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April 05, 2010

Comments

Joan Damico

Intriguing post, John. I’m wondering if B2B brands on Facebook are being ignored by Facebook members… even those who “fan” the brands pages. Most of the B2B marketers I network with are trying to separate their personal from professional personas in the social sphere. And Facebook, of all the social media, blurs the delineation between business and personal. It leads me to believe that perhaps the people we B2B marketers are trying to reach may feel the same way about Facebook. They may prefer to keep it personal. Think of it this way, how would LinkedIn members feel if their connections started posting pictures of their three-year-old’s birthday party on their LinkedIn status updates. Imagine the push back if these types of status updates appeared in your LinkedIn home page stream. I’m seeing more successes reported by integrating Twitter into the B2B marcom mix than Facebook. I’m hoping other B2B marketers can enlighten me. I think the jury is still out on this one.

Ken Miner

A couple points that you didn't address but are barriers to B2B organizations on Facebook:

Corporate Firewalls
Many companies still block social media sites. FB is the most popular and top of mind. If connecting with their direct client is their goal, it's likely that the B2B company won't be able to reach their target.

Specious ROI
I agree that product based B2B may be able to reach consumers but this is more a value add vs. a direct ROI approach. The challenge for the B2B is to ensure that their social media approach (Facebook) is aligned with their direct clients' messages.

Services are Rebilled
B2B's that provide a service are often rebilled (with an upcharge) to the end user. The direct customer will be extremely sensitive to an end user connecting directly with their supplier.

Mark Britton - Small Business Marketing Consultant

A practical issue for B2B brands on Facebook is how do you target someone with a certain job role in a certain industry? This you can do on LinkedIn.

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