Thursday, September 23, 2010

Facebook Marketing


Facebook is THE social network to be on. Re-connecting with your sixth grade crushes and sharing photos with your grandma – these are just a couple of the things you can do on Facebook, which has also become a virtual marketplace for business owners and advertisers. Businesses of all stripes can use Facebook to attract new clientele, stay in touch with current clients, and promote their latest products/services. Facebook is also a valuable PR tool that allows you to create a buzz around whatever it is that your business offers.

Facebook Pages

Although there are several tools businesses can use on Facebook to promote themselves, the primary methods of promotion are through Facebook pages and Facebook groups. With a Facebook page, your business can have its own profile in Facebook, and best of all, these pages are free! Your customers can become fans of your Facebook page, which enables them to receive any updates posted to your page.
The great thing about having a Facebook page is that anytime someone becomes a fan of your page, all of their Facebook friends can see it. This gives your business more exposure and the possibility of attracting more fans. You can use your Facebook page to share information about your company, and post videos, applications, photos, and messages.

When you sign up for a Facebook page, you will be given three category options and they are: a local business, a brand/product, or an artist/band/public figure. You cannot change your category later so be careful to choose the right one. Your decision will depend on how you want to promote your business. If you want to promote your business locally, sign up as a local business so you can reach your target market more effectively. If your goal is to spread brand awareness and image, display your page as a brand/product.
When creating a Facebook page, use a friendly, conversational tone. You don’t want to use a stiff, formal business tone on your Facebook page like you would on your normal company website. Facebook is all about building community, actively participating in discussions, and sharing information. You don’t want to come across as too stuffy.

Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are similar to Facebook pages except that they are built around a group of people rather than your business. Unlike Facebook pages, people cannot become fans of your Facebook group. They must become members of the group instead. The downside of Facebook groups is that they are more private in nature, and thus do not share as much information with the friends of group members.

Which One is Right for My Business?

Facebook pages will give your business more exposure but Facebook groups are more effective if you want to connect with your customers/prospects on a personal level. When you send a message out to your Facebook page fans, they will only receive an update notification whereas when you send a message out to your Facebook group members, it goes into their inbox. As such, Facebook groups can be more appropriate if your goal is to provide better customer service and communication and receive feedback.

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