This past weekend, Hitwise, via Computerworld, announced that Facebook grabbed 8.93% of all U.S. visits between January and November 2010. That makes the social networking site the top destination in 2010. What is unprecedented and eye opening is that Facebook succeeded in beating out Google, which slipped to the No. 2 position with 7.19% of all visits.
Does that news mean every B2B marketer should drop what they’re doing and invest full bore in their Facebook strategy? Not so fast – BUT – marketers (B2B or otherwise) should not continue ignoring Facebook and the impact it may have on their organizations’ internet marketing strategy.
In an effort to get the B2B marketer started, here is a list of basic recommendations and applications, as well as resources and articles we have found valuable from others for leveraging Facebook from a B2B perspective.
- Fill Out Your Fan Page Basics
Having a comprehensive fan page is the first step. Leave as few blanks as possible and make sure to include company information, overview, products/services, your web addresses (more than one if needed), etc.
- Maintain an Active Fan Page Wall
The wall is a primary communication method for a company on Facebook. Keep this area active with a regular stream of updates. Make sure to respond to comments and feedback in a timely manner as well.
- Leverage Fan Page Applications
In addition to third party fan page applications (we have added a few recommended applications in the next section), make sure to leverage the basic applications inherent to Facebook fan pages: photos, video, events, etc.
- Don’t Forget to Cross-Promote
In the effort to build your network, create visibility for your Facebook fan page in key online (and offline) destinations. Consider cross-links from your main company website, blog, newsletters, and marketing collateral.
Facebook Fan Page Applications for B2B Marketers
These fan page applications enhance your organizations’ presence and provide more ways to interact with Facebook users and fans. While there a hundreds of Facebook applications available, these five should be of specific interest to the B2B marketer.
- Contact Form – A simple to use application for building a contact form on your fan page. Form fields can be customized and form submissions are emailed to a designated email address.
- FBML – While our understanding is that Facebook is no longer supporting FBML specifically, this application will still allow marketers to add custom content via FBML and HTML on their fan page, including contact forms, welcome messages, and promotional campaigns.
- RSS Graffiti – A simple way to automate, customize, and integrate RSS feeds from your blog, Twitter, and other RSS feed sources.
- YouTube – Use the app to maintain favorite videos (not just from YouTube), images, links, etc. and decide which ones to publish on your wall or your page’s YouTube tab.
- SlideShare – Add your company or individual SlideShare presentations on your Facebook Page.
B2B Facebook Resources and Recommendations
A collection of resources and opinions from respected B2B marketing colleagues and professionals.
- 10 Examples of B2B Facebook Fan Pages
Jeffrey Cohen’s post on Social Media B2B highlighting successful B2B Facebook Fan Pages. We suspect this was one of the first (if not the first) collection of examples.
- 7 Tips To Get New Facebook Fans For Your B2B Business
Acquiring fans of a Facebook page is tricky, B2B or otherwise. Maria Pergolino of Marketo offers seven ways to increase awareness and improve the opportunity for building your fan page’s network.
- How Facebook Messages Will Boost B2B Sales
Steven Woods of Harvard Business Review explains how Facebook Messages may become a critical tool for the B2B sales professional.
- 4 Tips for B2B Marketing on Facebook
Leyl Master Black’s Mashable post offering four ways B2B organizations can differentiate themselves using Facebook.
- How to Use Facebook for B2B
Dianna Huff offers practical advice for B2B marketers using Facebook personally and when developing Facebook fan pages for their business.
- The One Effective Use of Facebook for B2B Marketing
Tom Pick’s argument that Facebook helps B2B organizations humanize a company. “People don’t buy from companies. They buy from people.”
- The Real Barrier for B2B on Facebook
John Bell delves into why B2B marketers are skeptical on Facebook, how B2B companies may be able to succeed, and why the social network itself has not advocated much for B2B’s to get involved.
- A Visual Guide to B2B Facebook Pages
Hubspot’s presentation via Slideshare on how B2B companies can effectively use Facebook, with 15 examples of successful fan pages.
- SocialTech 2010: 4 Ideas for B2B Facebook Marketing
A quick read from Marketing Profs and Megan Leap on ways hi-tech B2B marketers should consider leveraging Facebook fan pages.
Facebook: Just for Fun Information
We hope you find this post helpful and good luck in all of your B2B marketing endeavors on Facebook. And while your at it… make sure to check out and “Like” our Facebook fan page as well if interested 🙂