Is your small business using Facebook yet? If not, you’re missing out. According to the Pew Internet and American Life study, Facebook is by far the most popular social network in the U.S., used by 72 percent of all internet users. Here are the basics you need to know to get started.
Begin by creating a business Facebook Page (which differs from a personal page that you would create for yourself). Visit www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and click on “Local Business or Place” to get started.
Next, decide what you want to accomplish with Facebook. Maybe you want to get more visitors to your webstore, expose your business to new prospects who have never bought from you, or reward loyal customers by offering them deals and discounts. Your goals will determine what you do on Facebook. Here are some things you can use Facebook for:
It’s easy to do quick polls or informal surveys on Facebook, because users love responding to questions. Ask them to suggest a name for your new product, vote on what your next ebook should be about or tell you what they like most about your business.
Use Facebook to tell your fans about what’s new at your business, announce sales, and give fans special offers. When they “like” your page, most people will expect to get something in return, so reward them with a discount code or other benefit.
Facebook isn’t a one-way street, so be sure to treat it like a conversation, not a megaphone. Respond to users’ posts (you can do so briefly) and get involved in the discussions on your page.
Facebook users love pictures and video—visual posts with fewer words will get more attention than long, wordy posts. Also be sure not to post too often (you don’t want to clog up your users’ news feeds) or too rarely. A couple of posts a day is a good number.
Last, but not least, integrate Facebook into your overall marketing efforts by letting customers know your business is on Facebook and encouraging them to “like” you. Link to your Facebook Page on your website and in emails you send to customers.