It was no surprise to see Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the cover of Time (http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/0,28757,2036683,00.html), which dubbed him the 2010 Person of the Year.
Facebook – which is now up to 500 million users (http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics) – has revolutionized the way we communicate, connect and exchange information, and it is unarguably a powerful marketing tool that can promote your business.
One approach is to create a Facebook fan page for your business. Fan pages are visible to everyone, even those who aren’t registered on Facebook, and are indexed by search engines. Setup is relatively simple, and there are a number of ways to engage your audience.
When developing a strategy for your fan page, the most important question to ask is: “Am I giving my audience the right reasons to visit my page?” Remember, you must communicate why people should want to engage with your brand on Facebook.
Here are some tactics.
1) Jumpstart Your Fan Base
People are more likely to access your fan page if they discover it through a friend they know and trust. And as people begin “liking” your page, content you share is then published in their news feed. This helps spread the word about your business and generates warm leads organically.
So, developing a core fan base is a critical first step. Start by asking your existing Facebook friends to “like” your fan page. Then try expanding your Facebook social circle by using the Find More Friends feature to make more connections.
2) Share Relevant Content
No matter how many people are fans of your page, if you’re sharing irrelevant (or no) content, you’ll lose your audience. Content sharing should be an integral part of your Facebook strategy.
Just like Twitter, your Facebook friends can easily re-share information you post, thus generating interest from their friends, which can then be shared with another group of friends, and so forth.
Never underestimate the power of engaging content.
3) Host a Contest
Hosting a contest can quickly expand your fan base by giving people an incentive to visit your page. You can also generate contest participation by offering enticing giveaways.
For example, every time your business earns 300 new fans, you give away a new iPad to a fan. Or on a smaller scale, for every fan a customer recruits to your page, you offer 10% off their next order. The possibilities are limitless.
4) Give Away Free Resources
Your subject-matter expertise is also a tool that can drive people to your fan page. By providing fans with free resources, such as articles, videos or white papers, you’re not only building credibility and rapport with potential customers, you’re giving them a reason to remain a loyal fan.
5) Take Advantage of Facebook Advertising
Facebook offers a highly targeted advertising platform. While it does require a small budget, its effectiveness can far outweigh the costs. Facebook ads appear on a user’s sidebar and are customized based on keywords in a user’s profile and news feed.
So if you choose to create a Facebook ad, one of your first steps is to conduct a search of specific keywords relevant to your business. This will help you identify trending topics and tailor your message.
Facebook is a community of individuals, all with unique needs and preferences. So while these tactics can certainly assist you in promoting your business, there is no magic bullet.
Learn how you can best leverage Facebook by signing up for our Social Media course.