Still think Facebook is for kids and college students? According to O’Reilly Media (2009), over half of all Facebook users are out of college, and their numbers are growing each year. Why are so many adults getting on board? Well, while younger people are using Facebook primarily for socializing, the older crowd is using Facebook to market their businesses.
Facebook offers several tools for business promotion, and there are also a number of apps available that give Facebook marketers even more options. Facebook can create buzz and help you stay in touch with customers. If you’re interested in getting started, here’s a basic tutorial:
This is where you create your business profile. Enter information that will help people find you, based on what you want to promote. This is a good place to tag your page so that both consumers and the search engines can find you, so make sure you choose the correct category. Profile pages can generate a lot of page views, so make yours interesting!
Your Facebook Page is where you’ll post everything you want people to see- photos, news, videos, messages and any other information. Establish your brand presence on your page, and customize it with Flash, apps and relevant content. Anything you do here is broadcast to your fans, so they can get updates in real time.
Once you create your profile, you can build groups centered around people who share your interests. This creates awareness of your business and brand through conversations and interactions. Users can’t become fans with this feature, but you can communicate in a more personal way with members by sending messages to their inboxes.
Facebook Events is a free application that you can use to promote events, such as parties, contests, upcoming sales and product launches. Each event gets its own page where fans can request invitations and sign up for notifications. Facebook marketers use Events to build a community of interested people who want to become involved.
Notes and Photos
These are applications that allow you to share blog posts and pictures. They offer a way to create branded content that helps your Facebook pages rank. Just be sure to stay away from salesy verbiage, and don’t spam people with a lot of company information or logos. You’ll maintain your credibility if you just stick with text and photos that are more educational in nature.
Another nice feature for marketers is the ability to tag photos and notes. If you want to bring them to the attention of certain people, you can tag them to be sent to those people.
Facebook Messages help you target your marketing efforts. You can look at it as an alternative to email. While it doesn’t have all of the functions and features of email, it does prevent spam by monitoring the volume of message sent to users.
The Facebook Marketplace is like a classified, or ad section. If you’re looking for goods or services or want to offer yours to fans and members, you can post your ads here. This has the potential to generate leads and sales by targeting people who are likely to be interested. All Marketplaces are tied to actual Facebook accounts, so you can see the profiles of all respondents.
The Facebook News Feed gives your posts wide exposure by syndicating it, like an RSS feed. When a user joins your group, responds to an invitation, or engages you in any way, Facebook automatically adds that transaction to each user’s “mini feed” in the form of a “recent news” stream. This stream unifies all actions so that everyone can see what’s been going on with your business.
As you can see, there are many ways to market your business using Facebook. There are also a lot of useful apps available to anyone who wants to take advantage of Facebook to promote a product or service. The best way to learn is to get in there and play around with it to see what works for you. So, get started!
This is a guest post by Beth Hrusch who is Senior Editor at Interact Media, a content marketing software company