Facebook is arguably one of the largest and most popular social media networks, but as far as business goes, it isn’t usually the first to come to mind. Professionals tend to think of LinkedIn as a social network that can help you professionally. Drilling down further into the purchasing profession, where does Facebook fit? Do you use it for business?
Big businesses and small businesses both utilize Facebook for branding. Some very small business even use Facebook as their online presence instead of a professionally created website. Facebook will help provide the ideal environment for marketers and advertisers so that they are able to share and spread ideas socially. In this way Facebook is able to utilize its viral campaigns so that the public is persuaded to spread and share the advertisers’ message amongst their colleagues and thereby carrying out the job of marketers.
Video clips offer the most popular samples of viral campaigns and provide numerous videos which everyone with internet access can view at some point. Creating a funny video campaign that is shared on social media does not have the large price tag of buying air time on popular TV programming.
Facebook is also able to provide several services for marketing. These include the ability to create groups and social events with the intention of inviting members to become a part of the group. Facebook also provides the option for persons to become fans.
But all of these advantages tend to apply more to businesses whose audience and target market is the general public. Companies like Coca-Cola who want to build brand loyalty across multiple platforms and whose fans are passionate about their product.
Businesses who market to other business – suppliers, vendors, purchasing managers – what benefit does Facebook have to each of them? What about the paper company who sells to other businesses? They don’t deal with the type of customer that Coca-Cola has. Instead of millions of potential customers they have a much smaller pool of target customers.
Networking is one of the highest benefits of Facebook for procurement professionals. Facebook has three primary setups – the personal profile that individuals use, pages that businesses, charities, and other organizations use, and groups created around common themes and interests. Procurement professionals may find pages created by suppliers that they could follow to get the most current information if the page is actively managed and updated. But groups created by and for procurement professionals may be the best use of Facebook for you. As an example, there is a group called Procurement Professionals (https://www.facebook.com/groups/procurementprofess/). This is an Open Group, which means anyone can join, and at the time of this posting has roughly 600 members. The group description reads:
“This group was created to help all procurement expert to share ideas, get news and discuss critical issue concerning procurement and supplies profession. You are all welcome ,don’t hesitate to ask, add, criticize for the success of this group.”
There are other groups, some smaller, some closed where you need to ask permission and get approval to join. Joining one or more of these groups, getting to know others in your profession around the country and world can prove to be quite beneficial and lead to other opportunities, sources, and avenues of conducting your business.
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