Do you regularly use Facebook to keep up with friends and relatives, but wish you were getting more from it as a business tool? If so, you aren't alone. With more than 500 million members, Facebook easily ranks as the most popular social networking site around today. And yet, business owners and marketers have struggled to find fans consistently… and to turn those fans into paying customers.
To help you get more from your social media marketing efforts, here are 10 tips for using Facebook as a tool to grow your business:
1. Use the right kind of profile. Make sure you begin your profile as a business page, not one for an individual. This difference will allow you to customize your profile more effectively, advertise and keep larger numbers of friends and fans.
2. Post consistently. In order to be an effective marketing tool, your business’s Facebook profile needs to be updated frequently. Add new content, photos, and status changes daily.
3. Remember the golden rule of online marketing. Although Facebook may be a relatively new way to communicate with customers, some of the old rules still apply. Make sure that what you are posting speaks to their issues and concerns, not just what you feel like discussing at the moment.
4. Give your fans something they can't get elsewhere. A great way to grow your list of fans is to give them something on your Facebook fan page that they couldn't find elsewhere, like a coupon code for special discounts, or the chance to order a new product earlier than everyone else.
5. Don't just sell. The great thing about social media in general and Facebook in particular, is that it allows for great back-and-forth with your buyers. Don't simply bombard people with overt marketing messages; instead, invite them to learn more about you and your company by giving them insights and behind-the-scenes looks at your company.
6. Create links to your own business website. Although you should be striving to build a lot of traffic to your Facebook fan page, it doesn't have to stay there. Create links to your home page, landing pages, or even other social profiles. Make it easy for them to find more information about your organization or order your products.
7. Have some Facebook marketing goals. Whether you’re measuring the number of fans you’ve acquired, the sales traced back to your Facebook fan page, or something altogether different, it's important that you have some kind of quantifiable metric by which you can gauge your social media marketing progress. Otherwise, it could be difficult for you to determine whether you are getting a good return on your investment of time and money.
8. Take advantage of ads. Along with searching for friends and fans, try Facebook's advertising program on for size. By allowing you to display ads to a certain type of customer, rather than a keyword, it creates an entirely different marketing structure than you would find through traditional search engine and pay per click campaigns.
9. Optimize your content. Because social media sites are being indexed frequently by Google and the other search engines, and because social content is being weighed more heavily into your search engine rankings, it's important that you use your most important keywords in Facebook.
10. Have fun! Your customers like Facebook because it's fun and interactive. While you're following these tips, learn to enjoy using Facebook as a medium to connect with new people. The more fun you're having, the easier it will be to interest new buyers.