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Should you use Facebook to Promote your Business?

February 16, 2009

I hate to admit that I was not an early adopter of the Facebook phenomena.  And I probably wouldn’t have adopted it at all if I didn’t like to consider myself a marketing expert.  I mean, I had caved in to the LinkedIn crowd, but the stats on Facebook usage were just too hard to ignore.

So about 3 months ago, I timidly poked my toe in the proverbial Facebook water and created a basic profile for myself.  Slowly but surely, I began to gather my “friends” and add additional information.  Then I started writing on other people’s “Walls” and “tagging” them with notes.  The more I played with the technology, the more I learned.  And the more I could see the value in using Facebook (and other social media tools) to keep in touch with people — and potential customers.

If you haven’t yet tried Facebook, I urge you to consider it.  It seems to work best when you take the organic approach and use the tool to add authentic Friends and colleagues.

Once you’ve been in for awhile, you may begin to wonder if you are maximizing your opportunities to use Facebook as part of your overall marketing strategy.  Here are a few tips to consider (please add to this list through comments if you’ve found some others that are also helpful):

1. Create a Page for your business. Your Facebook profile is for you as an individual person.  And there is a limit to the number of friends you can collect (right now, that number is 5,000).  But with a Page you collect Fans instead of Friends, and the number of Fans you can have is unlimited. There is also no limit to the number of Pages you can create.  And Pages allow you to post events and keep all your Fans informed.  Once you’ve created a Page for your business, don’t forget to become a Fan yourself.  And most important – invite all your current Friends to visit the Page and become Fans too. Users can become a fan of a business and can share information about that business with their friends and act as a trusted referral. Facebook users can interact directly with the business through its Facebook Page by adding reviews, writing on that business’ Wall, uploading photos and in any other ways that a business may want to enable. These actions could appear in users’ Mini-Feed and News Feed, Facebook’s popular products that allow users to share information more efficiently with their friends.

2. Create a Cause for your nonprofit. You can create a Cause to collect signatures for a petition or actual donations.  If you have a fundraising event coming up, create a new Cause to promote awareness and raise funds for that event. Promote your new cause on your organization’s Web site, event Web site, other social networking sites that you are part of, and so on. Facebook is all about getting the word out. And the more causes, groups, and friends you add, the more visibility and awareness you will get for your organization.

3. Create a Group. Facebook Groups, carry a similarity to Facebook Pages, the difference is they are built around a group of people rather than your business or your brand. You must be a member of Facebook to create a Facebook Group. You can use Facebook Groups to create awareness, but they do not have the feature that allows users to become fans, they only become members. The downfall of this is it will not share as much information with friends of “group” members as they interact with the group. Groups are not visible to folks outside of Facebook (while Pages are).  But when you send a message to Facebook Page members, they only receive an update notification. If you are sending a message to your Facebook Group they will receive the message via their Facebook inbox. If you goal is to be able to communicate in a personal way, the Facebook Group option may be a better fit for you.

4. Use the Marketplace to sell products and services or find new employees. You can use Marketplace to list what you have and what you want within your group of friends, networks, or other networks. Beyond its use for classified listings, you can use Marketplace to get a sense of everything available or desired within your networks.

5. Promote your Facebook profile on other sites. If you haven’t already created a Facebook Badge, you need to do this now.  Use the badge in your e-mail signature as well as on your Blog (you don’t have one? See WordPress.com) and on other sites you have control of. This will help you build your network which will in turn, help you promote your business.

6. Use the Events app to promote your next special gathering. Instead of printing flyers (or maybe in addition to…) consider creating an Event the next time you want to advertise something.  It will really help you get the word out.

7. Get others to help you share content on your other non-Facebook sites. Use the Share App to add a link on your website or blog so that others can easily share your content on their pages.

More tips?  Questions? Let us know via Comments below.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2009 2:40 pm

    Great piece!

    Couldn’t find a send button to share with others or how I reference it on my own facebook.

    Shanna Wasson Taylor
    CEO
    Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Tri-Counties

  2. March 1, 2009 2:55 pm

    Just passing by. Btw, your website have great content!

  3. March 7, 2009 12:53 am

    Thanks Shanna. For now, the best way to share via Facebook, is to use the “post a link” function. Just copy the link from URL/address bar at the top of the screen and then paste that into your page. Unfortunately, WordPress hasn’t created a FB widget and I haven’t added my own custom “share” button (yet). Coming soon though!

  4. April 15, 2009 1:06 pm

    This is quite a up-to-date information. I think I’ll share it on Delicious.

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