6 Ways to Effectively Market Your Business through Facebook

Setting up a website and online presence for your business can be a very expensive and time consuming process. Once you’ve done that, you’re never really done, either. You need to constantly add new content, tweak settings, bring forth more functionality, and more. With more than half a billion regular users on Facebook, it’s impossible to ignore the value of this free and potent option. Having a business fan page for your company on Facebook is undeniably a great idea. Here, we’re going to go over how to use Facebook business fan pages to their utmost potential, increasing customer awareness and interest in your brand. Lots of people know how to use Facebook. With the information that follows, however, you can go beyond the average user and use expert techniques to get your Facebook business fan page noticed and passed on to others.

With these steps to guide you in advanced methods of how to use Facebook, you can become more than just a branded image with occasional press releases. These steps on how to use Facebook to its maximum potential will help you build a community that fans enjoy being a part of, building goodwill and loyalty that goes beyond providing a quality product or service.

These instructions on how to use Facebook properly for your business will show you:

  • How to engage current Facebook business profile fans
  • How to increase the number of Facebook fans you already have
  • How to enhance your return on invested time and money with Facebook

One of the first things you will need to do when learning how to use Facebook is set up a profile. Businesses should not have their own profile, but rather business fan pages. The individual profile will also need to be set up, and this is usually going to be set up as a "personal" profile for an owner, marketing lead, or some other high-ranking/influential individual in your business. This individual profile will also administrate the Facebook business fan page. Perhaps the individual you want to have do this already has a Facebook account set up. If they have been using their Facebook for personal use or for other companies, having them attach this to the business Facebook page would not be recommended. They could always create a new individual account, using a different email address, specifically for use with your Facebook business page. There are several items to keep in mind when developing your Facebook profile.

Looks Aren’t Everything, But They’re Close:

When first learning how to use Facebook, there are a lot of common mistakes made here. People might choose to put up a picture of themselves out dancing at the club, photos of their children or pets, or maybe their car. For professional and business profile images, these sorts of things usually don’t work to well. Believe it or not, even for a company’s Facebook page, you do not want to use the company logo for the profile picture. Doing so devalues the page. It reminds people that this is merely a front view of the company; it depersonalizes the experience; it puts the curtains back in front of the transparency. Instead, choose a photograph of yourself or, whoever will be managing the company’s Facebook business fan page—as the main profile image. There are times when you want to consider some artistic endeavors with your Facebook profile image. These can certainly hope to draw attention. If done properly, more artistic Facebook profile pictures can speak to your audience and carry your message. Consider this image from Revlon’s current Facebook page. They took one of their recent advertisements cropped it, and included it along with the logo because their business is all about beauty and makeup, it makes perfect sense for them to use this model image at the front of their profile.

One important thing to keep in mind, especially when you’re still working toward building that brand recognition and your online persona is to remember that many people may decide whether or not to add you or even visit your company Facebook page based mainly on the image associated with your Facebook profile.

The More You Know…:

More to the point, the more people you add as friends to your Facebook profile means the more people you will be exposed to. This is like any other network. Add one, and 10, 100, or 1000 new people might see your company profile for the very first time and get curious. If they keep seeing you over a period of time, added by different friends, their curiosity will certainly be piqued.

When first exploring how to use Facebook, it may be tempting to add just about anyone you can think of—friends, family, old schoolmates, doctors, the postman, everyone! There’s some logic to this. As we discussed—the more people you add, the more exposure you’ll have. This is not how to use Facebook, though. You want to be sure to add and invite people who would have a genuine interest in your company and the company’s offerings. Those who would spam with advertising for their own goods or services, post off color jokes or images, or other things that you yourself wouldn’t post on behalf of your company don’t make the best friends to add for your company’s Facebook business fan page. Post whatever you want but post it by yourself. Either you want to post a photo or video or you want to update your Facebook status, do it yourself. Do not depend on your friends. Considering the average Facebook user has about 130 connections, knowing how to use Facebook to effectively market your business can easily gain you 1,000 legitimate/quality friends/fans within a twelve month period, which means you have 130,000 or so in your marketing database–all from this simple, free website. How can you go wrong?

The Writing is on the Wall:

When you’re first figuring out how to use Facebook, all the options available to you can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you go and what do you do first? When you know how to use Facebook, the answer is easy. We’ve already looked at setting up the profile, profile image, and making friends. The next thing you will want to familiarize yourself with is the Facebook wall. The wall is where you will do most of the communicating on Facebook. You can post photos, links, and brief status updates here. This is a great way to get word out about product launches, press releases, upcoming events, and more.

You will also see comments and updates from your friends on Facebook through your wall. It’s good practice to get into the habit of reviewing comments made by your connections on Facebook. When relevant, you should certainly speak up and leave a comment on their posts. Consider one of your fans on Facebook complaining about a leak in their plumbing, and hating to wait for the plumber who is probably going to overcharge anyhow. If you run a plumbing business, this is the perfect opportunity to step forward. There are a few things you can do. If you can provide some basic instructions to help the customer out and ease their burden, do it. You would also add the part about contacting you, if the above mentioned steps didn’t help. Other people will see your comments, trying to help out the potential customer before charging any money, and that goes a long way—especially in today’s market. Even if you’re not a plumber, but you live in or do business in the same area, you might provide information to that same Facebook friend on who use, and have found to be reliable. This is really no different than being a good neighbor, is it? Of course, you don’t want to spam people every day, and you can’t solve every issue that pops up.

Showing is telling:

No lesson on how to use Facebook would be complete without discussing photos and videos. First of all, images and videos are great ways to grab attention. These are often the first thing people notice when looking over their updates, and they draw some of the most attention. On Facebook—and on the entire Web—images and videos are two of the most successful selling tools. These are a great way to showcase new products or projects. Speaking to the transparency so many demand in the modern market, consumers really enjoy any sort of behind-the-scenes material they can get their hands on. If it’s an informative piece on how something is made or done or a blooper from a photo or commercial shoot, people will gobble it up. These come up more frequently in search engines, and there’s a reason for that—people are more likely to click on such links. You are at a serious disadvantage, if you don’t add new images and video to your Facebook profile or business fan page immediately and regularly.

We all know that one of the core concepts to building and managing a brand is offering a sort of uniform consistency. We want people to know what to expect when they come to our company for goods or services. If we have done our job properly, that’s being handled. Knowing how to use Facebook properly doesn’t change this, but it does add on to it. Keep your brand personality consistent, but you also want to be sure to stand out from the crowd and regularly updating. If your business Facebook page does nothing more than provide the face of your television and radio spots, it’s failing. It’s failing because it’s boring. If you want people to take time out of their day to visit let alone pay attention to your Facebook profile or business fan page, you need to provide them with something both new and different.

If you’re not quite familiar with how to use Facebook yet, there might be a lot of things you want to do to draw customers in. There might also be a lot of things you haven’t even begun to think about. Take a look around at the different Facebook profiles, fan pages, and groups you may have connected to; this will give you some ideas. You might find some good ideas on how to mesh your brand with an artistic profile image. People have found numerous ways to modify their Facebook page layout, and there are even companies out there specializing in just that—setting up Facebook templates for those who haven’t yet mastered how to use Facebook.

You want your design to be new and refreshing, so don’t just go out and copy the coolest thing you see, put some thought, some effort, and some time into your layout and design. Having said that, it is important to also understand an important part of knowing how to use Facebook is keeping up with the changes Facebook goes through regularly, often permitting you knew options. Do not get overly attached to any profile or business fan page layouts you put into play for your Facebook persona. You should make regular changes to this new and creative look. The changes shouldn’t be so frequent that you lose your identity amongst them. Consider changing things up like this every three to six months or so, depending how drastic those changes might be.

Keeping along the same lines, part of how to use Facebook properly for your business is providing updated content regularly. Many larger companies make one or several posts every day. Adding new information at a bare minimum once a week is highly recommended. You want to be sure the content you add, however, is more than what your customers, friends, and other connections can find elsewhere. Spinning or linking to article after article isn’t going to get you very far. Instead, you should be adding wholly original information—or old information provided with new insights. Make sure the information you supply through your Facebook is current and related to your business. This is what is going to keep people checking back. They want to see what’s new. If you don’t give them that, you may have a huge database of marketing opportunities that is essentially valueless. So, keep it fresh, keep it different, and you’re basic knowledge of how to use Facebook on this matter will help you score a greater number of valuable connections.

Tag! You’re it:

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the thing that makes social media such as Facebook as hugely popular as it today is its innately interactive nature. One feature to investigate when learning how to use Facebook is the ability to tag your fans and other contacts in images. This can work in a variety of ways, and it accomplishes a few things. Of course, one of the first benefits is that it helps enhance the interactive nature of the social medium. You are making your Facebook friends a part of the process—a part of your business. After all, what is a business without its customers? By tagging people in images, though, you’re making it more obvious. This is part of the whole built in transparency that’s in demand. You’re drawing your fans in by tagging them in images, and encouraging them to make yet another visit to your page.

Depending on your business type, you might have a variety of ways to tag Facebook business fan page friends in images. If you are in an entertainment venue, there are sure to be lots of photos taken at events. You might also have plenty of opportunities at tradeshows and sales events, if you’re not in entertainment. Upload these images to Facebook and tag your friends. This will give them the ability to say “I was there” to the world. If you sell to other businesses, images might include new shots of customers receiving merchandise, opening new locations, or such things. It works kind of like cooperative advertising in this manner. For franchise marketing, Facebook image tagging would allow you to showcase when a new franchisee signs on or opens a new location. You’ll find a variety of ways to tag contacts in images as you continue to discover ways in how to use Facebook.

Just like the web beyond Facebook, Facebook does allow you to carry through with a variety of landing pages—testing new techniques and encouraging users to sign on and like your business fan page. It’s important to know how to use Facebook tactics such as this, as it will help increase your friends list, which is your Facebook marketing database. Many pages are merely landing pages with a promise of things to come, requiring you to like the page before going further. Red Bull uses this technique, asking new visitors to like their page while those who are already fans are taken straight through. Some companies may post a video or a series of virtual lessons requiring that the page be liked for access, which that page of course includes the main company’s branding and links back to the main page for that company on Facebook.

This is an advanced technique and it will take some time to get used to, especially if you’re only just starting to figure out how to use Facebook. This allows for a wide variety of tests and measures, finding new methods of marketing for your potential audience, and what gets the most response. Consider the recent disaster major retailer The Gap faced when changing their logo without getting pre-feedback from their customers. Surveys can only tell you so much. Be sure to use the different forms of Facebook landing pages to try techniques out with your customers. It allows you to do so without making any major changes to your own pages while still getting valuable feedback. This is also a great way to run contests.

For those who are new to the social media landscape, it might come as a surprise the value people put in to digital trinkets. Many websites and companies offer free or minimal charging online games, for example, allowing players to purchase anything from special in game items that make certain things easier to do to special costumes for their online avatar. These micro-transactions can add up rather quickly, making some of the companies that back these ventures an inordinate amount of money. Along the same lines, social media sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and others have all sorts of badges users can earn for their participation or support of a particular site or movement.

This started years ago with online bulletin boards, chat rooms, and forums—besides separating users into guest, registered, moderator, and administrator groups, it was discovered that people wanted something more. In response, site designers started adding titles, usually gained by posting a certain amount of times. So, the concept is nothing necessarily new or specific in how to use Facebook. Instead, it has gotten more advanced. Now, rather than simply providing your fans a title, you can actually present them with a host of items.

One of the most popular things to provide to your fans via Facebook is badges. You can create a digital image for what the badge would look like, often incorporating your company or brand logo, which users can post on their Facebook profiles. These badges serve as a sort of status symbol or even badges of honor in some cases. You might award customer of the month badges or tabs for liking your Facebook business fan page. When people add or like you, it will update on their wall, which helps encourage their friends to visit and do the same.

Surveys and Rewards:

The value of customer interaction and feedback cannot be understated, no matter what sort of business you’re involved with. This How to Use Facebook Pro Tip covers the concept of surveys and contests. These are both great concepts that are easier and less expensive to do through Facebook than with other forms of media.

Surveys allow you to get immediate feedback from your customers and clients. This will allow you to judge a number of factors, just like any survey you might normally provide at a point of sale, IVR, or call out service. You might ask customers how they feel about your business in general. The survey would allow you to ask customers what they think of a new product name or the colors of a new logo. You’re going to get feedback from one of the most important and reliable sources right away. Again, it’s free to do most of these surveys, so your cost only comes into time spent analyzing and apply such critical data.

Through Facebook, you can also run contests. Many contests are offered in conjunction with a survey. There are also many that have nothing to do with a survey. You might have trivia contests where people might name something specific from inside one of your product manuals or catalogues. You might have a fun game where users submit photos of themselves with your merchandise or inside your store. Whatever the contest idea, be sure to make the prize worth it for customers. You might offer some digital goods, like the badges mentioned above, but you should also include something more. Maybe some free marketing material you’ve already had put together—a shirt or hat, something that has some value that people will actually compete to get ahold of.

Even if you don’t know how to use Facebook yet, it’s highly unlikely you’ve gone to many quality websites recently that don’t encourage you to take a second look at the robust social network. Many pages, articles, and more have incorporated features that tie directly into Facebook. You can share the sites by clicking on a Facebook logo or something similar on the site you are on, and that will post to your wall on Facebook, usually allowing you to make comments to go along with it. Many blogs have taken this coding, and made it so the comments you share post both on the blog and Facebook, requiring only to login to Facebook.

There’s a variety of free and premium tools out there you can add to any website to have it fully integrate with Facebook. Learning how to use Facebook does require you to become familiar with a set of these Facebook toolbox options, if you have your own site. If your only online presence is through Facebook, these tools will not help you. Nonetheless, if you only have a Facebook option available for your business’s online personality, you’re probably a bit behind, and should look at some of these great options for when you do decide to catch up.

Final Thoughts

Facebook is here to stay. If anything, it’s only going to get bigger from here. There have been many advances to the software Facebook uses, and there will continue to be more, as the Facebook team continues to push the limits on what can be included in the social media landscape. If you have not yet learned how to use Facebook, there’s certainly no time to waste. It will take some time to master the different aspects, but with some help, and a little bit of time, you can move ahead relatively quickly and have a winning Facebook profile and business fan page in relatively short order.

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