by Brandon Lee
I posted a question on social media a few weeks ago to ask what people thought about sales reps using Facebook for business. I was curious how others were thinking about and categorizing social media services. I got such good responses on these posts that I have decided to keep asking people in real life and the responses have been, well, what you would expect – I think.
Facebook as a B2C Sales Tool
When people were asked about B2C (consumer-oriented) businesses, the overwhelming response was that, “of course you should be using Facebook!” Everyone also seemed to agree that, “if you have a Facebook Business Page then, yes, you should be using that too.”
My opinion is that if you have a Facebook Business Page, and you are at all serious about Facebook as a channel to grow your business, then you should be using paid advertising. The newsfeeds are prioritizing personal page content over business page content.
However the response I got when asking about B2B businesses was a little different…
Facebook as a B2B Sales Tool
Several people responded to me that Facebook terms & conditions say users can not use their personal profile account for business purposes.
However, having studied sales strategies, trained sales reps for over 2 decades and have been certified in a few sales success systems (Brian Tracy being my all-time favorite) I can say with confidence that I believe there is a legitimate way to promote your B2B business while staying well within the Facebook guidelines.
Sales Reps need to be Known, Liked and Trusted.
Sales is all about relationships. In order to begin a relationship, you must first be known.
Being known is about communication. You must communicate, be seen, be read or in some way be known by others. On social media platforms such as Facebook, this is called content.
I created this framework as a visual for a talk that I give on social media and content marketing for sales reps. If you consider Facebook as a communication channel, it can help sales reps with some of their most important sales activities such as building relationships and expanding their personal networks.
How Facebook Can be Used as a Business Tool for Sales Reps
People have social lives and interests outside of work. They would expect sellers to have lives outside of work too. As such, one should feel free to post and share about those things that they may have in common with their potential customers.
I like to say, just be human and use Facebook as a channel to build relationships by sharing areas of your life and engaging with other people and the posts they share about their lives.
As an example, there was a Social Media Content Study looked at social media data from over 70,000 professional service providers. What they found is lifestyle-oriented content had the largest overall engagement.
In one of my previous companies, By Design Publishing, we created content marketing systems for professional services providers. We personalized and published lifestyle and decor magazines for our clients to give as a gift subscription to their customers and prospects.
What we discovered year-after-year is that food and travel articles were consistently the most engaged and most commented on content.
So, what’s the point?
If you share information on social media that is about lifestyle, travel, food or similar topics that all people can enjoy, more people will engage with it. If you post content consistently on one or more of those topics, then your audience will know you as a provider of good engaging content and remember you for providing that content to them.
A Few Things to Consider Prior to Posting on Facebook about Your Business
I suggest that you have a plan or a strategy for how you want to use Facebook to promote your business.
Consider things like the types of pictures you post, clothing you are wearing, opinions you are sharing and how others will perceive you from your posts.
For example, if you like to talk politics and you have strong opinions, you may not want to use Facebook for business relationships. Again, this is just an example, you may find that you are comfortable posting political opinions and using your Facebook personal profile for business. Everyone needs to make their own decisions. My point is that you should have a strategy and have a goal to maximize your efforts.
I would love to hear your thoughts – comment below and let me know what you think.