Facebook gives you great opportunity for marketing your online business but you need to know how to do that and stay within the spirit of Facebook and of course the Facebook Rules!
Sadly, many people new to running an online business do not take the time to learn how effective a tool Facebook can be and quickly get disheartened when they do not get the results they expected.
With over 750 million users this is a big market place for business users and the numbers are growing exponentially day by day.
Here are our Facebook marketing tips to help you build your online business.
Create a Page
Do not go and create another "personal profile" just to start a business / fan page. It is not necessary (and is in fact against the rules of Facebook) It makes sense to create a page from your own personal profile because then you can invite those of your friends who may have an interest in your online business. If they "like" your page then they will recommend it to their friends and so on.
Manage Your Expectations
Set realistic goals for your social media marketing. Do not expect to get thousands of "fans" within your first 30 days – it very rarely happens. Think about some realistic numbers such as a few hundred to get momentum and then if you realize more than that you will be very happy.
Schedule Facebook Time
Cultivating a Facebook presence does not need to be a full time JOB or something that takes up lots of precious time in your online marketing schedule. If you are just starting out then set aside say an hour a day to begin with to work on your business page, post updates, share information of value and generally communicate with your fans and through doing so gain even more fans to your page.
Improve your Facebook Knowledge
Take time in your "Facebook Marketing Schedule" to check out the pages of people you know in your industry and which pages you "like". See things that they have done and find out how you can do the same. Facebook have an amazing resource of information in their Help Center and on their blog blog.facebook.com You might for instance find a great app that they are using and want to install that App yourself – take 'networkedblogs' for example which automatically allows your blog content to be delivered to your Facebook fans.
Post Interesting Updates
Using your "personal profile", post interesting updates which will encourage your "friends" to join your page. Posting questions is a great way of doing this especially if you are going to provide the answers on your page. Keep these updates light-hearted and fun and a proportion of your friends will jump over to "like" your page. Your friends, your community will also most likely comment and like your status updates if they are interesting and this is just the sort of social proof you want.
Respond to and Engage with comments on your Page
If someone has "liked" a post on your page or made a comment or asked a question make sure that you engage with them and answer them – preferably within 24 hours and pay attention to what your fans are saying!
Do not SPAM
This is the big one. DO NOT, repeat DO NOT SPAM. Your friends and community will not like you for it. There is so much of it going on and it just takes over the news feed so much that people just blank it out anyway. Stand above those who do this. If you have something to say that is about your business make sure you say it in the right place (your page). Your fans and your friends will definitely like you for it.
Use Facebook Adverts
When you page has a good number of fans and some great content then think about advertising to get more fans to your page to learn more about your business. Because of the way that Facebook advertising works it can be very targeted to those looking for what you have. If you need to know how to do this it is best to seek out someone who has done it before to show you how.
Use your Mobile device
Do not forget that most smart phones can access Facebook through one of the Facebook Apps which makes "checking in" to your page and posting updates, sharing photos and videos very easy. Do not forget to do this.
Promote your Social Media Links
Make sure that it is easy for your website visitors and subscribers to find you. Have links to your Facebook Page on your emails and use plugins on your website so that it is easy for visitors to follow you and also to interact with you on your blog, sharing your content, leaving comments (social proof) and liking your website and / or content.
Facebook is constantly changing and evolving. Recently the new Timelines were introduced to personal profiles as well as the subscription button which has completely changed the way your friends and community can look at information – even going back to the day you created your account! It will only be a matter of time before timeline is introduced to fan pages which will be very exciting for marketers who have established a community on their page already.