In insights, social media

Hitwise has just released a study it believes helps quantify the elusive relationship between your Facebook fans and your website.  The study claims that each new Facebook fan your company acquires results in 20 new visits to your website over the course of one year. Sounds great, right?

Sort of.  The study only applied to retailers, those who can sell their clothes, books, and jewelry straight from their websites. B2B companies don’t have this luxury.  So how can they use Facebook to build their own communities and generate new visits to their websites?  Here are two immediate things to remember:

Share: Start with the one word Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg most often uses to describe Facebook: sharing.  Share photos, videos, industry trends and, most importantly, your company’s perspective.  Just because you don’t hard-sell shoes online doesn’t mean you can’t soft-sell your talent and knowledge by sharing it on Facebook.

Embed: The Hitwise study reinforces the value of using content to lead a consumer from your Facebook page back to your website.  To reach this goal, B2Bs should embed their videos, white papers, and other content on to their website (as opposed to Youtube or Scribd) before posting them to Facebook.  Doing so ensures that consumers who click on the link migrate back to a property you control — your website — as opposed to one that you don’t, such as Youtube.

The Hitwise study is a great reminder that the myriad communications platforms you use – Facebook, Twitter, company websites, etc — don’t operate independent from one another.  They are one entity, whether you’re selling books or business services.