Facebook As a Marketing Tool?

Okay, it's confession time. I use Facebook as a procrastination tool. When I should be doing my taxes, I'm on Facebook. When I should be writing a birthday card to my mother-in-law, I'm on Facebook. You get the idea: I'm clicking around, looking at news from friends and seeing what everyone is up to. If everyone else is on Facebook, hanging out, socializing, and writing on each others' walls, and playing FarmVille, why would we use it as an internet marketing tool?

The reason we want to use Facebook as an internet marketing tool is because everyone is hanging out and socializing. You see, people are becoming blind to advertisements in the traditional way: We go to the fridge when commercials appear in the middle of a TV show; we ignore billboards as simply part of the landscape when we drive past them. But on Facebook, our guard is down. We are real. And we are sharing aspects of our lives. And a clever marketer (like you!) Can use those factors to create a qualifying marketing campaign using Facebook.

Here are X ways to use Facebook as a marketing tool:

1. Make sure your own profile is about you (but also about your business). Do not explicitly sell on your profile (your friends will not like it and neither does Facebook) but you can include a link to your website, a blur about your business, pictures of you working, and notes about what you do. Get it? You are sharing your life on Facebook and your business is part of your life so you can share it with your friends.

2. Create a fan page. A fan page is like a profile but it's for a business or brand. You can create a fan page for your own business. Here, you can be a little more explicit about selling your products and services, include pictures, talk about your services, link to your website, and much more.

3. Create a group. Groups should not be for specific products or brands, but they can be about the issue, problem, or need that your potential prospects face. For example, if you sell internet marketing coaching, you might create a group related to improving internet marketing.

4. Marketplace. The Facebook marketplace is a place where you can buy or sell products. As a business owner and Facebook user, you might want to sell your products here. Posting is free, and your products are searchable on and off Facebook. (However, just make sure that your products and services comply with Facebook's terms of use).

The four methods I've listed so far are free. This next one costs money but might be worthwhile to you:

5. Facebook ads. These are pay-per-click (PPC) ads similar to Google AdWords (but with a picture). They're easy to set up and get started. And PPC ads are among the more effective forms of advertisement.

The real key to success behind Facebook marketing is this: Build up lots of friends, be yourself, and periodically talk about your business.