I work with a lot of B2B technology companies and as you might expect my social marketing conversations usually start with LinkedIn and Twitter. And for my clients that is certainly where they should begin. The problem is that is where they usually end as well. As brand advocates we’re missing a tremendous opportunity to leverage Facebook.
Despite sensational headlines that question Facebook’s value as an ad platform the fact remains that most of our customers, partners and employees still use Facebook on a daily basis. That’s a captive audience who increasingly mixes personal and professional communication channels. We have a single phone for work and play. We check our personal email at work, and we get and respond to work communications at home. The once clear lines between work and home technology use have blurred. While the intermingling has been blamed for everything from increasing stress, to losing touch with our personal well-being, it has also done something I consider almost magical. It has the potential to put our humanness back into our work lives even for those of us who work in distant locations. With these new communication tools we have the opportunity to connect emotionally with our peers in new and exciting ways.
Some B2B companies are doing a decent job of leveraging Facebook to connect to their customer communities such as Cisco & Gartner.
But I have yet to meet a business that isn’t missing out on what I consider the most obvious Facebook opportunity; engaging our employees. It’s long been proven that motivated, committed employees are an essential ingredient to success. And the best part is that engaging employees and serving customers is not mutually exclusive. Customers want to do business with organizations whose employees are energized, educated and friendly. Facebook is the perfect tool to showcase those attributes.
While I haven’t found employee engagement a documented mission there are sparks of inspiration such as the examples below.
Why not extend these ideas? Some simple ways to encourage employee engagement on Facebook include:
- Celebrate work anniversaries
- Congratulate team mates on professional certifications
- Showcase your staff’s hidden talents – post pictures of your staff being creative — painting, playing instruments, knitting
- Host an office photography contest
- Celebrate team milestone’s with virtual high fives
- Start a virtual book club
- Host a virtual happy hour
- Share an article your team-mate wrote
The next time your marketing and communications team is talking social don’t forget to include your peers. Facebook should be about people, not products. It will not only inspire customers, but engage your most important asset – people.