A Social Media Case Study with REAL Data: 10 Facebook Marketing Tips for a B2B Fan Page

by Michelle Heathers on November 30, 2011

Social media case studies have gotten more and more buzz (and ensuing negativity) as marketers have sought to prove the value of a Facebook fan page or Twitter account. Afterall, who doesn’t want to show how their Facebook ad spend or hiring of a social media agency moved the bottom line? Every CMO (rightfully) wants to know.

But before we start pushing numbers out there and drawing correlations, we have to get down and dirty with the data. Did the spike in new fans actually produce more sales? Does more likes and comments actually mean your Facebook fans are telling their friends about you? The answer is that we often don’t truly know.

Jay Baer recently wrote a great post about the dangerous addiction we have to social media case studies and how we’re often pushing irrelevant data that does not prove the point we want it to make. Bottom line? Marketers are desperate to show the value of social media. They know it’s in there somewhere. But that desperation is no excuse for poor, inaccurate case studies.

That’s why we decided to do our own social media case study. We’d take the data, crunch the numbers, ask every hard question we could think of, and put actionable steps to the outcomes. 10 of them in fact. And we’d do it with a non-traditional fan page, one that has a a B2B audience. Follow the excitement via #B2BFacebook.

Thanks to Eloqua for their fan page and awesome collaboration, PageLever for their handy graphs and data, JESS3 for their amazing creativity and mad design skills, and for the use of their welcome tab.

Most case studies focus solely on the number of new fans and the rise in comments and likes. While these are important, we wanted to look at the bigger picture. To name a few, we crunched the data for:

  • Referral traffic
  • Unsubscribes
  • 3rd party publishers
  • Types of status updates.

We asked the hard questions, cut out the correlations we couldn’t prove, and added real value by giving tips and tricks that are measurable.  Check it out, implement for your fan page, and let us know in the comments how the 10 tips impacted the data for your fan page.


  1. I suggest adding a “google+” button for the blog!

    • Great suggestion, Hellen. Thanks! We are working on this.

  2. I agree that none of us want “poor, inaccurate case studies.” We also don’t want inaccurate statements like “more buzz (and ensuing negativity).” What data do you have to support the contention that marketing case studies are met with negativity? Or that they’re getting any more buzz now than they did in the past?

    Just sayin’ — practice what you preach.

    • Great point. Jay’s thoughts (article here: relayed sentiment I have been hearing time and again from fellow marketers and clients. You’re right, it’s not direct data — but Jay is regarded as one of the top social marketers in the industry and certainly has the credibility to give his opionion on the pulse. I felt comfortable sharing that thought in light of his article.

      I think Jay’s statement directly sums this up:
      ” I am irked by the near-instant reporting and self-congratulatory reach around that content repositories, agencies, and corporations are engaged in every time they find some statistic that allegedly proves that their idea was a big success. And I’m irked that we fall for it every time, retweeting and sharing and printing it out for our boss to read on Monday.”

  3. Strongly suggest adding a “google+” button for the blog!

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