Why Social Media? Why facebook?
As a freelance writer and marketing consultant specializing in all things online, I often tell my clients, “Social media is not going away. You need to pick one venue to do – and do it well.”
The advantage of facebook is the huge audience. In March 2010 facebook surpassed Google as the most visited site on the web. If you can’t find a social media network that fits your demographic or target market, try facebook. In the last six months 35-54 year old users have increased 276%. Those 55 and older have increased 194%. Although young females still take the lead, this is slowly leveling out.
To create a facebook page for business, you need to first create a personal account. (Don’t worry; your business page need not reveal you as the owner of the page.) From the log-in page click on “Create a Page.” This prompts you to enter information about your company. You may wish to adjust your settings to “unpublish” while working on your page. Once you have finished editing your page, make sure to publish it.
You will want to allow fans permission to access and publish content and comments on your page. On the left side of your page – scroll over the question mark in the box and click on the edit button. Facebook will prompt you to upload a picture. Use a logo, picture of your storefront, or even a picture of yourself to personalize your business page.
On the information section you will want to add links to your website and other contact information. Put your slogan, tagline, or short elevator pitch in the “write something about” section which will appear on the left hand column.
From your new facebook page, invite your friends to take a look. Click on “Suggest to Friends” in the left column. Your friends can then check out your page and choose to “like” your business page to receive updates. Their friends will see that they like you and your popularity and exposure continues to grow. After 25 likes you can customize your URL, making your page easier to find and increasing your rank.
Keeping it Going
Create a facebook badge and add the HTML code to your blog and/or website. Use the facebook logo on your printed marketing materials. Link to your business page from your email signature. Add a hyperlinked logo to your email marketing campaigns.
If your business is an attraction, encourage your fans to post fan photos. If you’re a restaurant and Tuesdays are your slow days. Post a 2-for-1 discount for fans only. Announce free upcoming webinars or events. Mention events you will be attending (expos, trade shows, etc.).
Hints and Tips
When creating a facebook page for business follow proper etiquette. Keep it light, factual, and positive. Don’t do too much direct selling, occasional mention of sales and specials is okay, but focus on building relationships and sharing knowledge. Show how to do things faster or more effectively with your product or service. Post links to how-to videos. Mentioning the latest project you’re finishing or a new tool you’ve developed is an appropriate, subtle ad.
Post regular updates, but don’t annoy your fans. For most businesses, two or three updates a week are sufficient. DO let your personality shine through; people want to feel like they are getting to know you.
You may be tempted to write the same abbreviated way you text or otherwise post on facebook, but keep it a bit more professional on your business page. Reread before you hit “share”. Grammar and spelling count. If you aren’t sure if what you wrote is correct, you can write your post in word then copy and paste to facebook.
Using facebook business pages is a cost-effective supplement to your internet marketing campaign. With an extensive, and growing, membership, your business is sure to find like-minded or interested individuals relatively quickly. If you focus on the social aspects of building relationships, your facebook fans will do business with you because they like you.
Read What’s Your Facebook Friends’ Selling Power? Are YOU Being Sold? for statistics on how social media affects the way we shop.
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