At this point, it's fair to assume that most people are familiar with Facebook. While a few years ago, questions about the social networking giant were personal in nature, they've since become business oriented. Whether large or small, more and more businesses are asking themselves, “How should I be using Facebook for my business?” Recent revelations by digital marketing analyst comScore, Inc. that Facebook accounted for nearly one-third of online display advertising in the U.S. makes it abundantly clear that Facebook is here to stay.
If becoming a social media marketer makes you wonder where to begin, here are 5 things you should do on Facebook for your company:
1) Create a professional company page
A company page is different than a simple profile page. Your company's Facebook presence should include a custom welcome page that visitors land on when they first visit rather than the Facebook wall page. The welcome page should specifically be designed to generate interest in your business, and motivate your page visitor to become a fan. Be sure you update your page content on a regular basis, just as you would with a retail store location. Keep it fresh by adding new photos, testimonials, or other news and information about your business as it grows.
2) Generate fans
Once you have a page for your business, the next step is to build your fan base. There are many ways to do this, but the most effective one is to advertise your new social media presence to your existing network of friends, colleagues, and most importantly, customers. If you have a physical location, put up signs in your shop, add your Facebook page URL to your business cards and other marketing materials, and encourage others to spread the word. Conducting an email campaign to your customer base is another great way to build your fan base.
3) Communicate with your fans
Unlike fine wine, Facebook posts don't improve with age. Be sure to keep your fans interested with a regular stream of status updates, contests, and other engaging activities. If you don't want to spend money on contests or incentives, consider sharing exclusive information, creating a poll using Facebook Questions or providing other information that would be of value to your fans. A top reason why people become a fan of a page is because they're already a customer and want to support your business. Use this already-established good will as a way to reward this loyal group and let them know how much they're appreciated.
4) Take full advantage of social word-of-mouth
Use your status updates and page to inspire your customers and fans to share your page with their network of Facebook friends. Create fun and easy content to generate buzz. Get creative by using simple, free resources like Facebook Questions to create a poll. Promoting a specific cause on your page, called cause marketing, is a great way to get fans interested, and also support the causes important to you and your business. If you're using this type of marketing, be sure that your cause has an obvious relationship to what you do at your business to ensure that it is effective. For example, a local veterinarian may promote the local Humane Society or a pet rescue organization.
5) Stay involved
Before you even begin to contemplate a Facebook presence for your company, you have to be clear that it isn't something you can put on autopilot. Social marketing is not a misnomer; it actually requires you to be social! Be sure that you are willing to invest the time and resources necessary to make your business successful in social media. If you follow these basic steps, you can watch your online community grow.
In today's economy, small businesses need to be highly adaptable, and proficient at change. These same skills translate well into being a social marketer. But for those small businesses that lack the time, technical knowledge, or skill to build a professional and effective Facebook presence, working with an experienced professional one-on-one can help.
Web.com (Nasdaq: WWWW) is a leader in web, social, and online marketing services for small business with over 1 million customers. Web.com builds, hosts, and updates company Facebook pages for only $40/month. For more information, visit legalzoom.web.com.
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