With the world opened up on the World Wide Web, the avenues for marketing a business – be it a large company, a small company, or even a solo endeavor, are broader than ever. And yet so many companies and individuals simply don’t take into account the broad potential customer base that can be reached using the internet. However, the internet itself is far too broad a topic to cover in a single article. In this article, I’ll be focusing on specifically why a company should have an active presence on one very specific social networking site – that site is Facebook.
Who doesn’t use Facebook, these days? My parents are in their early and mid 70s, and yet both of them have (admittedly not very active, but still) pages on Facebook. I stay connected with my cousin in Texas, and other family and friends in places as varied as Montana, Illinois, and even people in Great Britain. And yet what of businesses? This article is supposed to be about why your business should be on Facebook – not about the fact that everyone and their cousin appears to be on Facebook.
But see, that’s the whole point – everyone and their cousin is on Facebook. Which means if your business has a Facebook page, that’s potentially millions more people that have the potential to see your business and maybe buy whatever wares or services you’re selling. But simply making a page isn’t enough – in order to get that page to make you money, you need to direct traffic to it. You need your page to be “liked” by as many people as possible, so that it shows up in their list of liked items, and therefore even more people will see it as their friends see it, and friends of their friends see it.
But how to start the ball rolling, so to speak? How to get that page out there where others will see it? The first step is to have a Facebook account of your own – I’m betting if you’re reading this, you probably do. The next step is to join groups, and friend as many people as possible. This is your starting strategy – your “initial reach,” so to speak. These are the first people that will begin the chain links to spread your site’s Facebook popularity across Facebook. The next step is to build your business-specific Facebook page.
Facebook is very user-friendly – you want to go to Facebook and scroll down the left until you hit “Pages”. You are then going to “Create page,” and be sure you select “for a business” from the creation options. Then the customization is all up to you! A logo, a cover photo (have to be optimized for Timeline, or else you’ll look out of date), and and icon are just the beginnings. Now you need content!
If your business site is run on WordPress, there are simple plugins you can get – like Twitter Tools, that will allow you to automatically post new content to Twitter under your personal account. However to have WordPress automatically post to a business page is a bit more complicated. I recommend the plugin called NextScripts: The Social Network Auto-poster – it’s detailed instructions will walk you through how to have every post you make automatically update to your business’s Facebook page. Once you have the crossposting set up, it’s time to make some back-dated content for your Facebook page, so it looks more established to most people.
Take the last ten or so updates you’ve made on your site or perhaps even a number of products you want to showcase. Make individual posts on your business’ Facebook page (be sure to be posting AS your business and not your personal account!) until there’s a bit of content there for people to look at. Now you take the next step, because you are always going to be the first “Like” your page gets. Make sure you’re using Facebook as yourself now, not your business, and click the “Like” button. Your page has it’s first Like – AND now all those friends you spent all that time making before will see that when it posts on your timeline.
Now at first, only a few people will click that link. Don’t just spam your link and annoy people – be sure to wait between times that you’re posting it, and vary the ways that you do, when you’re posting to your own wall. Be sure to Share some of your business’ posts from time to time, so your friends see those. With every post, more people will see it. And the more people that see it, the more that may eventually buy from it.
Facebook is one of the most wide-spread and useful marketing tools out there, if you know how to use it. And the wonderful thing is that if you’re on Facebook personally already, there’s only a very tiny learning curve. So start building your future customer base today – get your business on Facebook!