Step #2: Synchronize Your Facebook B2B with Other Social Sites
Each social media site has its strengths and weaknesses. If you’re using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for your efforts, you want to make sure they’re synchronized.
LinkedIn can be used for its advertising and groups, and for sales people to network. Facebook can be used for advertising, gathering fans, networking, and customer service. Twitter can be used for networking and customer service to the few-and it does have some advertising options, but they are not as effective as Facebook. The fourth row (see Figure 1) is your corporate blog, which can be used for marketing and PR. You can create blog posts, then distribute them to LinkedIn contacts, Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
Step #3: Balance Professionalism and Emotional Connection
One of the biggest challenges to B2B marketing success on Facebook is boredom. Facebook users respond well to hobbies, interests, media, music, pictures, comedy, and news. The more excited the users are, the more likely they are to like a post or become a fan of your page, and the cheaper your marketing and advertising costs are. But many B2B companies have no idea how to make their offering interesting enough to stimulate an emotional response. What’s more, a perceived need for bland professionalism keeps B2B companies from taking risks in their marketing.
But salespeople have long made use of the emotions in their approaches. Why do you take a prospect or client golfing? To bond over a shared interest. Why do you take them out to dinner? Because friends eat together-enemies don’t. Why do you send clients gifts like chocolate? Because chocolate releases dopamine in the brain, which makes them associate you and your company with good feelings.
So why do we suddenly get so uptight when we market a B2B company publicly? There are some good examples of getting more creative with B2B marketing (http://www.hodgsonmeyers.com/work/integrated-campaigns/csg/knockout.htm and http://www.hodgsonmeyers.com/work/interactive/fair-isaac/the-fraudsters-are-coming.htm), but too few, because B2B decision-makers are too risk-averse. Want to stand out from your competitors? Get creative and connect emotionally.
Regardless, the following tips will help even the most straight-laced companies, and contrary to common opinion, you don’t have to have a business page or deal with fans in order to do Facebook marketing. You could just use the advertising platform to get more people to your website.
But if you go the fan marketing route, you’re going to need to connect with your fans, or they’ll stop seeing your posts. Before you commit to growing a fan base, make sure you understand the commitment involved in posting-you’ll have to find ways to get them to like and comment on your posts, and you may need to post more than once a day. Are you prepared to devote the resources that requires? If you are, make use of calls to action (“Click Like on this post if…”), and my technique of Selling the Dream to get more response from them.