I was re-reading an excellent Mashable post as a follow-up to my suggestion that Facebook should split into distinct personal and business sites. We have to assume that Facebook won't change, so what can B2B companies do with their Facebook pages? The author recommends 4 ways to become an effective presence on Facebook, even if you're not representing a sexy product or publishing viral videos every day.

  1. jazz up your facebook page with some cool photosBecome an Industry Resource - if you are selling software to businesses, for example, tell your audience about trends in the industry, list the big upcoming events, and offer advice that can help decision-makers and users alike. Don't be over-promotional. Be helpful.
  2. Engage the Community - don't just post your latest blogs, talk to the people. Ask them questions and answer theirs. Monitor the conversations at all times, and don't let them become stale. Your brand reputation may be at stake!
  3. Expand Beyond Your Wall - using Facebook apps such as Get Satisfaction, you can turn your Facebook page into a customer portal and manage customer relations directly. Here's a Mashable list of business apps for Facebook you might find useful for your page.
  4. Lighten Up - show people that you and your company are human beings. Include photos and videos of fun or interesting things you are doing in the community and in the office. No, I'm not talking about pics of people sitting around the conference room table. Reference some fun blog posts and add a quiz or two to keep people engaged and interested in what you have to say. We like our photo album - there's nothing stuffy there.

I think this is great advice. We have taken it to heart on our Facebook page, and we are constantly trying to keep it fresh and interesting. We are trying to give more and self-promote less. We're not exactly "crushing it", as Gary Vaynerchuck would say, but we're stomping on the grapes as much as we can.

Meanwhile, hang in there. There is hope for B2B marketers on Facebook. You just have to use your imagination more than your B2C counterparts and be patient. If you have great products, services and people, don't be afraid to share them in social media, especially Facebook. It's an uphill battle for most of us, but the potential rewards can't be ignored.

What's your B2B marketing strategy on Facebook? Got some cool examples to brag about? Post them here in the comments, and let us help you get found.

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