Social Marketing Your Business on Facebook isn’t just for connecting with old friends. It’s for marketing your business as well. So, jump on the bandwagon before it completely leaves you in the dust. Facebook has developed multiple ways for businesses to promote themselves in a targeted manner.
You can’t do anything until you have created a personal or business profile. If you already have a personal profile, you can set up pages and groups for your business. Setting up a profile with your business’ name will give you more exposure, but it can also be confusing for people to keep track of your profile, page and group. If you set up a profile for your business, add friends that you know will be interested. Be careful not to add too many friends all at once, as it may appear as spam (Facebook watches for that.) Whether you use a personal or business profile, keep friends updated on business news and happenings in your status updates. Also, add your website URL to your profile.
Building a Facebook page for your business is your best bet because they were developed specifically for businesses, whereas profiles were developed specifically for individuals. In fact, you must be a business to set up a Facebook page. Facebook pages are indexed by Google, so they will show up in Google searches, and people can view your page without being a member of Facebook. One of the greatest features for pages is Facebook insights. It follows the traffic on your page and sends you weekly updates on the number of active users, people who like your page, wall posts or comments, and visits. You can then adjust your actions according to the data.
When setting up your page, choose a specific name that will accurately describe your business and uses relevant keywords (keep SEO in mind). You will choose the category of your business, which will appear below your page listing on the page and in searches. When you enter the business address, Facebook will even generate a map to your business. Fill in all of the relevant information and don’t forget to add your official web site URL. You should link back and forth between your Facebook page and website, as well as your other social media accounts such as Twitter and your blog. Promote your page off line such as on business cards, promotional materials, coupons, advertisements, etc.
Invite people you know and their friends to become a fan by “liking” your page. There’s no limit to the number of fans you can have (the Facebook “page” has 44 million fans), so give your fans incentives for sharing your page. Add photos, links and videos that will catch the interest of your fans. Use your status updates as a way to keep fans informed of new products, deals, news and to build your brand. In addition, find ways to interact with your fans using discussions, questions and polls. But, be careful not to overdo it. If your posts start to fill up a fan’s news feed, they’ll likely hide your posts.
If your business has events such as sales, sponsored charity events or grand openings, you can promote them with Facebook events. Promote these events not only to your current fans but all over the Facebook community because people who aren’t familiar with your business might be interested in a specific event and become a fan that way.
Facebook groups are geared more towards people with similar interests as a type of forum, but they can also be used for businesses. You can set up your business’ group as an interactive place where you can ask questions and start discussions, and the entire group can chat and send messages to one another. You can also create documents that are relevant to the group.
You may not initially think of applications as a way to promote your business, but there are many different uses for them. There is a good chance that with a little creativity, you can create an application that relates to your business. Get a little help from Facebook developers if you need it. Add the application to your profile, page and group.
Use Facebook ads to promote your Facebook page, application, event or an external website. Users can even “like” your page directly from the ad. With all the information Facebook receives about its members, you can target customers by location, age, gender and interests giving you more bang for your buck. Speaking of bucks, you can spend as much or as little as you want by setting an adjustable daily budget. You can either pay per click (CPC) or pay per impression (CPM). Facebook will track ad performance with performance metrics, demographic metrics, and social metrics. This way you can test your ads to see what works and adjust accordingly.
Though not yet available in very many areas, the deals feature is a great way to promote new products and promotions to anyone in your area.
Almost any type of business can build a strong customer base through social marketing on Facebook. Just be sure that you act as an actual person and not just a business because Facebook users expect personal interaction.
Kelly Sanders is a freelance writer for 97th Floor.