All or Nothing at All

All or Nothing at All

Companies that are successful on Facebook make an effort to communicate frequently with fans — turning casual followers into brand advocates.

Why your commitment to Facebook makes all the difference

By Christian DeGobbi

I believe Frank Sinatra put it perfectly.  In life, whether it be personally or professionally, either you give it all you got or don’t bother.  To quote the master crooner, “There ain’t no in-between.”  When it comes to Facebook, this could not be more true.

The companies who are successful with Facebook today have lots of “friends” because their pages are fun and informative places to visit.  They are full of great content, have engaging pictures and videos, post frequent news and comments, and make an effort to communicate with their fans on a regular basis – a critical step in turning casual followers into a brand advocates.

Savvy marketing managers and companies understand that Facebook is quickly changing from a secondary to a primary source of interaction with customers, leapfrogging even the company website.  In fact, I recently read that some companies’ Facebook sites are so successful that they generate more monthly traffic than their websites!

But what about the not-so-successful companies?  For example, those that have a Facebook page but neglect to keep it current, vibrant and engaging.  Aren’t they really doing their brand image more harm than good?  Would you start painting your house then, halfway through, just stop and not finish the job?  It probably would have looked better had you never started.  That’s what it’s like with Facebook.  Many companies, both large and small, start a Facebook page because they feel they have to, because, “Hey, everyone else is doing it!”  Then, with no plan in place, it falls by the wayside and leaves visitors with a bad taste in their mouths.  Big mistake!

You don’t need to hire a dedicated social media staff to run a successful Facebook page but you must have a practical strategy in place. To be successful, you must, at a minimum:

  • Define your audience
    • Your Facebook audience may be different than your Twitter audience or the individuals who visit your website.  Know your audience.  Know what they like.
  • Assign a person or team for managing/updating Facebook
    • Determine and define everyone’s roles before creating your Facebook page.
  • Dedicate time every day to managing/updating Facebook
    • Anywhere between a ½ hour to an hour a day can help keep your Facebook page up-to-date and relevant.
  • Intrigue your audience with engaging content
    • Create a publishing calendar of the content (reports, whitepapers, videos, etc.) you plan to (and know you can!) create to avoid prolonged content gaps.  Set deadlines to help you stick with it.
  • Engage your followers
    • Make it a point to join some of the conversations taking place on your site.  Be mindful to use a friendly, approachable tone and don’t come across too pushy, like all you are interested in is pushing the person through the sales cycle.

Some smaller B2B companies that I see leveraging Facebook very well are Landmark Creations, Idea Paint, and Unified360.  They have a great mix of interesting content, timely posts, informational videos, engaging pictures and interact with their followers.

Social media, especially Facebook, is very easy to get sucked into today.  It’s advantageous to have a great Facebook site for your business but, like getting a dog, you must be prepared for all the responsibilities that come with it, or risk putting off your target audience.  Do it right or hold off until you have a plan you know you can execute.  Because when it comes to social media – “There ain’t no in-between.”

What’s next?

Continue the discussion. What are you doing to market your B2B company on Facebook? Please share your tips and comments below.

Connect with the Author. Christian DeGobbi is currently the Marketing Manager, Americas for Dow Jones Indexes. His marketing career started in media planning for large, big brands at top NYC advertising agencies.  For the past ten years, Christian has worked in the B2B client-side marketing space.  He also enjoys being an involved member of the American Marketing Association’s New Jersey Chapter. Christian invites you to reach out to him on Twitter (@cdegobbi) and LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/in/communicatingchristian).

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