Facebook for B2B marketing? You bet!

When discussing Facebook as an inbound marketing tool, most people seem to think that it’s mostly B2C (Business to Consumer) companies that reap the benefits of this particular social media channel. One of the main reasons for this could be the fact that private consumers spend so much time on Facebook as it is considered more of a personal social media tool and not necessarily a business tool. However, this perception is changing, and more businesses are now “doing business” on Facebook, which opens up a variety of opportunities for B2B marketers. Here are just some of the ways in which marketers can leverage Facebook as part of their inbound strategy.

  • Ask questions. Regardless of whether you are B2B or a B2C company, your audience expects to be engaged and to interact with you. Therefore, make sure that you don’t just post updates, but also foster communication. How about asking a “Question of the Day”? Vary things up by allowing visitors to participate in a quick poll (for example, a multiple choice question: “What’s your biggest obstacle to generating new leads?”) or to post their answer as a comment. Make sure that the questions are both interesting and relevant by researching search terms, popular tweets and current industry discussions.
  • Solicit feedback. Another way to encourage dialog is by directly asking your audience for feedback on your content, your customer service, your professional services, and your products. Don’t be afraid of negative comments. Instead, use them as a way to gain valuable insights into your target audience and as a way to deliver great customer service. Show your audience that you genuinely care about their experience and their opinion.
  • Tell stories. B2B customers want to make sure that they are making the right purchasing decision. They are interested in finding out how your product or service has helped companies similar to theirs. This is an opportunity for you to shine the spotlight on some of your customers and tell their success stories.
  • Infuse personality into your brand. You can’t overestimate how important relationships are in the B2B arena. Companies are much more likely to sign on the dotted line if they know that you are truly invested in their success and in building a relationship with them. Making a personal connection is difficult if you don’t infuse personality into your social media presence. Use Facebook to feature the people behind your brand.
  • Promote your content. You can’t count on your target audience to visit your company website on a daily basis, but you can be certain that they use Facebook very frequently. Therefore, promote your fresh web content such as your blog posts, and make it shareable on multiple channels, including Facebook.
  • Use special promotions. Everybody loves a good deal, whether they are business or private consumers. If you have something special to offer, such as a discount, a freebie, or an event, consider using Facebook to promote it.
  • Deliver industry news and thought leadership. Leverage Facebook as another way to provide value by keeping your audience up to date on industry news, relevant statistics, and thought leadership. If your B2B audience knows that they will learn something relevant to their industry, they are much more inclined to “like” you.

As you can see, there are many ways in which B2B companies can use Facebook as part of their inbound marketing strategy. Here’s one additional tip: make sure that you measure each one of your efforts, including engagement levels, “likes”, the traffic that Facebook posts and callouts drive to your website, and your lead conversions. That way, you can identify what works best and fine-tune your strategy further.
What are some other ways in which B2B companies can utilize Facebook as part of their inbound marketing efforts?

Kat is the CEO of Spectate. Her goal is to empower users to create and manage their web content and to provide them with the tools to become even better content marketers. Connect with Kat on Google+!

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One Comment

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  1. Peter May 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    Nice job. I’ll share this with my network.