Article Contributed by Danielle
How many roads must a marketer walk down before we can assume he knows the value of social media marketing?
The tides have turned. Inquiring minds want to know: Does Facebook provide ample opportunity for B2B interaction via its tremendous social platform? The B2B Barometer reports that at least 70% of business-to-business marketers feel that social media is relevant to B2B organizations. They are, however, unsure how to harness the potential value of Facebook.
Some apprehensions involve Facebook’s inherently social nature. How could any meaningful business be conducted over such a highly personal platform? Commercial messages often reflect poorly on a brand when they interrupt social experiences. Add that to the fact that many working adults cannot use Facebook at work, limiting the amount of possible communication during working hours.
In fact, Circle Research has released statistics that suggest Facebook might not even be the social network to be questioning; top social networks according to B2B marketers are Twitter (87%), LinkedIn (77%) and then Facebook (67%).
The fact remains that Facebook is still the largest social network on the Internet. At 800 million users, that potential audience for your social media marketing is just too big to pass up. Those who maintain that the inherently social environment of Facebook is naturally detrimental to “business-doing” should consider that the professional/personal line is not what it used to be even as recently as two years ago.
Innovations pioneered by Google’s “Circle” system have been incorporated into Facebook and users can now select what coworkers see and don’t see, making it easier to “befriend” coworkers in the digital realm. Also, mobile usage is through the roof, and provides another channel through which businesses can connect to other businesses and also the community.
Facebook has proven itself to be a valuable asset in business to community (B2C) interactions for years. The site’s history in providing specified information about users to companies has helped in more relevant ad targeting and other marketing innovations that have deepened the B2C landscape. Facebook pages help promote activity, attract users, increase brand awareness and cultivate an active user base by engaging in frequent customer interaction.
So, the answer to the question of whether Facebook is a valid marketing channel is a resounding “Yes!” It offers a large pool of potential clients, it’s available on multiple platforms and it creates direct consumer demand in real time. Although results can be difficult to measure due to Facebook’s still-nascent marketing state, the benefits far outweigh the negatives and when social media is used correctly, the returns are bound to be impressive.