Grab the mic: Facebook as a Tool for B2B Marketing (Shama Hyder)

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Ever wondered how to use Facebook to market your business? Maybe the thought never even crossed your mind because you didn’t think it was possible. Not only is it possible, but people are marketing and selling through Facebook on a daily basis.

So how can you use Facebook as a tool for B2B Marketing? Here are 5 steps!

Create a fantastic Profile– Facebook profile pages are soon going to top Google search results, so make sure you have yours up. Be sure to list your website address and your occupation. I get plenty of Facebook messages every week from people who visit my profile and are curious to learn more about our company. Think of your Facebook profile as an elaborate business card. Once you login, you can check out my profile as an example here.

Add friends…and people you want to befriend– You may be surprised to find more people than you expected are using Facebook. You can add friends through a widget that will look through your address books and messengers to find current friends. After which it will allow you to see "friends of friends." This is a great way to broaden your network. For example, you see that a major decision maker for a firm you have been trying to get in touch with is in your colleague’s friend list. You can easily drop them a small message mentioning the mutual connection and perhaps an invitation to connect further.

Join Groups– Facebook has a group on almost every subject imaginable to man. Some are funny (French Toast Lovers Unite), some are working for global change (Help Feed the Hungry), and some are professional networking groups (Professional Services Marketing). Facebook Groups are the perfect way to go about networking in a casual manner with like-minded individuals. I have heard from quite a few top bloggers that it is easier for them to connect with others on Facebook than it is through email because their inboxes are usually overflowing.

Create your Own Group– Couldn’t find a group you liked? Create your own! Whether it’s Accountants of UK or Direct Marketers for Auto Companies-you can start your own group. There are two benefits to this 1) You are perceived as a leader in your field for taking initiative, and 2) You get to cultivate friendships and prospects.

Let it Simmer– Perhaps the best thing about Facebook is it doesn’t require too much time. Once you setup a profile and add a few key friends, let your account simmer. Sit back and watch as more people add you, send you messages, and invite you to join groups.

Think of Facebook as a platform for networking and lead generation, rather than a tool for direct marketing and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Shama Hyder is an expert marketing consultant to independent professionals and professional service firms around the world. As the founder of After The Launch, Shama serves clients through her one-on-one consulting work, and through her company’s several online and offline marketing services.  You download her free report "101 Ways to Market Your Business."

Every Friday is "grab the mic" day.  Want to grab the mic and be a guest blogger on Drew’s Marketing Minute?  Shoot me an e-mail.

4 comments on “Grab the mic: Facebook as a Tool for B2B Marketing (Shama Hyder)

  1. Great post Drew! It is true that Facebook and other social media sites (MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.) are the future of internet marketing. I would strongly suggest all professionals create accounts on these sites and become active in these communities. The opportunities are truly endless.

  2. Josh More says:

    While I use Facebook in much the way that you describe, I have to caution your readers about some of the Facebook applications.

    The way that Facebook works is that, when you sign up, you get a small set of “applications”. Other sites call these things “widgets”, but they’re basically the same thing. They’re a little program that you select that does something interesting. Examples include an app that allows you list (and rate) what you’re reading (and have read), a movie rating app, as well as various apps that claim to uncover potential friends and secret relationships between them.

    This is all well and good, but the significant security flaw here is that ANYONE can write a Facebook app. . . the same way that anyone can write a virus. In all fairness, Facebook does let you know this, but odds are that most people who use Facebook don’t bother read the technobabble.

    In a nutshell, before you add an app, ask yourself “do I trust the person that wrote this?” and “do I have the time to really USE this?” If the answer to either is “no”, focus on something else. (While I love the little book widget, I don’t have to contribute to yet another review site.)

    For an example of a recent problem, check out this article (http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/soa/Spyware-claims-kill-off-Facebook-s-Secret-Crush/0,130061744,339284896,00.htm). Bear in mind that is one was caught because it was obvious. There are many smarter and sneaker programmers out there.

    And a lot of them are on Facebook.

  3. Josh,

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll bet you’re right. Everyone assumes that if Facebook lets the apps in the door, they’re safe.

    How would the average joe know if someone is safe?

    Drew

  4. Marc,

    I think we’re just beginning to realize what’s possible on sites like Facebook. It will be interesting to see how much Facebook users will tolerate — in terms of being marketing to in what they consider a social network.

    Time will tell.

    Drew

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