With so many social media sites available, how do you decide which is the best for ROI for your company? You cannot be everywhere and be effective at the same time. Many felt Facebook was for college students and personal use only, but it is becoming more popular with businesses of all sizes. Companies can use Facebook to build brand image, announce new products, drive consumers to its website or blog, and advertise employment opportunities.
While Facebook confines users to its site and features, you can still be creative and stylize it to your business niche. Timeline for Facebook is a huge branding opportunity for businesses. You can plan and use this space effectively while keeping the rules of use for this space within Facebook guidelines. This is not a space for your business address and contact information, but a space for you to make a first impression and attract fans. Use your company timeline to promote benefits of your brand, frequently adding updates to keep your fans and followers interested and engaged.
You may be interested in attracting fans in the Business-to-Government (B2G) market as a way to improve your visibility in the government sector. As contractors in the government market continue to restructure to remain competitive, social media can also help them stay in touch with their large employee base.
A few defense contractors are using Facebook to do just that as you can see Raytheon has done to promote job openings, positive media mentions, and social outreach efforts. Lockheed
Martin uses Facebook to share vivid photos and descriptions of their accomplishments worldwide.
The Business-to-Business market is using Facebook, too. Cisco does an amazing job on their B2B Facebook page offering colorful photos and stories, a support page, the ability to participate in their social outreach program, and much more. They really take Facebook participation to the next level in this competitive market and have embraced “social.”
Of course the Business to Consumer market is filled with great examples of Facebook pages that include everything from contests and coupons to customer feedback. Hometown cupcake bakery Georgetown Cupcakes features a trivia contest every day in which one winner is selected to receive a dozen cupcakes mailed to their home. I know people who visit their page religiously to take a shot at winning! Gap is another company that really engages their fans with promotions, photos, and opportunities to interact.
You can create fan pages for your own business very easily. After creating the fan page, add links, events or discussions to keep your fans engaged. When you update your fan page, it will appear on your profile and let your customers know. Instead of sending friend requests, invite people to become a fan.
It is important to have as many fans as possible for business purposes. Join groups and send connection requests to other members. Remember to check out their profile to learn who they are and what they do. Social media networking is the same as face to face networking. You need to find ways to be helpful to them and they likely will return the favor.
Participate in groups! This gives you the ability to network virtually with potential clients. There are groups for just about all professions. You might want to start your own group.
It is important to engage your fans! Try and post at least once per day, even if it is one or two sentences. People love photos! Take pictures of your clients, behind the scenes activities of your business and events and post them with a short description to grab attention.
Facebook is a great tool for promoting your business and goodwill whether you are in the government market, B2B, or a consumer-based business. Have fun with it and good luck!