Does Facebook Work for B2B PR? These Brands Say Yes!
Do you find yourself discounting Facebook as viable tool in your digital PR campaigns? It’s understandable, especially if your target audience is made up of other businesses. Facebook is for keeping up with family and friends, viral videos and LOL cats, right?
Don’t be so sure.
Facebook, with all of its quirks and daily algorithm changes, still presents tremendous value as part of the digital PR toolkit. Even for B2B communications. “There are now over 128 billion people and 30 million brands using Facebook each quarter,” according to Nathan Latka, in a post for Business2Community.
- 30 million businesses now have a Facebook page
- 19 million businesses have optimized their Facebook page for mobile
- 829 million people use Facebook on a daily basis
- 654 million people use Facebook on mobile on a daily basis
- The average Facebook user spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook
- People search 1 billion times per day on Facebook
There’s no question that attracting and maintaining attention on Facebook is tough and requires both creativity and diligence. But it’s being done very successfully. How? Brands are using Facebook to educate their target audiences about their products and services, build online relationships and a sense of community, promote upcoming events and new product offerings, drive traffic to blogs and websites, and provide customer service.
Here are three examples of brands using Facebook successfully as part of their digital B2B public relations campaigns:
HP Enterprise Business
Status Updates, About Us Page and House Rules
HP large business solutions: home for solutions, products and services for enterprise and corporate customers.
HP Enterprise Business’ Facebook page has 25,275 likes and focuses on providing information about big data analytics for business. “HP’s Enterprise Business division understands that most CIOs aren’t half as interested in our technology as in what it can help them achieve,” they state in their About tab. The About section includes a list of outcomes HP Systems have helped clients provide worldwide, making it easy for the reader to understand exactly how the products are being used succesffully acros the globe.
Its status updates include information using popular hashtags like #DidYouKnow and #MakeItMatter to educate its audience about issues related to big data. HP regularly includes links to interviews by industry experts, hot topics, related news, and product specific information. Its Facebook users like and share the updates regularly, giving the information additional reach. HP does a good job of building awareness about the challenges faced by the industry and the need for big data solutions.
Notable feature: HP includes a “House Rules” tab with a colorful graphic. It welcomes visitors to its page saying, “We invite your questions and commentary, inclduing criticism. All we ask is that by using or accessing HP’s Facebook page and offerings you agree to comply with Facebook’s terms and conditions.” This statement links to the Facebook TOS page. The company goes on to state that it will delete any content that violates it forum policies and links to that information and specifies what it will and will not tolerate on its page.
Honeywell Security Group
Event Promotion, Link to Blog and Customer Service
Honeywell is a leading global manufacturer of innovative security solutions for residential and commercial applications. From intrusion, fire, alarm communications, structured wiring and cabling, to the latest in IP video and access control, we’re focused on technologies that create “connected homes” and “connected buildings.”
Honeywell’s Facebook page has 21,316 total page likes and includes both product information and corporate milestones on its About Us tab. It uses status updates to promote upcoming events using event hashtags, Honeywell booth information and descriptions of incentives for attendees who stop by. Honeywell’s status updates tend to include large images, making them pop out of the newsfeed effectively.
Under the “More” tab on its Facebook page, Honeywell includes links to its website, other social network profiles, blog, technical support contact information and events. The community manager responds promptly to questions and comments posted on its page in English and other laguages. Interestingly, it also includes information on the page’s “Likes,” showing current new and total page “Likes” and number of people talking about the page.
Notable feature: Honeywell uses its updates very effectively to drive traffic to its blog, which includes regular posts about its products,“how-to” videos, customer testimonials and case studies.
Using Consumer Tactics to Humanize Its Brand and Build Relationships
Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, develops technologies, products and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live.
Intel’s Facebook page has 25,618,772 total page likes and tremendous enagagement. Its About tab describes the page as “…a place to discuss the Intel brand, our family of products, initiatives, services and breaking news” and goes on to list its guidelines for participation. The About tab includes links to customer service, the Intel Support Twitter feed and the company’s Online Privacy Notice Summary, as well as links to its other social network profiles and contact information.
Intel uses its status updates to share videos, ask open-ended questions and highlight product innovation. “Facebook is an opportunity for us to connect on a personal level and through that to humanize our brand,” according to Ekaterina Walter, social innovator at Intel.
“We are in this to build long-term relationships and love engaging and growing our passionate community of fans through transparent and fun dialog,” she states in an article on Facebook written by Ben Pickering.
Intel also uses video effectively. The video tab includes an enormous library of videos covering everything from product specific promotions and advertisements to humorous PSA’s using popular hashtags. The More tab features links to Intel’s international Facebook page, jobs listings, events and its Livestream.
Notable feature: Intel successfully uses B2C tactics geared toward the consumer rather than its actual customer base, which are hardware manufacturers. This approach makes the page feel fun and lively, even as the company is educating its publics and building demand for its products.
Wondering how and where to start? As in the development of any public relations campaign—at the beginning. Know what goals and objectives, available resources and content you plan to share. A post from Social Media Explorer offers the following tips:
- Understand your audience
- Create and curate thoughtful content
- Publish status updates on your audiences schedule (your page insights will help you learn what works best)
Facebook may not be the first or only social network you use in your next public relations campaign, especially if you are communicating with a B2B audience. But don’t immediately discount it. You may find it provides more value for your organization or client than you might have thought.
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