By Rieva Lesonsky
Here are the facts: Facebook is the biggest social network with nearly one billion users, a majority of whom are women. Facebook is good for consumer businesses, especially ones that sell products. You should use Facebook to build a community and fan base, and establish relationships with your customers. It also helps to have a strong social media presence if you need to go to the bank for a small business loan or an increase in your business credit line.
And the best part? Facebook is free. So how can you pass up this no-working-capital-needed small business marketing opportunity? You can’t but to make the most of this social media phenom here are some tips to getting started.
It always helps to start at the beginning and your first stop should be the Facebook for Business page. Spend some time on this page learning all you can on how to be successful with a business Facebook page. You can learn how to build your page, buy ads and be an effective administrator. Facebook recently revamped the options for businesses adding features such as a new “voice bar” which shows administrators how the posts will appear (in case the user has multiple accounts). Also, every other week Facebook holds a Facebook Marketing Classroom online to help you make the most of your business page.
The next step is to set up your Facebook fan page by inputting key information, such as name of business, address, Web site, business hours and contact phone numbers. Upload a picture of your logo or product and you could be done. How simple or detailed you make it is up to you, but remember engagement is key. Customers may find your Facebook page before they find your website so you want to include as much information as possible. Your Facebook wall will show up in search engines and even people not on Facebook can see it, so adding elements such as photos, videos, links to other websites and the like will not only enhance the look of your page, but also engage visitors and get them to stay around longer to get to know your business.
Once you’re up and running it’s important to show activity. Are you running a product or menu special this week? Have you written or discovered an interesting article that relates to your business? Do you want to know what your fans think of your new service or product? Post it! Posting frequently to your Facebook page keeps your business in the top feeds on your fans’ pages and gives your fans something to chat about. And remember, when it shows up on their personal page, your Facebook page is visible to all their friends.
Finally, don’t forget to add some bells and whistles. Make your page creative and vibrant by adding apps and use the suggestions Facebook provides. Check out how to create your own Facebook app and Product Guide for helpful tips. You’ll also learn how to run a successful but low-cost ad to target more fans.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports