As Facebook and similar social media sites become increasingly more popular, it is no surprise that many of your potential customers come from one of these sources. After all, Facebook boosts over 900 million monthly users as of March 31, 2012. With these stats, it is no surprise that Facebook has become a leading source for expanding your customer base and boosting your small business. Understanding how to use Facebook to your advantage is now becoming an important part of running a successful business.
Take note of these seven tips to use Facebook to boost your small business.
1) Be professional. Remain professional at all times when using your business Facebook page and interacting with others, as any one of your “fans” can be a potential customer. Status updates and photographs should be professional and business-related rather than overly personal.
2) Update often. Keep your business Facebook page updated on a regular basis with business-related posts, such as announcing new products, communicating with your customers, announcing sales and promotions often, providing relevant content, as well as covering special events and news that pertain to your business.
3) Promote. Get the word out about your business Facebook page by promoting it on other social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter. The more people you have following your page, the larger your fan base will be — and thus the larger your potential customer base. It also helps tremendously to include an icon to your Facebook page on your business website, blog, newsletters and business email signature.
4) Take advantage of links. Use your Facebook page to send fans of your page to other areas of your business, such as your website or blog. Include a link to these sites on your business profile page as well as an occasion link in a status update, including when you announce a new blog post or a new product or service that appears on your website.
5) Keep your business and personal life separate. Avoid combining your personal and business Facebook pages, even if you use the social media network for both. You should have an entirely separate business account that is only used for business-relates posts, pictures, and announcements. You will notice many friends and family members from your personal Facebook page joining your business page; but you should keep your this account only about your business. Keep your business Facebook page separate from your personal page by including only professional information such as your website, products you sell, and other information you deem important for customers to know.
6) Use contests and giveaways. Facebook is not only an excellent way to make important announcements, like sales, promotions, and new product offerings, but for running contests and giveaways as well. The way you approach the contest is up to you, but doing a contest for your Facebook fans exclusively offers them a chance to win a free product or service, and gets all of your fans involved. For instance, if you want to give away a new product you have developed for your business, ask every fan of your Facebook page to choose their favorite color of the product, and choose a winner at random to win the product after a designated period of time.
7) Encourage communication and feedback. One of the best aspects of having a Facebook fan page for your business is to expand and boost your business and potential customers or clients. Encourage communication with content comments, as well as various polls or questionnaires on your page. Communicate with your potential or previous customers and encourage your fans to discuss their favorite products or services.
Facebook is quickly becoming a superior marketing tool for small businesses to advertise their products and services and keep the line of communication open between the business owner and customers. It is a valuable tool for any business just starting out or looking to boost its sales through social media advertising.