Using social media to sell technology B2B

Posted: July 2, 2010 in Facebook, marketing, social media, Twitter

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Give them news they can use.

It’s not only for Coca Cola, Apple and Toyota.  Facebook groups, Twitter communities and all the other social media present viable channels by which to tell your story and build your brand.  Facebook lets you connect with and educate your target market in a way that your website and blog can’t match. The trick is to come up with content that people will want to share. But make no mistake: clumsy moves here will get you frog-marched out of the building faster than you can type your password.  The key is to impart news that your market can use. If you want customers to think of you as an authority and not just another product-hawking vendor, you have to behave accordingly.  The good news is that you can do it.

This Mashable post details tips for B2B marketing on Facebook specifically.  Here’s a digest:

1. Become a resource and a thought-leader. You already keep up with industry news and write about it on your blog. You do webinars, speak at conferences, engage with customers and produce case studies. So, push this into Facebook and make your page an industry destination. Example: post a weekly summary of  important industry news, and provide readers with commentary that puts it into context. Position yourself as an expert and become a valuable Facebook resource for your target audience.

2. Engage your community. Ask customers to share their successes on your wall and get feedback on new product features. Encourage them to recognize great service people and reward them for their input with a discount or other promotion. Solicit customer references for case studies and media opportunities and find out who’s doing something innovative with your product.

3. Think outside your wall(s). If you sell online, set up a shopping tab on your page to drive traffic to your e-commerce site and encourage viral sharing of your products. Get Satisfaction (Get Satisfaction), a popular social CRM and customer support platform, has an application that lets your customers can ask questions and get support right on your Facebook Page. Set up a promotions tab using Fan Appz to offer special deals to your fans. and even use these deals to support lead generation programs.  If you sell software licenses, you could offer discounts for people who enter the promotion code at an upcoming webinar or bring the coupon to your booth at a conference.

4.  When on Facebook, do as the users do. Most people by far use Facebook as an escape, to have fun, to socialize.  In business, think of it as beer on Friday afternoon.  You’re still at the office, but you’re engaging and transacting in a more relaxed atmosphere. So no matter how serious your product is, inject some humor and levity into your page. Give your company and product a face and personality.  Do an “employee of the month” feature on the page where you profile someone. Include photos or short video.  Same for the team that’s working on the new product release.

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