If you’re a business, you need to have a Facebook page. It’s just that simple. Facebook is too big, too popular, too marketable to ignore. With over 500 million users and growing, people are spending more time on Facebook than ever before, making it THE place you want to be.
So how do you tap into those 500 million potential customers?
Facebook marketing isn’t as simple as putting out a TV commercial or throwing up some banner ads; you’re going to need to work to catch the eyes of users. People follow brands and businesses that interest them, so you need to find a way to not only market your business, but market it interestingly.
First things first: You need to create a page for your business. You’ll need a personal profile account to do this, but your personal account does not have to appear on your business page (and you may not want it to, considering any pictures or updates you may post for you and your friends’ eyes only).
Creating a Page
Go here to create a page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.
Be sure to choose your page’s name carefully, as you can’t change it later. Then, fill out the information for your “Info” tab – a little about your business, your Web site, Twitter account and any other information you’d like potential customers to see at a glance – and choose a profile picture. Your profile picture can be your logo or a more creative, lively image. This is one of the few places you can be creative on your Facebook page.
Getting People to Like You
Once you have your page, you’ll need to get people to “Like” you. Start by suggesting your page to friends and asking them to pass it along. You can send an email to you email list asking them to “Come follow us on Facebook!” and add icons and links to your Web site to drive traffic.
Once your page gets 25 fans, you can create a unique URL, making it easier to link to and identify by going here: http://www.facebook.com/username/. The best URL is /yourbusinessname if available.
Update regularly and provoke engagement: Ultimately, it’s content that will bring people to your page. Make a commitment to update your page regularly with text updates, pictures, videos that are of interest to your potential customers and fans. The goal is to get them to comment on your posts, which then will make their comment appear in their own news feeds, spreading your Facebook page to their friends and so on. This is one of the best ways Facebook works to bring new fans to you. The more engaging you get your audience to be; the more your page will spread.
Offer discounts: Time and time again, surveys find that most people “like” business pages to get exclusive discounts. Keep them engaged and happy by offering exclusive Facebook discounts or promo codes.
Facebook ads: Facebook ads are a great way to get new eyeballs on your page. They are simple to create and can be highly targeted. Some recommended segments are targeting people who are friends with people who “Like” you (people tend to be friends with similar interests), people who are fans of businesses similar to yours and people who fit your target demographic and area.
One other less used, but highly effective Facebook ad segment is to market to people who already “Like” you. Why? Simple… You can offer a discount that is guaranteed for them to see and you are only showing it to people who specifically said they were interested in what you have to offer. There is no better target audience to get a great ROI from an ad! (Compared to simply offering a discount in a status update, ads can be an effective investment. Status updates are fleeting, and the person needs to be online right as you post it. With ads, your offer will show no matter when they sign on.)
Create tabs within your page: These can be used to offer discounts, as informational pages or to host contest and giveaways. As of a couple months ago, Facebook pages require iframes for content. It’s not hard to do, and you can find Facebook iframe instructions here.
Speaking of contests… One of the best ways to promote your page and increase followers on your page is to run a contest or giveaway, with one of the means of entering is to “Like” your page. Applications like Wildfire make this incredibly simple and your contest can be up and running in almost no time at all.
Facebook offers endless marketing possibilities, and this is just a starting point. Follow businesses similar to yours, brands you love and other successful companies and keep an eye on what you see working. The best way to learn about Facebook is to jump in and get involved!