Using Facebook to Promote Your Business

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In the US, if an adult is online at all, there’s a very good chance he or she is on Facebook. Seventy-one percent of these online adults include Facebook in their social media activity. Of course, some are far more active than others. More than 120 million people in the US are on Facebook every day and 179 million visit once a month or more. The number of people accessing Facebook via smartphone is growing fast, too. Now, more than 140 million people access Facebook at least once a month via their phones.

Pretty much every business should have a Facebook presence. It’s really not difficult but of course, to get anything out of it, you have to be smart about it and you have to be consistent.

The first thing you need to do is to create a Facebook Page for your business. This is formatted differently than your personal Profile page. Some of the functionality is different and there are some great services added to these pages that help you maximize the benefit of your time spent maintaining this Page.

If you have not done so yet, create a Facebook Page. Add a picture of the building your business is in, if applicable, to the banner across the top of the page. In the small profile image space, post an image of yourself or your staff.

It’s important to make your Page as complete as possible. So fill in the About page as fully as the questions apply to your business.

Some people create a banner for the top of the page that includes both images and their phone number. Don’t make it a flagrant advertisement. Remember that the purpose of Facebook is engagement and interaction. You’re going to invite people to enjoy your online presence, not hard sell them.

For many companies, what comes next is a lot harder than getting the page all set up. You’re going to need to engage people’s interest in order to attract their business. Facebook is all about building an awareness of your business. When you do this skillfully, you bring viewers into a relationship with your business that can result in them walking in the door or visiting your website to learn more about your products or make purchases.

If you’ve ever spent any time on Facebook, then you know that plenty of people are running ads. You can certainly do this but you can also build up a lot of recognition for your company by interacting with potential customers on Facebook.

You’ll need to get a lot of people to Like your Page. If you have a Profile, log in as yourself and then search within Facebook for your new business Page. On the left side of the page, there should be a feature near the top that shows who has Liked your Page. There will be a small link under it that says “Invite your friends to like this page.” Your Facebook friends will be available through this link. Go through all your friends and family and invite them all to Like your business Page. Then get a couple of family and close friends to do the same (preferably people with large friend lists) and you will have a good start.

Once you have a following, build greater awareness of your company, its products or services and your philosophy of business (quality, customer service, etc.) by posting regularly. Focus on creating engaging content that would be of interest to anyone who might become a client or customer. Post testimonials from current customers, images of new products, notifications on sales or special offers and helpful information to help people understand how your products can improve their lives. And don’t just talk about what you sell. You can get very popular by frequently adding information about your field. If you’re a car repair shop, post notices about a new speedway opening or recalls from major manufacturers. Remind people how and when to winterize their cars. If you have a hair salon, post images of celebrities with trendy new hairstyles or tips on how to keep one’s hair from being damaged by sun or winter cold.

Just think of that friend you have who always knows the latest news and fills you in. He doesn’t push the information on you, just offers it. And it’s always interesting. Model your comments after someone like this.

Managing a Facebook page and advertising is an extensive subject that we don’t have the room to cover here! There are many books written to help a businessperson get up to speed and Facebook itself has many tutorials. If you’re going to get started, just focus on spreading good news and generating a greater awareness of your products and services and that will be a good start.