Facebook is a fabulous platform for marketing your business. With over 500 million users, and at least 50% of those logging in every single day, it has become a huge, vibrant community, where people go to connect, play and network. It has become a part of our every day lives. And chances are, your target market is hanging out there, as well…
The biggest thing to keep in mind when marketing your business on Facebook is that people are not on there to do business or to be marketed to. They are there to connectwith friends, family and colleagues. They are there to have fun, to interact, to see what everyone else is up to.
So when you’re using Facebook for your business, always keep this in mind and look for ways to do your marketing in a way that is not annoying and spammy and that adds to the value and fun of Facebook rather than getting in someone’s face with something they don’t want.
With that in mind, here are 5 key steps that you can take to start exploding your business on Facebook today.
Step 1: Use a Facebook Business Page
Facebook Business Pages are where Facebook wants you to be doing business. Also known as Fan Pages or Like Pages, this is the place where you can promote your business and build a fanbase of people who are interested in hearing from you on a regular basis.
Facebook Pages are easy to customize, and you can have an unlimited number of fans, as opposed to being limited to only 5,000 friends on a personal profile. They function much the same as a personal profile, with the Wall, tabs and various other tools and features that are the same. Facebook made some exciting changes this year to Pages that allow you to use Facebook as your Page and post things to your Page using the standard Facebook Share buttons around the web.
Step 2: Customize Your Facebook Page
With so many businesses now using Facebook as part of their marketing strategy, it is more important than ever to do what you can to stand out from the crowd. One of the best ways to do this is to customize your Page so that it reflects you and your brand and lets your potential fans know why they should hang around and choose to follow you.
You can customize the picture in the left sidebar and make it a nice vertical banner with your logo, picture, name, tagline and any other info you would like to include on there. Since this banner shows up on every page within your Facebook Page, it’s a great way to really brand your Facebook presence.
The other important piece when customizing your Facebook Page is to set up a Welcome or Landing tab. This is the page that non fans automatically see when they first visit your Page, instead of just seeing the Wall. The Welcome tab gives you a chance to let potential fans know why they should follow you and click that Like button. Having a Welcome tab set up can increase the number of conversions (people who actually click Like) by 45%! So it’s an important piece to have in place on your Page.
Your Welcome tab can include a special gift that your new fan can only access after they click Like, as well, so it’s a great way to offer an incentive or a thank you for your new fans to show them you appreciate them.
A Welcome tab is like an optin offer for your Facebook Page.
Step 3: Keep Your Page Updated – Regularly
One of the worst things you can do for your Facebook marketing strategy is to set up a Page and then rarely (or never!) update it. If your fans don’t hear from you, they will forget you. And if they forget you, they certainly won’t be doing business with you!
So be sure to set up a marketing plan for your Facebook Page so that you ensure it stays up to date, with new content going out to your fans on a regular basis. Posting daily, and even several times a day, is a great way to get your fans engaging with you by posting comments or clicking Like on your updates.
And by posting regular updates, you’ll be staying top of mind so that when they need what you have to offer, they know where to go and will contact you.
Step 4: Network with Other Facebook Pages
You can use Facebook as your Page by choosing the setting in your Account drop-down menu. This allows you to Like other Pages and comment on their Wall or updates as your Page, which means you leave a link back to your Page. This is a great way to interact and network with other Page owners, as well as to get in front of your target market and attract new fans.
When using Facebook as your Page, always be mindful of how you are interacting and what you are saying. Remember, you are commenting on someone else’s Page, and they don’t want to be spammed, either! When leaving a comment, make sure it is something that will add value to their Page and the conversation. Don’t go blatantly advertising yourself or your services. Instead, join the conversation and contribute comments that are thoughtful and helpful.
When you do this, it will help you to build relationships with other Page owners, as well as attract new fans who like what you have to say.
Step 5: Talk About and Link to Your Page
It’s great to have a Facebook Page, but if no one knows about it, then it’s not going to do you much good. You need to get it out there and tell people where to find you on Facebook.
If you have an email list, send out an email letting them know where they can find you on Facebook and invite them to become a fan. Send out some Tweets inviting your Twitter followers over to your Facebook Page. Invite your LinkedIn connections to connect with you on Facebook as well. Are you starting to get the idea?
Add a nice Facebook icon or Like Box to your website. The Like Box let’s visitors become a fan of your Page right from your website, without even having to leave your site, which makes it even more convenient for them.
Link to your Facebook Page from your LinkedIn profile, your Twitter profile and anywhere else you hang out online. Add it to your profile on any forums or groups you’re in.
Add it to your email signature, your author bio and anywhere else you can think of.
And don’t forget to add your Facebook URL to your offine marketing as well. Put it on your business cards, brochures and any other print materials you use.
Following these 5 steps will get you off to a great start to build your Facebook presence and explode your business.
And always remember, Facebook especially is about relationships and connecting. Once you’ve got those new fans, focus on building a relationship with them, getting to know them and helping them out, and they’ll want to stick around and even tell their friends about you!