Facebook has an image problem.

It started as a social network that was initially invented to provide a voting platform on rating the popularity of the fairer sex. It was more about girls than commerce.11 Facebook Marketing Tips and Tactics for B2B Marketers

The CEO who might be on Facebook  with his own personal profile, often has trouble seeing its value beyond its initial primary use as a channel to connect and share with family and friends.

Senior managers who were not brought up in the world of texting, instant messaging or watching YouTube videos often do not know that there are 3 types of  Facebook profiles.

  1. Personal Facebook profiles for individuals
  2. Groups for community organisations and clubs
  3. Facebook “Pages” for brands and companies

It is often forgotten that brands and companies on Facebook is only a relatively recent addition to the web (less than 3  years)

Facebook is Growing Up

The young pimply adolescent social networking platform is becoming a serious grown up business marketing channel.

It started light and fluffy but now it’s full of application interfaces, apps and advertising. Facebook design and its interfaces and features are now even extending into online stores that reside within the Facebook ecosystem.

Facebook is Not Just a B2C Marketing Channel

The image of Facebook as purely reserved for B2C  with its casual terms of “fans” and “friends” has slowed its adoption by companies that sell to other business not just consumers. Facebook as a “B2C” (Business to Consumer) marketing and online asset is easy to see but you need to think a bit harder and longer to realize its potential as a B2B (Business to Business).

Facebook should be thought of as an extension of a businesses website, blog and online store that promotes and publishes to the channel where its customers are hanging out.

10 Facebook Tips and Tactics for B2B Marketers

These are just some of the key ways to use Facebook for B2B marketing. I am sure that once you put your creative hat on and spend a bit of time brainstorming you will be surprised by how many more ideas you will come up with!

1. Video Channel with “How To” Tutorials

Don’t just publish or embed videos in your blog or website also place them onto your companies Facebook “page”. It could be just as a news update to your wall if it is topical.

If you are providing evergreen content via videos that describe how to use equipment or explain a difficult concept visually it is best to create a separate Facebook  ’Tab” that provides a quick click to your online video library of educational videos.

2. News Updates in Your Industry

Keeping up with trends is important in any industry so placing the latest breaking news can provide yuor customers and prospects with a resource that keep them up to date and informed.

3. Provide an Incentive for Growing your Facebook “Likes”

Facebook “Likes” are the social networking equivalent of those all important email subscriber lists. Provide a reason for customers and prospects to give you their email address  and you will drastically improve your email acquisition rate.

Clear Risk has a compelling reason to “like” its company Facebook page.

B2B Facebook Marketing Increasing Facebook Likes

4. Capturing Email Subscriptions for Lead Generation

The “shiny new toy” syndrome of social media marketing and Facebook has blinded many marketers to the continuing power of  capturing those all important emails for lead capture and ongoing marketing.

Facebook Marketing B2B Email Acquisition

5. Targeting Decision Makers

If you want to target decision makers with paid advertising on Facebook  then tight demographic targeting can be achieved via Facebook’s self service advertising feature.

6. Market Research and Surveys

Capturing information from prospects and customers is vital to understand what is important to them and provides valuable feedback to bring new products and services to market. Facebook provides a simple but free question tool that is placed in the main share tab section of your Facebook page. If you want to  get a little more funky and complex “Survey Monkey” has a Facebook app that makes it easy to run market surveys without having to custom build your own.

Facebook Market Research and Surveys for B2B

7. Promote your Thought Leaders

People buy from people and showcasing your experts is a great way to build trust and position your company as a thought leader in its industry. Here is how GE promotes its “Guru’s” on its company Facebook page.

GE Facebook page

8. Sell Your Products and Services

There are many apps emerging that make it possible to sell your products and services without making people leave your Facebook page. One example of this is Big Commerce’s online store app for Facebook.

9. Leverage the Trust Factor through Shareable Content

Research shows that we trust our friends and peers 90% but advertising only has a 14% trust factor so making it easy for people to share with friends and colleagues via Facebook is vital

Create engaging, interesting photos and videos that people will share on Facebook. Humour helps! Watch this Cisco video that they embed on the Facebook page.

10. Make your Company Human

The social web has created a much more casual, real and authentic web. Use your Facebook page to highlight the human side of your company. Post videos and images that are not photo shopped models or plastic people and write articles that are more about educating rather than putting corporate spin on your image.

11. Provide Customer Service on Facebook

What is often overlooked is the marketing power of great customer service to encourage that all important word of mouth referrals. Here is how “Get Satisfaction” an Internet softweare company uses Facebook to achieve that goal

Facebook as a Customer service channel

How are you using your Facebook “page for marketing in a B2B environment? Look forward to hearing your stories

Image by topgold