Facebook for the B2B sector – get your culture right first

I believe just about every business, even those in the B2B sector, can benefit from being on Facebook. Not as a sales channel or even for brand awareness, but for something far more fundamental.

We are a B2B company and for that reason many would argue Facebook was a waste of time. We will only ever have a smallish fan base and few of those are likely to ever pay for our services. But I believe that they’re missing the point.

Prospective clients love to get under the skin of supplier businesses. They want to understand who the people are behind the brand. Are they expert? What are their values? Can they be trusted? For this reason one of the most commonly clicked links on any B2B site is the “About Us” page. However, while this gives the viewer a window into the company, it’s a very small, tinted window and typically one that shows only outdated bios and awkwardly shot profile pictures.

A Facebook page, however, provides a much more transparent view into the business. It is up to date, rough around the edges and open to real and unpredictable engagement. More importantly, it allows your business to:

  • Publically recognise the great work of your team.
  • Talk about subjects close to your heart, such as local matters or charitable affiliations.
  • Inject the humour and personality into your updates that you believe makes your company a fun and rewarding place to be.

Okay, so it’s nice to be nice but how can this actually impact on the bottom line?

  • Higher conversion rates – rather than relying on the limited and superficial “About Us” content, the prospective lead will now head to your Fan page where they will be reassured that yes, these are people I can do business with.
  • More successful recruitment program – the perceived culture of a company is often the deciding factor in whether a candidate picks you or the competition, so the insight an active Facebook page offers can play a critical role in whether or not they accept your offer or even apply for a role in the first place.
  • A tighter knit organisation – being able to publically acknowledge the great work of individual team members reminds people why they signed up in the first place.

So when someone tells me they’re B2B and therefore Facebook is a waste of time, I politely explain just how wrong they are. However, this does raise another issue. A window to your culture is only a positive thing if that culture itself is something you can be proud of. If you haven’t got the culture and values right first, then I’d probably be forced to agree, best to steer clear of Facebook.

Dan