Most of my career has been spent with companies that deal directly with the consumer (in one way or another) so having recently joined a company that deals solely in B2b it’s been interesting to see the different strategies that are needed in social media. Facebook in particular has proved a hot button issue – the view of existing colleagues was very much that it had no proven value in reaching a business audience, which I can completely understand. However I do have the view myself that Facebook presents a great opportunity to connect and inform your audience in a way that websites and blogs can’t quite manage to match. As ever, meaningful content is the key as that will encourage users to share your material to their own communities.
Engaging your community is key here. It’s likely your customers had little interaction with each other, and as soon as any deal with them was done, there’s every possibility that your company wouldn’t deal with them at all, apart from ongoing support. Using Facebook, you can keep these customers as part of your marketing efforts by sharing success stories and feedback regarding your product. Additionally you can then interface with discounts and promotions for those actively engaged in your Facebook channel as well as soliciting customer references for case studies and press releases.
Facebook can be particularly helpful if you are a smaller business without a massive web presence. There are a number of different applications on Facebook now that allow you to set up a shopping tab on your Business page which can then drive traffic to your e-commerce offering, customer support and can encourage viral sharing of your products.
Whatever your area of business, it is also likely you are engaged with industry news and hopefully you are referring to it on your blog. You should be talking with customers, helping them with their business problems and even using these experiences as material for case studies. If you are doing this that means you have some great content to share – so why not put this all on your Facebook portal and make it a one stop shop for industry resource.
Finally, remember to make a Facebook page accessible and approachable, much more so than you might make a Linked In page. This is the area you can give a face and personality to your company, highlight any charitable work your company and employees engage in, and even give sneak preview pictures of engineers working hard on the next product release. Just finding new and different ways to engage with B2B customers via Facebook can prove invaluable to your overall B2B social media strategy.