Culture

The Pot O’ Gold in Facebook for B2B

I think I’ve figured it out!

Everyone knows that Facebook continues to grow with break-neck speed. Yes, Pinterest and others are gaining in popularity, but Facebook has racked up a staggering 800 million users.

Consumer products like Coke (42 million likes) or celebrities such as Lady Gaga (50 million likes) have had great success growing their “brand” on Facebook, but B2B has been mostly left behind.

Almost every day, one of our B2B clients asks about Facebook. They want to use it to boost slumping sales, to gain new prospects, to get their message out and build their brand. But if nobody sees your Facebook page—or if the content on the page doesn’t inspire or inform the people who see it—then your Facebook presence is a dud.

Example 1: Mary
I meet “Mary” at a recent AMA event. After we’ve chatted for a minute or two, it becomes clear that I can really help her with her digital marketing. When I send her a follow-up email, she sees my Facebook link in my signature and “likes” my page. I add a Facebook post announcing our new website launch, hoping to get an effective “touch” on the “Mary’s” in my network.

Mary goes home after a long day of work. She gets on Facebook for a few minutes before starting dinner, and sees my headline about our new mobile-friendly website for xyz.com. Then, right below my post, she sees a hilarious cartoon from her good friend Dave—and Lisa posted new baby photos! Before she knows it, half an hour has passed and it’s time for Mary to start dinner. I’m off her radar, at least for now.

Example 2: Beth
By any measure, Beth would be considered a promoter of US Digital: She champions projects internally; talks us up to her peers, has referred several opportunities to us, and has become friends with Jesy and I outside of work. In fact, Beth would have a Promoter score of “10.”

For those of you not familiar with it: The Net Promoter Score is obtained by asking customers a single question on a 0 to 10 rating scale, where 10 is “extremely likely” and 0 is “not at all likely”: “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?” Based on their responses, customers are categorized into one of three groups: Promoters (9–10 rating), Passives (7–8 rating), and Detractors (0–6 rating) (Source: Wikipedia)

Beth goes home after a long day of work. She gets on Facebook for a few minutes before dinner. Seeing my headline about our new mobile-friendly website for xyz.com, Beth SHARES the thumbnail and headline with her hundreds of friends.

In this scenario, I’ve reaffirmed and promoted my relationship with Beth, and she gets “credit” for sending out something cool to her friends. And because she is a promoter of USDP, she is HAPPY to do it.

Example 3: Jim
After a long day of work, Jim hops on Facebook for a few minutes before starting dinner. He sees that his friend Beth shared a website she likes. He just attended a great dinner party at Beth’s house last weekend, so he’s inspired to click on the link and read the article. Jim has been considering designing a new website for his business, so he checks out our website.

In the consumer world, we see Promoters who are passionate about savings opportunities, recipes, sports, restaurants, etc. A simple dollar-off coupon will propagate the social networks like wildfire. In the business world, you’re not likely to rise to that level of engagement, but you might get close.

So, what’s the lesson? Don’t target the casual prospect you just met and are hoping to “capture” into the pipeline. Instead, target the Promoters and give them compelling, relevant content that they’ll be happy to pass onto their network. Foster the relationships with your Promoters so they’ll be more likely to spread the word through their endorsements. Make them feel special by giving them special offers or early previews of a product or service. Send them surveys to get their opinion and make them feel valued and engaged.

Writer’s Note: I have recently attended several presentations, including one from Facebook’s Dave Biddle. Ideas from those presentations may be included in this blog post.