10 of the Best B2B Facebook Timeline Cover Photos

Hope you didn’t oversleep this morning, because if you manage a Facebook Business or Brand Page for your B2B company today is the day that the timeline goes live, whether you are ready or not. One month ago, Facebook announced the Page changes, and you had the whole month to get your Page in line. And you were able to launch the update any time during the past month.

Many B2B companies have already launched their new timeline updates. The most important functional update for many Page managers is the ability to privately message their fans, after the fan has messaged the Page first. But the most visual update in the timeline is the Cover Photo. This is an 851 pixel wide image that gives B2B companies a great opportunity to make an impact with the Page.

Below are 10 of the best examples that I have seen, and they are divided into three categories: product images, inspirational photos and illustrations. If you don’t have an existing image that works for this dynamic space, find someone either inside your company or outside of it that can help you create one.

One last thing before moving on to the cover photos. If you are still planning and preparing your B2B timeline page, here is an awesome Facebook resource post with everything you need to know.

Product Images


Fluke Corporation


Dell Enterprise


Volvo Trucks

Inspirational Photos


SAP


Salesforce.com


Ogilvy


Cisco


Caterpillar

Illustrations


Dow Chemical


Marketo

Have you updated your B2B Facebook Page to get ready for today’s roll out of the new timeline? Have you seen other great Cover Photos that you want to share in the comments? And yes, you can share your own Page if you are proud of it.

4 B2B Insights from Salesforce.com’s Acquisition of Radian6

Today Salesforce.com announced the acquisition of Radian6. Here’s a link to the press release if you want details. From a business perspective, this is a big deal because the leader in one space has acquired the leader in another space. But if you are a B2B marketer who is managing or planning social media for your company, here are some reasons why you should care. Even if you don’t use either product.

1. Create Awareness of Social Media Monitoring Among Salespeople
Even before computer-based tools, salespeople kept track of their prospects and the results of their interactions. Salesforce.com is an evolution from standalone versions to a web-hosted, company-wide platform that can integrate with other company systems. The addition of Radian6 to the suite of Salesforce.com tools (even though the companies will still run separately) creates awareness among salespeople that company or industry mentions found through social media monitoring can be considered trackable events in their CRM tools.

2. Raise the Profile of Marketing in the Organization
A classic struggle in many B2B organizations is the one between sales and marketing. Sales generally has more say in the running of the company, as they are more responsible for bringing in revenue. Anything that can raise the profile of marketing in the eyes of sales is a good thing for marketers. With the awareness of social media monitoring gained above, now marketing can be the ones to help sales understand how to implement social media monitoring into their sales functions.

3. More Engagement Possible at More Levels
With salespeople onboard in their understanding of social media monitoring, this expands the use of social media throughout a company. Many social media approaches start in marketing or customer service, and serve customers and prospects at the top of the lead funnel. While monitoring will also serve the company at the top of the funnel, tracking these mentions in a CRM will show salespeople that it is possible to engage at various stages of the buying process.

4. Monitoring and Engagement is Now Trackable
As social media events are tracked in CRM tools, whether it is a mention, a comment or a direct request, each will have a result. This is no longer the world where marketing generates leads for sales and steps out of the way. The social media leads are available for all to see, and both sales and marketing can look for patterns, so they can understand what types of engagement can lead to sales. Depending on a company’s goals, customer satisfaction through social media can also be tracked.

What are some other benefits that B2B marketers will see now that Salesforce.com has acquired Radian6?

Blackberry Apps for Your B2B Sales Force

After covering BlackBerry apps for B2B marketers and PR professionals, this week we’re taking a look at BlackBerry apps that facilitate B2B sales.

B2B salesmen and women are constantly traveling, and their nomadic lifestyles demand mobile support. In the field, even a laptop can be cumbersome, so it’s important to have sales solutions that fit in your pocket.

As the go-to choice for most sales teams, it makes sense BlackBerry has many apps designed to close deals and deliver results:

1. Salesforce Mobile

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an integral part of an organization’s sales strategy. Salesforce.com, one of the most popular solutions, has a mobile version for users to upload customer information in real time, right after important customer calls, e-mails and visits. The app helps to manage sales and prospect data outside of the office, which equals less time at your desk and more time in the field.

Thanks to a recent Salesforce update, the Mobile Lite app is now free for all Salesforce users, including Group customers.

2. Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant

If you use Oracle as your CRM system, its Mobile Edge app will take your CRM data on the road.

Mobile Edge puts all of the traditional CRM account, contact, opportunity, activity, lead and ticket information on your BlackBerry, syncs with your phone’s address book and utilizes custom objects, pre-loading device data, centralized administration and interface mapping. Its latest update in October 2009 introduced support in 12 languages, opening up new opportunities for global B2B companies.

While this free demo will give you a peek into the mobile app’s features, you’ll have to contact your Oracle rep for full installation and connectivity.

3. Kindle

E-book readers have become a part of B2B marketing tool kit, delivering novels, industry e-books and blogs (like Social Media B2B) in one sleek package – but what if that package is still too big for salespeople on the go?

Amazon just released a beta BlackBerry app that puts more than 400,000 books on your smartphone. Kindle owners can access their libraries and notes, and the app automatically synchronizes your last page read and annotations.

While it’s not a replacement – BlackBerry Storm owners will be at an advantage, as Bold, Curve and Tour screens require constant page turning and squinting – the Kindle app for BlackBerry extends the convenience of an e-reader.

4. VQ Mileage Tracker

Tracking mileage and gas on business trips and customer visits can be tedious and time-consuming. There are many mileage tracking apps available for the BlackBerry, but VQ Mileage Tracker (currently discounted from $14.99 to $6.99) goes one step further and does all of the work for you.

The app automatically calculates mileage every time you’re in the car, and stores the data until you generate a report with information on the date and time of each trip, address and miles driven. The app also uses BlackBerry or Google maps to pinpoint each trip.

5. MyCommission

More sales equals more money, and the MyCommission app ($2.99) helps salespeople figure out just how many dollars they’ll take home at the end of the day.

The app allows you to enter the account name and status (committed, in upside or are pipeline) of each deal and calculates the resulting commission.

What BlackBerry apps have you found to be helpful in the sales field?

6 iPhone Apps For Your B2B Sales Team

A lot of talk is happening around the importance of mobile in the future of B2B sales and marketing. The future is great of course, but today I wanted to share some mobile applications that are available today. We all know that it is critical that B2B sales teams have the tools and information they need to succeed. Because of this, many organizations are switching to the iPhone as the device of choice for its sales teams.

One of the great things about the iPhone platform is the huge diversity in applications available. However, that is also its biggest problem. Busy sales people do not have the time to comb through the app store and see which applications could help them. Today, I share with you 6 B2B iPhone applications that could help make your sales team’s life a little easier and I encourage you to share this post with them. This list spans from mobile CRM apps to simple tools that may make sales travel a little easier.

Please note that all the links below connect to the application page within iTunes and you will need to have it downloaded to see the full application details.

Milebug icon
1. MileBug Mileage log
Price: $3.99
When you are a sales person constantly on the road, it is the little things that can drive you nuts. One of these is keeping track of your mileage and separating personal and business travel. The MileBug application helps solve this problem by making it simple to keep track of business and personal miles while traveling.

milebug screen shot

sales and commision icon
2. Sales & Commissions
Price: $1.99
Keeping track of sales and commissions is critical, especially for small businesses. This straight-forward application aims to do just that, by helping you record and track sales across a sales team. While large sales organization likely have their own system for this, the Sales & Commissions application could be ideal for independent sales people and small business owners.

sales and commision screen shot

Oracle Icon
3. Oracle Mobile Sales Assistant
Price: Free
Many large B2B organizations use enterprise level CRM systems to help manage sale sand prospect data. If your business uses Oracle, then using this mobile application is an extension of the work you are already doing. Oracle packs the features of its CRM software into a mobile application that can help make sure sales can enter and access data from the CRM system.

oracle screen shot

radio finder icon
4. Local Radio Finder
Price $.99
Ever travel across multiple states in a car? Many sales people do it every week. One annoying thing is not knowing what radio frequencies are in the current town you are in. The Local Radio Finder app is simple and makes it easy to see all of the FM and AM stations in a town so that you can quickly find the station playing the music or news you want, while you’re on the road.

radio finder icon-1

airline icon
5. Airline Seat Guide
Price: $1.99
While sales people travel a lot, it is impossible to remember every airplane on every airline in the world. Knowing your airplane allows you to pick the right seat. As we all know the right seat can make or break a long flight. The Airline Seat Guide shows you the seats on every airline around the world so that you can quickly know where your ideal seats are located on each plane.

airline screen shot

Salesforce.com iphone app
6. Salesforce.com
From talking to many B2B businesses, Salesforce.com seems to be the choice for CRM system of choice for many small, medium and large businesses. If you are a current Salesforce.com customer, then using their free iPhone application is a natural next step. As mentioned with the Oracle application, mobile CRM applications that can make the user experience easier can help increase the amount of data that is put into the system and then used to help generate sales.

salesforce.com screen shot

What other iPhone applications do you or your sale teams use to make life easier? Is your organization making the switch to the iPhone?

B2B Apps for the iPhone

Yesterday we joked that there is not an iphone app to help with influencer marketing in the B2B space, so that got us thinking about what iphone applications there are for B2B. While the Blackberry is still the smart phone of choice in larger organizations, the iphone is making inroads into corporate America. The number of available business apps is one major component that will help that growth.

1. The Obvious


Twitter Apps: There are a slew of Twitter apps including Tweetie, Twitterific and even Tweetdeck for the iphone. While I am looking forward to the new version of Tweetie, which should be released any day now, there are small differences between these apps. Each one handles things a bit differently, so you just need to find the one that works for you. Many people stick with their first Twitter app, but you can ask others what they use. Ask them what they like about it.

Social Networking Apps: We have already covered the Facebook app in depth, so what about LinkedIn. This app is mainly focused on your connections, rather than bringing the LinkedIn experience to the iphone. It shows you Network updates, connections and status. You can view your profile, but you don’t have the ability to edit it. The only interactive functions are the ability to update your status, send an invite and a limited search function. The social side of LinkedIn – Groups, Answers, Events – are missing from the app. Hopefully a new version of this app is in development with more functionality.

2. The Enterprise and CRM


The biggest enterprise software companies, Oracle and SAP, both offer iphone apps that feature a small window into the data housed on your corporate network. According to this post, Oracle displays business performance reports, analytics and access to their CRM module, while SAP displays contacts and account information. These are primarily viewers and provide limited interaction with the main system, but that is changing. As the iphone becomes more ingrained in the corporate computing world, mobile employees will have the more ability to update the home office from their smart phones. If your company uses either of these enterprise solutions, explore these mobile platforms with trial versions and start talking up the importance of mobile data.

The leading standalone CRM solution, Salesforce.com has an iphone app that connects to your version of Salesforce.com. Create new leads, convert them, log phone calls, all from a native iphone app that syncs with the cloud version. This free app is a must for all mobile employees using Salesforce to track their business. While “Leads” is featured on the bottom navigation menu, selecting “More” brings up contacts, opportunities, tasks, events, cases, solutions, and dashboards to fully manage all functions from the iphone. A free 30 day trial of Salesforce is available, so you can try out the app and see how it syncs to the web.

3. The Marketplace


Many B2B companies around the world use trading sites, like Alibaba.com, to find products, manufacturers, import and export partners. There is an iphone app called World Trade Center, which calls itself a B2B hub with one-click access to top sites, B2B facilitators, and products. It costs $2.99, so I have not downloaded it to see how it works. It does not look very elegant, and may be not much more than the links shown on the front screen. If your business regularly uses sites of this nature, this mobile app may be of value to you. As more people go mobile, this is sure to be a growing category of apps that interact with online trading partners. If you have used this app, or something like it, please let us know below.

4. Resources


And finally, if you are looking for information and ideas about B2B marketing and social media, Marketing Profs has an iphone app with a B2B marketing section under the More menu item. These articles provide summaries of posts on the Marketing Profs site and other sites. While every post includes an upsell to Marketing Profs membership options, this app provides good content that is easily consumed on the go.

And finally, I used this post as an opportunity to add a Word Press plugin called WPTouch, that optimizes this blog for the iphone, and other touch screen smart phones, so you can more easily read SocialMediaB2B.com on your iphone.

So if there are other iphone apps that you have found indispensable in your B2B world, whether to manage Social Media, Marketing, or Business in general, share those with our readers below.