If you have followed my social media journey, you’ll remember my initial reticence to spend time on Facebook. Even though Facebook has over 400 million users, 50% of whom are logged in on any given day, I have avoided investing professional resources in the platform because I thought it was mostly to be used for personal reasons and something my just-becoming-adult nieces and nephews used to talk to friends (not necessarily the place for Aunt Jen to allocate her limited networking time). I couldn’t see how our team might use the medium to further our initiatives.
Well, I’m writing this blog to eat crow because it has become clear to me that Facebook has true business applications for entities other than video game producers, restaurants and bars, and I believe that our professional services firm (and yours) should be out there – and now!
I have to credit Michelle Baca on our team (www.facebook.com/michellebaca) with transforming my thinking on Facebook. Michelle has studied its vast feature set and has patiently demonstrated Facebook business applications to me, primarily in meetings with our clients. At one meeting recently, the community building potential of Facebook and its application for our business – and our clients – finally began to crystallize for me. So, despite my thoughts still being formative, I want to share my growing excitement about this application with a user base large enough to be the fourth largest country on our planet. Here are a few ways that your firm can begin to harness its power:
- Consider developing two corporate pages – one for building a community of clients, prospects, influencers, referral sources, vendors and existing employees and another for attracting and communicating with prospective and existing employees. This functionality is free with Facebook.
- Use your corporate community page to communicate regularly with your “fans” – people you invite to follow your corporate posts. Take a look at our corporate community page (and become a fan!) at http://tinyurl.com/ykkwfm5 . You can use your community page to:
- Promote upcoming events and recap past events
- Share news
- Highlight important product or service announcements
- Spotlight your key people and allow others to know them better
- Share pictures from company events
- Promote your community service activities
- Seed discussion topics and encourage your fans to interact
- Request feedback and gain insight into the opinions of your fans
- Create a corporate careers page and form a community of existing and prospective employees. Doing so will enable you to position your firm as a fun and friendly place to work and create an ongoing communication platform for staying in touch with talent in your field. If your firm engages in on-campus recruiting programs, you can use this page to promote upcoming campus events and build distinct lists of fans who are affiliated with specific campuses. Consider appointing employee ambassadors to act as administrators of your careers page to allow prospective employees to ask questions of, and interact with, peers already working at your firm.
- Integrate your corporate Facebook status updates with your firm’s main spokesperson’s Twitter account (www.twitter.com). This will enable you to reach multiple social media audiences with one communications effort.
So, how is your firm using Facebook to communicate with your constituents? What concerns do you have about using the platform in your business? Please post a reply and further our collective thinking. We’re excited to learn more about the business applications of this incredible platform!