Social Media and B2B – Facebook and Conclusions

In a previous blog, Social Media and B2B – Let’s Get Started, I listed the three key benefits of social media as:

  1. Brand
  2. Relationships
  3. Information

Today, I will specifically discuss Facebook. I will then offer with some final thoughts about B2B and Social Media.

Why Use Facebook?

The benefits of using Facebook are as follows:

  1. Brand
    1. Increase visibility to build the brand
    2. Tell stories and share information that reinforces your key brand promise
    3. Personalize and humanize your company and brand
  2. Relationships
    1. Through engaging in conversations, expand your network
    2. Facilitate relationships by knowing more about the people you meet and do business with
  3. Information
    1. Share information that shows your customers and potential customers that you know what you are talking about and understand and care about their needs
    2. Listen to what your customers and others are saying about you and your brand

 

Facebook is often considered to be the social media space for your personal life as it started out as a way to connect with family and friends. There is, however, a use for Facebook for a B2B company. Facebook is unlikely to be the primary social media marketing tool for your business (the primary tools would be Blogging, LinkedIn and Twitter as I have already discussed). But, with over 500 million users, Facebook should be part of your overall social media strategy.

What to Do?

  1. Conduct initial research and familiarize yourself with Facebook
    1. Look at the Facebook pages of well-known B2C brands – Nike, Coca-Cola, Gap, etc. – to see what they do
    2. Look at the Facebook pages of some larger and better-known B2B companies to see what they do
    3. Ask around in your company and find people who are active on Facebook and have a brainstorming session with them for ideas
  2. Based on the research, start with a modest Facebook page that can be put together in half a day at most
  3. Monitor the site for the comments and opinions on the Wall
    1. What are others saying about your company?
  4. At least every few weeks, add material and update your Facebook page
  5. Add new features as you learn more about Facebook
  6. Monitor other Facebook pages every few weeks
    1. When going to meet with a customer or other company, peruse their Facebook page to see what further information that you can learn about them
    2. Continue to check out other B2C and B2B company pages to see if they are doing things that are of interest to you

The initial set-up of the Facebook page can likely be done quite quickly and quite expertly by one of your employees who is a Facebook fanatic (nearly every company has at least one such fanatic). After that, your personal attention as the leader of your B2B Company can be as little as a quick scan daily. Nevertheless, keeping current with Facebook is important. With its large base of users, Facebook has the critical mass to lead the evolution of social media. And you will want to know about that when it happens.

Conclusions

Phewww!!! We are done. Over the course of five blogs, I have covered a lot of ground and given a lot of suggestions about social media marketing.

As always, amongst all of these ideas and all of the social media tools, it is important not to lose sight of the forest for the trees.

  1. The goal of using Social Media is to build and improve your business!!
    1. It may be great to be “world class” in social media marketing, but only if it is truly helping your business to grow
  2. As an important element of your overall marketing plan, social media can…
    1. Increase the visibility and validity of your brand
    2. Further your relations with customers and other stakeholders
    3. Improve and enhance the information flow between you and your customers
  3. Social Media is a part of your marketing plan. As such, it enhances but does not substitute for the personal face – to – face interaction that is of paramount importance in the B2B world. So, no matter what we do with social media, as B2B business leaders, we all need to go out, meet, talk with and listen to our customers.
    1. As we all know, in the B2B business world, it is still largely true that “people buy from people.”

 

Until Next Time.

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About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
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