When it comes to Facebook playing a role in B2B marketing strategies, there are many companies that simply write it off. Equally, there are many case studies about ad targeting strategies and the potential for successfully driving lead generation. We believe an often overlooked and beneficial use of Facebook in B2B is increasing employee engagement.
Even today, we find companies focus huge energy on restricting social media activities (An IABC study found that almost one-third of companies track employee use of social media services and about 43 percent block access to social media platforms on company-owned computers and handheld devices.). Frequently, they invest resources to build new internal social tools which operate similarly to Facebook, trying to encourage adoption and usage of another platform (with networks limited to their own pool of co-workers).
Why not go where your people already are? The percentage of online adults that visit Facebook at least once a month is 72%. Over 75% of Facebook users check it daily. Adult Facebook users have an average of 300 ‘friends' and nearly 60% have over 100 ‘friends'. If you have offices in the US, UK or Canada, the percentage of the population using Facebook is over 56%, and there is strong growth in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin American user bases.*
So, instead of fighting our employees' desires, why not take advantage of them? Imagine if your people actually went to your company Facebook page because they couldn’t wait to see what their company was saying, or because they wanted to be part of the conversation.
Entertain them. Keep them informed. Keep the company top of mind. Encourage them to share and 'like'. Make them proud of the place they work. Make their families proud of the place they work … and their friends slightly envious! Keep them wanting to come back to find out what’s next.
If you’re good at it, you will not only have stronger employee engagement and improved internal communications, but also indirectly drive leads and certainly recruiting efforts, because you’ve built a strong brand, inside-out. Before you know it, your people will be working to promote the business without even really knowing it.
In an age of massive transparency, importance of advocacy / word of mouth (vs audiences as passive recipients of advertising / marketing), assuming it’s true that it all starts with employees as the most valuable asset/brand ambassador, then there’s certainly opportunity.
*By the Numbers: 170 Amazing Facebook User & Demographic Stats
Ashley Walker is Founder & CEO at Culture Engineers, and has led the implementation of social media strategies at several B2B companies.