You already know Facebook is more than just a place to share pictures of your children's latest exploits or your last fabulous shoe purchase. With nearly 700 million users, Facebook is a powerful marketing tool!
But, if you use it to hit your prospects over the head with promotions, it's not going to work for you.
Here are 5 Ways You can Use Facebook to Create Raving Fans (who do your promoting for you!)
1-Create a Business Page (formerly Fan pages) separate from your profile. Recent changes at Facebook have made this a far more robust marketing tool. One major change you may recognize is you can now "like" other pages from your business page. This means you can build your presence on Facebook through your business persona.
2-Invite others to join. You can promote your new page through Twitter/Linked In or other social media sites. Be sure to put the Facebook logo on your blog or website. Individually invite people by sending them messages with your url and invite them to like it. One graphic designer I know created his Facebook Business page and got 306 "likes" in 12 hours because he asked all his friends to "like" it.
Put your Facebook page address on your business cards.
Join Facebook groups related to your topic/business and interact there. Done right, you are going to where your audience is and positioning yourself as a knowledgeable person and building relationships with others.
3-Don't be afraid to let others have access to your page. Social media is social. It's about building community. Don't strangle the community spirit by blocking your fans from posting comments/pictures/videos to your wall.
Burt's Bees is one company that's done a stellar job with their Facebook page. They have 303,681 fans who interact with one another and share their joys of the Burt's Bees products. Can you say "unsolicited testimonials"?
But what if you're an accountant or financial planner, something a little more "buttoned up" than skin cream?
Here's your chance to let your hair down a bit. Be human. Upload some candid shots of you and your office staff. Be helpful. If you're an accountant, share informative content like a daily tax tip for small businesses.
Work solo? Don't be afraid to share occasional pictures of you and your family on vacation or relaxing at home. Friendly pictures of yourself add that human dimension that is the essence of Facebook. Share about books/ movies you like, milestone anniversaries, your favorite foods.
People like to "peek behind the curtain" so let them.
4-Find complementary businesses (and local businesses) on Facebook and "like" their pages. Take this a step further and you can find 4-5 business owners and regularly comment/like and post on one another's walls when relevant. This helps to build your relationship with one another and subtly promotes your own businesses by putting your business in the path of one other's audiences. It also puts you in the role of an expert in front of their audiences.
Here's an example: a realtor, a financial planner, a mortgage broker and an accountant could all form a loose community online and pop up in one another's Facebook comments/posts on a regular basis.
What's regular? Well, it should seem natural. And if you all genuinely like one another and post interesting things, it will be natural. That said, once a week is optimal or once every couple weeks at minimum.
Remember, you're just commenting or "liking" something, you don't have to create content around this.
5-Create shareable content. It doesn't have to be all text! The website Score.com reports 170 million Internet users watched 13.6 hours of video at month-as of February, 2011!
Create some video around your business.
For example, you can shoot a quick video using your webcam or a Flip camcorder. Try it, the more you practice the more comfortable you'll get in front of the camera. Keep it short, 1-3 minutes tops. It can be a greeting or a specific piece of information. You can make a quick series of 1 minute video clips.
Social media is about sharing.
With over 700 billion minutes a month spent on Facebook, your Business page is a fantastic way to keep in touch with existing clients and build your prospect base by sharing useful information with them.
Articl thanks to Jen Phillips April aka, the Social Media Maven loves helping businesses put social media to work. She leads hands on trainings in Bucks County, PA and consults on effective social media marketing with companies around the country. She tweets @phillysocial and is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PhillySocialMedia.
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