Facebook is the most powerful social media network on the Internet. In fact, if Facebook were a country it would be the eighth most populated nation in the world, right ahead of Japan. Facebook has over 250 million registered users around the world, and it just keeps growing.
Facebook appeals to all demographics, even though it was originally created for high school students. Now you’ll find kids, moms, grandparents… pretty much anybody on Facebook. Including businesses.
The numbers are great, but how can you use this powerful social media network to promote your business? Here are some tips…
How to Get Started On Facebook
First you’ll need to create an account. You will be asked to fill in some profile information.
You can to add a photo to your profile.
Choose your photo according to how you want to brand yourself on this social media network. You might choose to use a picture of one of your well-known products or your storefront, depending on photos you have available. If you provide a service — say you’re a daycare provider or a therapist — you may prefer to include a picture of yourself.
Once you’ve created your account on this popular social media network, the next step is to create a Facebook Fan page for your business.
Photos, videos, business info (such as hours, products, etc.) can all be added to your Fan page.
(Social Media Tip: Do you Twitter? This micro-blogging site is wildly popular. If it’s a social media platform that appeals to your target audience, note that you can link your Fan page to your Twitter account.
Once that’s done, every update to your Facebook Fan page will automatically go to Twitter too, and double the power of your message by getting it out through two social media channels simultaneously.)
When your Facebook Fan page is ready, you can start making friends.
Your friends, family, and customers already on Facebook are the best place to start. Send them invitations to be your friend. Then check to see if you can find any other people you know on this social media network. You can do name searches or have Facebook search for people who went to your high school or college, or for current or past coworkers.
And here’s the beauty of this social media network. When somebody accepts your friend invitation, you’re able to scroll through their lists of friends, where you will probably find other Facebook members you know or have something in common with. Then you can ask them to be your friend.
As you gather contacts on Facebook, you can send them a friendly suggestion asking them to become a fan of your Fan page. You should also include a prominent link to your Fan page on your main site or your blog to encourage your visitors to sign up.
If you’re an offline business, you can also encourage more people to join your Fan Page by posting a sign by your cash register saying, “Be our friend on Facebook! Join our Fan Page — [Name of Fan Page].” You can even print the same suggestion on the receipts you give your customers.
What to share with your Facebook community
Once you’ve built a Facebook community, send regular status updates, including interesting and useful information about your business. Here are some ideas on how to connect with people on this powerful social media network…
Send them announcements whenever you get a new shipment of products or are about to hold a sale.
Send pictures of your store, the location, your products, and people who enjoy your services. If there’s lots going on in your part of town, you can post pictures or videos and share them with a larger audience.
Comment on events happening in the community.
Give people tips they’ll find helpful.
Make limited-time offers available only to Facebook Fan members.
Put on exclusive in-store events for them.
Ask your list to spread the word about your Facebook Fan page with a friendly “suggest a fan” notice. (Note: People will probably find this too spammy if you do it more than a couple of times a year.)
Post a link to the latest article you’ve written on your website or blog.
Invite readers to take part in informal surveys.
Run a contest.
Make sure you offer a mix of limited promotional messages with lots of free info such as tips, photos, and information on events. That way your Fans will feel like you care about them and want to help and engage with them instead of only sell to them.
Strange as it seems, the way to improve your business and increase your profits — on social media platforms like Facebook, at least — is by NOT selling. This is a showcase of the best features of your business, By showing your fans you care about them, you encourage people to pay more visits to your business. By using Facebook to talk with them, you can also get great ideas from them for ways to give them more of what they want and less of what they don’t.