(If you don’t know what Facebook is, chances are you’ve just returned from seventeen years lost in the mountain jungles of Patagonia.)
Realizing Facebook’s actual importance in today’s marketing, however, is something lots of business owners and solo entrepreneurs miss.
Just to make things clear, Facebook holds #2 page rank in Alexa and Compete.com rankings, with over 41 million visits daily. (Google is still number one and YouTube is chasing Facebook at number three.)
Facebook’s reach has climbed steadily over the last twelve months (2014). SEO experts attribute this to two major factors:
1. The here-to-stay phenomenon of “social search”
2. Facebook’s ease of access by both PC — and mobile devices
In other words, you can access Facebook from your cell phone. And millions do.
How to Use It
Top entrepreneurs advise separating your personal and business interests on Facebook by creating a Facebook Fan Page for your business. Now that comments are allowed on Facebook Pages, this option is being adopted more and more.
You can brand your business page — as well as stop people from seeing overly personal posts on your Facebook Wall by making your personal page private and “Friends Only”. (Notice that business connections who are already “Friends” will still see your general Wall.)
If you’ve decided to allow both business and personal connections to see your general Wall, remember the Golden Rule of “what would interest my subscribers?” before posting about being in a foul mood this morning. Don’t create posts like “Babysitting again — ugh!” if your business revolves around “Caring Parenting” or sound off about “needy clients” driving you up the wall, if you’re hoping to attract new ones (and not alienate the existing one you were just dealing with five minutes before your post).
Tips and Tricks
- Use other social networks such as StumbleUpon or apps such as TweetDeck and HootSuite to create instant Facebook posts. And, VERY IMPORTANT,Â do mix this with other, more personal posts.
- Take advantage of one of Facebook’s most powerful features: Allowing thumbnail video links.
- Build only quality connections — don’t accept every Tom, Dick or Harry who wants to be your “Friend”.
- Use Facebook Notes to share longer “blog” type posts.
- Create a relevant, audience-related video for YouTube (Google’s # 3 website in its page rankings!) and post the link on your Facebook Timeline (your personal profile location) or Page. People will be able to click right on your thumbnail and instantly play your video.
- BETTER: Upload your created video directly to Facebook, only adding YouTube links to other relevant video content posted at YouTube.
If you really can’t hang out on Facebook at the time your audience likes to, don’t despair. If the rest of your marketing efforts are highly focused, you can set your own time — and if you’ve provided high value information in other online venues, prepare to be surprised as you watch people log on at your preferred time, just to “catch” you, live.
- Promoting your business and driving traffic to your websites via your Facebook Page
- Increasing your public prominence and engaging in real-time discussion
- Introducing yourself (by leaving relevant, valuable comments) to industry peers and authorities
- Allowing you to demonstrate expertise by answering questions or providing resources
- Staying connected with your subscribers, peers and personal connections
- Saving you time (if used wisely)
Tailoring Facebook to Your Business
There’s only one real “must”, when it comes to tailoring Facebook to your business: Focus on your audience — on what would interest them most.
To do that, analyze your business benefits and services, and share those most suited to this goal.
Your biggest Facebook tool will be your Facebook Page. It’s a real time-saver because, once it’s set up, you can let it run on autopilot most of the time, with a daily check and comment by you to keep interest alive.
Tips and Tricks
The key to a powerful Facebook Page is interaction. In order to encourage it, always remember the principle of “calls to action”:
- Provide links and posts that actively incite comment
- Ask irresistible questions people just can’t help answering
- Engage your reader’s emotions
- Invite readers to share your link or leave feedback.
- Share powerful links, ending with call-to-action statements such as: “Want to see more links like this?”
- Use viral YouTube or website-linked, short video posts
- Make sure your comments are enabled on your Facebook page!
- Pique curiosity
How Do You Keep Up with the Changes?
Rather than waiting to learn about new Facebook developments from your peers and competitors, stay ahead of the wave by checking originating authorities yourself.
- Spend a minute or two daily glancing at the official Facebook blog to see what this ever-changing network is unrolling.
- Subscribe to Mari Smith’s newsletter, The Social Scoop.
- For explanations, analyses and practical reviews of these changes, cross-check with other authority sources such as the Social section of TechCrunch blog.
These basics are just the beginning, Facebook basics for small business owners. Look for more information in following posts about Facebook Groups and Facebook Ads and other Facebook strategies to:
No sales without marketing! No marketing without relationships. That’s a social biz.
To your social biz success,
P.S. If you’d really like to dive in and do a course in social media marketing to launch your social biz success like a rocket, take a look at the course I recently completed from my favorite online mentor, Lynn Terry: Lynn Terry’s Social Marketing Results. While you are doing the course, join the Social Marketing Results Group at Facebook and get more tips and tutorials while you watch Lynn build her business with social media marketing, especially at Facebook. That’s how I stay on top of the latest and greatest – reading the social networks’ own blogs and participating in the Social Marketing Results Group at Facebook.