B2B Marketing and Facebook: No One Wants to Know What You Had for Lunch Unless You Bought Enough for Everyone

It’s almost 2012, people. We do everything on the internet. Small businesses are marketing their products and services wherever they can get web space. If you didn’t know already, Facebook is some prime virtual real estate to market yourself and make your buying decisions. There are over 272 Million internet users in North America alone, almosthalf of them (48.8%) are on Facebook.
According to our calculations, (well, not ours exactly) that’s a giga-load! In August 2011, the average Facebook user spent almost 8 hours on the site. To put this in perspective, users spent less than 2 hours that month each on Google, YouTube and Wikipedia.
More time facebooking means more time to interact with your market! But the problem many small businesses run into is not attracting clientele, it’s figuring out how to maintain and build relationships with them in this over-saturated virtual marketplace.
This post isn’t supposed to be a How-To-Date-Your-Consumer guide, it’s more of a quick lesson in smart marketing strategies. Let’s break it down.
Imagine you are a business owner (maybe you don’t have to imagine). You sell a product or a service to other businesses (this is the B2B model, or Business-to-Business for the layperson, vs the B2C model, Business-to-Consumer). In the market, actual buying decisions made by businesses are made between individuals. Yes, human people. Not a huge, bloodless, number-crunching computer. Stay with us here. When a company decides to buy a certain product or use a service, all of this is done through a business representative. Just like in person not only do you need to be seen as an expert in the field by this business representative, most importantly, you need to have a personable approach when marketing your stuff and your business.
Representatives of companies start by opening lines of communication with the virtual world. This could be posting info about company fundraisers or events, original articles, how-to videos, discounts or promotions, or anything else that basically makes you appealing and non-intrusive. When people start ‘liking’ your page, they will want to become your ‘friends,’ and then you can start building relationships with fellow facebookers and potentially talk business transactions. Check out this article detailing the advantage to this kind of B2B marketing strategy.
It’s just like the workplace. You can’t get people to buy into anything you do if they’re not convinced of it first. That means respecting the space of others, smart advertising, and knowing when to make the right moves.
The key point here is Businesses Are People, people! When you try to make consumer and marketing decisions using social media, remember that you are forming relationships with the people behind the computers, not the computers themselves (and YES, according to the numbers, demographics, statistics, and even the experts your b2b market is using social media, if not Facebook, to make buying decisions). One of the reasons you are on Facebook is because you want to make fruitful B2B connections. Others are doing the same! As a business, be sure to present and offer services you yourself would want as a consumer. Because today, one solution might actually solve multiple problems. And if you can manage that, you’ll be the hottest face on the book.
 
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