21/07/2011

By Julie Hall, Founder of Women Unlimited and Social Media Trainer

Here’s the challenge...You’re a new business and want to start engaging with other businesses and you’ve heard all the hype about Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But where should you be spending your time? And let’s face it, time = money, so you don’t want to be wasting it!

Facebook is the natural choice if you are in the B2C marketplace, but is it the natural choice if you are a business selling to other businesses? The answer is...it depends.

Here’s the thing,when people are on Facebook, they are usually not in buying mode. In fact, they are usually spending their time: engaging with friends, checking out photos and finding out what is going on in the lives of people that they know and love.

Where do Facebook pages fit into this? We live in a time where there is a blurring between business and personal lives. We are such a brand-conscious society, that we choose to publicly share the brands that we align ourselves with because they say something about ourselves. The rumours of Facebook’s decline are very premature, even with Google+ nipping at its heels. With over 60% of the UK’s urban population on Facebook, there is a pretty good chance that your clients and prospects are on there too.

The secret to marketing is to create something so cool that you’d want to talk about it, even if it wasn’t your product or service. This is particularly the case when you are talking social media. We live in a fickle society. Attention spans are declining and Shiny rules. If you create a product or service that is current, cool and meets a need in your target market, they will want to share this with their friends. Find a way to create a Facebook page that people will want to talk about. And then make the content on that page easy to share.

There are lots of things that you can do to get people talking. A few of my favourites are:

• Insider information – let them peek behind the curtain

• Awards that they can enter

• First news about something going on in your sector

• Really valuable content that teaches them how to do something

• A fantastic event that you are running

• Entertaining videos that make them laugh, make them think or leave them inspired

• Photos of events (particularly if they are in them!)

• Photos of your customers using your product or your packaging (great examples of this are www.facebook.com with their fan of the week)

• A competition – particularly if you build the sharing into the entry criteria

• Infographics – these are a new trend that seems to be taking the world by storm – why not create an interesting one in your sector?

Creativity is what works on Facebook. Put your thinking cap on and find ways to make your business engaging and fun. Look at what other people are doing in different sectors and think about how you can apply that to your own business.

Read Julie’s blog at Women Unlimited and follow Julie on Twitter @Julie_Hall


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