Should my B2B business be on Facebook?
At Spark, we get that question a lot from our clients. And rightfully so. Facebook seems like a huge marketing opportunity for B2C companies but it’s not clear when it comes to B2B.
We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t matter.
It’s About Long Term Brand Awareness
With fun posts, promotions and giveaways, Coca Cola and Starbucks keep their brands positive and top of mind in the hope that consumers will associate that positive experience with their brand. And buy more products.
Ford knows people do their homework before buying a car. For the new Explorer SUV, they publish useful posts, hold discussions and allow people to post videos and photos. This positive engagement with the consumer creates a positive association with the Ford Explorer brand.
Is B2B Any Different?
Sure, B2B buyers are different. Sales cycles are longer. Politics, approvals and shrinking budgets play huge roles. These factors just don’t exist when you’re at Starbucks ordering a Venti quad shot, 1 pump Vanilla, 2 sugar in the raw, soy, non-fat, extra dry Cappuccino.
But just like B2C, B2B companies still want people to have a positive association with their brand.
[box color=orange size=normal type=quote] People buy emotionally then justify it later with logic.
Buck Rodgers, Senior VP of Marketing IBM, Author of “The IBM Way“‘
And people make B2B buying decisions, not companies.
Treat Your B2B Community as a Privilege
When someone Likes your brand on Facebook, your posts automatically go to their default home page News Feed.
This buyer attention is a precious commodity. Don’t waste it. You should treat that Facebook Like as just another opportunity to impress the heck out of someone. It’s another opportunity to earn their respect, admiration and create a positive association with your brand.
As Chris Brogan has often said, Treat Your Community as a Privilege.
The Internet was Tailor Made for B2B Marketing
Your customers’ problems are not solved by a 12 ounce can of sugar water.
Sales cycles are long. Educating prospective buyers can take months. Products and services are complex and ever-changing. Successful relationships are measured in years.
So what can you do? Here’s a few suggestions:
- Write three white papers that address your customers’ top three problems
- Produce a series of videos clarifying aspects of your product you know your customers don’t understand well
- Interview current customers. Ask them to honestly respond. Even if the feedback is negative. (Funny thing about negative comments is that it makes you look authentic and makes the positive reviews look even better 😉 )
- Ask Questions. Did you know on Facebook you can create a Polls page that asks people questions. Use the results to improve your products and customer support.
- Become an industry source of information by taking 20 minutes every morning to post interesting industry news or whitepapers
- Respond to Comments within 24 hours
In a word, it’s about community engagement. We know, it’s a buzzword. But it’s a buzzword for a reason.
Facebook Marketing at Spark
We know this whole social marketing thing is not easy. That’s why we’re here to help. If you need a little assistance with all this Facebook stuff, give us a little love. We won’t bite.