest Boards all have high quality images, with a good mixture of  Boards featuring their homes and Boards with lifestyle content visually targeted for their customer demographic.

Our mini critique: Pin descriptions are too short, with no hashtags on their pins - long form descriptions drive SEO rankings and deeper engagement on the platform.

Note: your brand will generate a much higher volume of Likes and Repins with well written Pin descriptions, potentially piquing the interest and social engagement of the viewer.

Don’t be boring on Pinterest with your brand - look at the Gucci’s Pinterest presence - it’s all magazine or print centric high quality images, with no soul, no real personality or anything that generates brand impact.

Boring and doesn’t engage the viewer.


This is an iconic brand no less and you would think they would invest a lot more in their digital assets - but their Boards are product and model centric, with the personality of a tree stump.

For another digital reference point, Forever21’s Pinterest Boards are just about as boring and mundane as Gucci.

It’s just product centric images, with no real lifestyle branding components (videos!!? MIA) - not what you would expect, especially for a brand that’s targeting a younger brand conscious demographic.

The images are glossy, the models are fashionably draped but the brand resonance doesn’t move the meter much. No videos, music, or how about featuring customers wearing the product. That would be cool and a great way to throw up a contest on Facebook.

Who Wouldn’t Love FreePeople’s Boards?

Free People has a great mix of boards. They are selling product but lifestyle elements boards are part of their content strategy.

There’s an embedded brand statement - something is being conveyed that attracts the visitor and drives engagement.

Board descriptions are wonderfully done: compelling and sophisticated.

Image content has been well curated and thought out.

Images are sophisticated, provocative, tasteful and thematically put together across multiple boards.

The sum is more than this parts.

Pinterest is About Brand Cachet and Good Tactical Marketing Execution 

Pinterest is a full blown social media platform: on site eCommerce, first generation analytics, more robust commenting process, deep linking functionality and more.

Many brands on Pinterest never get any traction just using low cost outsourced labor to create funky images, with a high volume lots of pins marketing strategy, with no real optimization for boards and pins.

That’s not a great marketing strategy.

Pinterest success can be conveyed in two words: content curation. 

Creating dedicated board with thematic content matching your target market, optimized with hashtags and keywords in the Pin and Board titles and long form descriptions.

  • Create high quality content comprising images that resonate with the Pinterest community (it’s competitive BTW).
  • Don’t be a boring brand (no guts no glory) - creativity has to be embedded in all marketing activities on Pinterest.
  • Use Pinterest to leverage content marketing costs: repurposing all Infographics, Images, Staff, Company Functions, Events and Tradeshows, YouTube, Instagram (in some cases), Vine Videos, Blog images.
  • Make customers part of your social fabric: use them in images and boards. #becreative
  • Be social and engage with the Pinterest community - comment back on other Pins and Boards.
  • Refresh your account 3-5 times a week at a minimum with 1-3% new boards as a per centage of your total number of boards.
  • Map and assess Pinterest’s analytics against Google - we see some disparity in the former.
  • Recognize success on Pinterest is again just content curation in purest form: your own and others.
  • Remember, Pinterest is overwhelming female demographic (75% estimated): it’s about cachet, style, being eclectic and targeting the right demographic.
  • If consumer facing brand, test ads via Pinterest vs. Facebook.
  • Integrate some personality with a mix and match “board strategy,” blending product-centric boards with “lifestyle” boards consistent with your market focus.
  • Deep link into your product pages with dedicated pins and a URL string mapping to the right page to drive SEO benefits.
  • Download and use the Pinterest browser plugin to curate content as you move around the web.
  • Verify your account with Pinterest.
  • Twelve great WordPress plugins for increased efficiency.

If your a consumer facing brand you should be on Pinterest and investing $3-5K in creating a quality profile, a minimum of ten boards and 500-1K quality pins.

It’s going to drive traffic, help you position your biz against others (it’s a digital landgrab), generate incremental revenue and help you build a stronger social community.

As above, success on Pinterest is about sourcing and sharing great images resonating with your target market. And, engaging with them on the platform: think social.

Need inspiration?  Coolhunters click here.






Utilizing Facebook Interest Lists

Facebook has now provided a way for you to curate content right on your Facebook page via their new Facebook Interest Lists functionality.  When you log in to your present Facebook News Feed you have access to aggregate content from your Friends and individual pages you’ve “liked” that Facebook’s Edge Rank (an algorithm) deems relevant to your account. Read more

Facebook Pages Embraces Brands

Facebook today announced a major departure in their advertising -  morphing their site from ads stuck  as an afterthought on the sidebar, into “front and center” advertising for new brands. Embracing a much more immersive advertising style for bigger brands - hello Madison Avenue, “we love you!!” Although, like any platform vendor, there is nothing wrong with leveraging user generated content to drive revenue and opportunity. Read more