While we still owe our readers a Facebook Fan Pages primer for B2B, I will assume that you have already set up a Fan Page for your company and you are interacting with your fans. Or you are at least planning on doing so. Facebook’s new iphone app was just released in the iphone store and, in addition to a much better interface that matches some of the functionality of the web site, it now lets you update Facebook Fan Pages. Here are five ways the iphone app helps B2B companies manage customer and prospect engagement through Facebook Fan Pages. This article also assumes that you have an iphone, the de rigueur device of social media types, but not the smart phone of choice in the corporate world.
After updating the Facebook app on your iphone, you will see a new home page on your device. From the Facebook home page, click the plus sign in the upper left to bring up the Add a Favorite menu. Click Pages at the bottom right to bring up the pages you manage. It will also list the pages that you are a fan of. Tap the page you wish to add and it will add it to a second screen of the Facebook home page. Tap the image to view the page. From here you can do the following five things on the list below.
1. Mobile Updates
Since you have already set up your Facebook fan page and you have probably already linked your blog to the notes function, there is already a stream of content on your fan page. By using the iphone app, now you can post updates away from the office. Many companies use their Facebook pages to show the human side of a company. While it is not necessary to tell your fans what you are having for lunch, you could report from the floor of a trade show, update on new innovations in the lab, or even discuss new products in action live from the field. Think about topics that would engage your customer base and encourage them to leave comments and ask questions.
2. Mobile Engagement
Now that you are updating your page with compelling content, fans will want to engage and comment on your updates. The new app will let you respond to those comments directly from your iphone. Since the goal with these types of social media sites is to engage customers and prospects, this is one of the biggest advantages to the new application.
3. Mobile Photos
They say a picture speaks a thousand words and now you can fill you Facebook page with all of them. Mobile pictures are a great addition to customer interaction. Now you can tour your factory and post pictures of the manufacturing process. Visit client sites and highlight unique ways they are using your products. You can even show your trade show display to those that cannot make it to the show. If you plan to post pictures from the company picnic or office parties because you think it humanizes a company, do so sparingly.
4. Mobile Connections
As you build up a fan base on Facebook, you may decide to friend some of these people. The way Facebook Fan Pages currently work, and the iphone app is no exception, is that you can only interact with people you are personally friends with. You cannot see details about your fans if they have their privacy settings to only show those details to friends. This is a common way for people to set their profiles. So after engaging with fans on your page, you may consider friending them. This will let you interact with them directly from your iphone. A good example of this is a customer evangelist or industry influencer that you might want to message privately, rather than on the wall.
5. Mobile Video
And finally, if you have a new, shiny iphone 3Gs, which shoots video, you can upload those videos directly to your Facebook page. Interview the VP of Sales about the quarterly sales numbers. Talk to customer service reps about common, yet easily solved issues. Talk to industry leaders at the next conference.
Bonus: Post to Twitter
Since I know you have already read this post about the value of linking your Facebook Fan Page to Twitter, I will assume that you have done so. In my initial testing of these mobile posts to Facebook Fan Pages, they did not post to Twitter. It is not documented whether this should work or not, but I will assume that it not working is a function of a first release and that it will be fixed before too long. Because of that, I can’t call this a sixth way.
So as Facebook continues to grow among the general population and more and more businesses begin using it to connect with customers and prospects, this mobile app allows you to add compelling content from anywhere. And just because you know have to ability to share anything doesn’t mean that you should. Please leave a comment below about some innovative ways you have used, or are planning to use, Facebook Fan Pages for your B2B company.