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B2B Facebook?

April 13, 2011
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A B2B (business-to-business) marketing friend of mine asked me for my advice on using Facebook to promote her organization’s products and services. “B2B? Not Facebook,” was my quick answer. But whether or not her organization was going to use Facebook was not debatable; that decision had been made. What she needed was a way to frame up the goals for using it and establish the elements to consider.

If anyone loves developing rationale out of the air, it’s me. And here is what I came up with.

She already indicated that one of the goals was to “show the fun side of  ______.” (insert B2B company name)
Step 1: Ask: “who am I trying to reach with social media and why?”
This will quickly tell you Facebook will only reach a portion of that target and open the door to other social media that should be integrated.

Step 2: Understand the founding principle of Facebook: it’s about creating relationships.
OK. B2Bs need to do that, too.

Step 3: Acknowledge that Facebook has undeniable loyalty and popularity.
Participation for the simple opportunity to “be seen” is probably worth it.

Step 4: Resolve to look at Facebook as a part of the sales cycle and developing relationships with:
1) folks who might just be your end user (it’s still a human)
2) people who know/influence that person
3) future people in the above two categories
4) general market as a means to create an affinity for the brand

Step 5: Build a page based on best practices.
1) utilize multiple ways to engage: photo, video, games, wall, etc.
2) make sure the landing page sticks to the critical mission of getting people to “like” you
Although not B2B…17 million+ “likes”…not bad Red Bull

3) expand your brand through visitor submissions – fan of the week “product shots”
No matter who you are selling your product or services to, there are always opportunities to collect the shameless product placement shots.

Don’t have a physical product? You can still call for shots that demonstrate a lifestyle associated with your brand.

Examples: Travel Agency – photos of specific destinations
Insurance – photos of daring adventures (no, bad idea)
Office Furniture – photos of locations most in need of a makeover

4) continue to demonstrate/deliver industry expertise…Remember: you are still looking to develop an eventual business relationship

Step 6: Determine Page Design/Theme
– know how well it needs to comply to your corporate standards
– recognize the makeup of the Facebook audience and balance these standards with a fun, fresh style

Step 7: Make the biggest decision: tabs versus pages?

Mari Smith is a social media writer/speaker. And although she uses phrases like “clickety-click” and has teeth that are a bit intimidating, her Facebook page is loaded with great advice, and provides demonstration pages for a ton of page apps that allow for webpage-style customization.

Look at her list of recommendations here.

And while you’re at it, go ahead and like Brandom Acts, too.

Brandom Acts

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