Using Facebook to boost your business

Learn how Facebook can help you active your business goals.

Jean Macedo, Nov. 2011
What is Facebook?
Facebook is a social network for connecting people with those around them. Facebook started in 2004 as a closed community for college students but has since expanded beyond that to schools, corporations, and any user across the world. Facebook allows users to connect and share information in a variety of ways.

Is it really important?
According to Facebook official statistics, they have over 800million active users, more than 50% of Facebook’s active users log on to Facebook in any given day and an average user has 130 friends. Facebook statistic also shows that there are more than 900 million objects that people interact with like pages, groups, events and community pages. And average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.
So are still thinking that your customers aren’t using Facebook?

 

Facebook and my business

There are a ton of good reasons for businesses to participate in and maintain a presence on Facebook. Here are a few examples:

-    Get found by people who are searching for your products or services
-    Connect and engage with current and potential customers
-    Create a community around your business
-    Generate leads for your business

My intention here is to show you how to use Facebook to achieve business goals.

Setting up your account

Profile vs. Page

On Facebook idea is simple, Profiles are meant for people, and Pages for businesses. To fully engage and leverage Facebook’s features, you should create a personal profile.

REMEMBER DO NOT CREATE A PERSONAL PROFILE FOR YOUR BUSINESS, BUSINESS SHOULD HAVE PAGES.
Facebook has been working on tools specifically for businesses; they are not available for profile pages.

There are a few key differences between Business Pages and Personal Profiles:

-    Pages allow you to designate multiple administrators, so you can designate more than one person to help manage the account. In addition, if one of your administrators leaves the company, you can still have control over the Page.
-    Pages are, by default, public, and are starting to rank in Facebook and public search results.
-    Pages are split into different categories. It is very helpful when you get listed in more relevant search results
-    Personal profiles have friends, which require mutual acceptance, whereas anyone can become a fan of your Page without needing administrator approval.

Basics

I listed here a few steps that you have to follow to start on Facebook. Here we go:

1 – Sign up for Facebook. It is free.
2 – Edit your profile. Put some information about you there, and remember your profile name is not your company’s name.
3 – Join Networks. Network is important to connect with people.
4 – Connect with friends. Facebook has a few tools available to help you find your friends.
5 – Share content and information. Facebook is great for sharing all sorts of information with your network, including text updates, photos, links, videos, and questions.
6 – Use Applications. There are thousands of applications on Facebook that further help you share content and interact with others.

Remember that you can edit your private setting, so not everyone will have access to everything that you post.

Facebook helping your business

Setting up a business page

A Page is similar to a Profile except that it is, by default, public, and users can Like and become a “fan” of your Page without first requiring approval from the Page’s administrators. Creating a Page is completely free but will require your time to build and maintain.

Visit this address to get started with your Page creation. http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. Make sure that you are logged in. Facebook will then walk you through a simple wizard to create your Page.

As the administrator, by default, your name and profile will not show up anywhere on your Page. You are the invisible manager. When you post new information or respond to a discussion thread, it will appear to be posted by your company rather than you personally, even though you’ll be logged in as yourself. You can designate multiple administrators as well to help with the maintenance of your Page.

In addition to being the administrator of your Page, you will want to become a fan. Click the “Like” button on your Page to become a fan. Once you become a fan, you will be listed among all the other fans on your Page and all the Pages of which you are a fan will show up on your profile, giving your business more visibility to your network.

Promoting your page

Now that you have built your Page, you need to focus on attracting some fans. Here are a few things you should try:

-    Create an engaging Page. Use applications like the discussion board and/or YouTube video box to add more interesting and engaging content to your Page.
-    News Feed. The benefit of creating an engaging page is that every time a fan engages with your page – from becoming a fan to posting a comment to attending an event – that activity is published to their “News Feed” which can be seen by their friends on Facebook.
-    Let people know. Make sure all your contacts know that your company, now, has a fan page. Invite them to be Fans, post link on your website, email signature, business cards, etc.

Use Facebook Ads for an extra help. Facebook ads allow you to advertise a website or other properties on Facebook, including Pages, Groups, and Events. It is very similar to Google AdWords.

Advertising on Facebook

Facebook Ads allow you to promote your business, get more fans for your Page, and therefore drive more leads for your sales team. Facebook Ads allow you to advertise a website or content you manage on Facebook (like a Group, Page, or Event). The ad creation and management tools are very similar to the Google AdWords interface.

Visit http://www.facebook.com/advertising  to get started, follow the instructions to create your ad.

Facebook Marketing

Facebook provides many business opportunities. Here I suggested a few practices to help you engage with your Fans and attract some others; we call this “Facebook marketing”.

-    Be interactive, fun and helpful. When people reach your Facebook page, they are looking for some kind of interaction. Don’t disappoint them no one likes an empty page.
-    Embed YouTube videos on your Facebook page. People should not leave your page to watch your videos.
-    Create a connection between Facebook and the outside world. Post photos, comments, videos, promotions, etc.
-    Create contests on Facebook. Contests are a fun and engaging way to encourage participation from fans and even generate new fans. Remember you need to interact with your Fans.
-    Integrate traditional advertising with Facebook. If you are already advertising on a newspaper, for example, remember to encourage people to sign up on your Facebook Fan page.
-    Use Facebook to grow your email list, and vice versa. Use your email newsletter to boost awareness of your Facebook page. And also use your Facebook fan page to have more people signing up for your email newsletter.
-    Introduce new products on Facebook first. People who sign up to be fans of your Facebook page are likely your most loyal customers, so give them the advantage of be the first to know.
-    Integrate social content on your Facebook Page. Incorporate channels like YouTube, Vimeo and SlideShare on your Facebook page, so people can like and/or share.
-    Like “other businesses” Facebook Pages. Remember that social media is social. Administrators will know that you liked their page so; in return, they might like yours as well.

Measuring and analyzing your Facebook relevance

Measuring results is a key part of any marketing strategy, and Facebook is no different. Facebook Insights provides Facebook Page administrators with analytics data about Page visits and engagement.

Remember that a key metric to note is the percent change of active users. Increasing your number of active users can help drive traffic and leads to your business.

Conclusion

Hopefully after reading this eBook, you should have a foundation to start using Facebook for business. If you feel that some professional help is needed, contact me This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Remember that Facebook is constantly changing, adding features, and growing the community, you need to spend some time and effort on it in order to achieve your business goals. So get started and don’t be afraid to try new things not mentioned here!

Thank you

Jean Macedo


 

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