And recent statistics support that opinion. In fact, surveys revealed that more than 41% of B2B firms have acquired a customer from Facebook.
In the not so distant past, Facebook was relegated to B2C marketing and considered totally ineffective for reaching businesses. Now it’s no longer Should I use Facebook?; but, How do I best incorporate Facebook into my Marketing Plan?”
We recently spoke to Members, both direct sellers and rental, using Facebook as a key part of their marketing and lead generation strategy.
Judy Feist, Red The Uniform Tailor (RTUT) states “Social Media is now taking a front seat as a marketing tool at RTUT!” Recognizing the value of social media, the firm engaged a person to focus on using all the different social media avenues.
Each store has a Facebook page which is being linked to the headquarters page. “We started an Instagram account, have an RTUT YouTube channel, and a Twitter account! Our efforts are at an early stage, but growing rapidly. And by next month we will have a blog as well,” Feist observes.
Billy Wagg, Waggs’ LTD, a rental laundry, has used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for years. At 21, he grew up using social media so the updating of each account is second nature. Billy reports that Wagg’s results are mixed, but the leads generated have been worth the effort.
Mary Anne Wassel, A-Z Advertising, made an early commitment to Facebook and considers it a key part of their marketing program. They feature exciting products to attract the attention of current customers and prospects. Wassal says, “We recently took our graphic artist from part to full time so he could work on updating our social media, keeping information current and relevant.”
Narenda Patel, Uniform Sales of America (USA), designed a strategy to build visibility for his firm in the Atlanta area. “We attract Fans by highlighting local events. By design, we do not feature uniforms on our page. As traffic increases, we will add the uniform segment to it.” USA has one person dedicated to maintaining fresh content on their Facebook Page.
How do you incorporate Facebook into your Marketing Plan?
By far, the fastest, easiest way to achieve results is to hire an expert. Preferred Supplier, Fortune Marketing, is a great place to start. They have extensive experience in creating social media programs to meet your goals.
Whether you hire an expert or DIY following are key considerations:
Strategy: Facebook is not the solution in itself; it should be a part of a marketing strategy. Posting content that helps your customers and prospects is a proven way to generate leads on Facebook. Forget selling; provide value (information, advice, data, etc.). In fact, as experts point out, you don’t need a Facebook strategy; you need a content strategy.
Bottomline, while the strategy looks different than that typically used to find prospects, your goal is to create leads and grow your business rather than adding “Fans.”
Upkeep: How much time are you willing to devote to keeping your page relevant? Generating fresh and useful content can be a time hog. Here is where having outside experts may become very attractive.
Follow Up: This part sounds so easy; after all, we’re in sales and great at following up leads. Having someone 100% devoted to responding immediately to any posts or inquiries is critical.
Many resources about social media are available for Members. For example, ASI offers frequent webinars starting with the basics. You’ll find social media courses in the “Elective Marketing Courses” section of the Online Learning on the ASI website.
Hear from experts and discover how Members are using social media at the Business Development Conference in September. Whether you’re a novice or want to improve results, this is the place to learn and share your experience!