Getting the Most Out of Facebook

facebookMany businesses haven't entered the social media game because they feel the majority of their customers just don't use social media. However, with 500 million users and growing, Facebook is becoming increasingly more difficult to leave out of marketing strategies. Not just for college kids anymore, the fastest growing group on Facebook is women aged 55 and older. Cultivating a presence on Facebook helps you tap into a diverse market that includes active users of all ages, genders, ethnicities and income levels. In the third part of our Get Social! series, we share a few tips and tricks to using Facebook to your advantage.

Create an official page, not a profile, community page or group, for your business or organization.

Facebook offers several layouts to choose from depending on your needs. Facebook pages are designed specifically to accommodate businesses or brands. Although they have many of the same basic features and capabilities, Facebook profiles, community pages and groups are designed to accommodate personal usage. Features unique to Facebook include performance analytics, multiple, customizable tabs and a wealth of applications you can add to enhance your page.

Fill out your page as completely as possible.

With info fields, link tabs, photo and video galleries and so much more, your Facebook page can serve as an extension of your official website. Be sure to provide a complete description of your business, links to your website(s) and other social media profiles and any photos, videos or links you can to inform page visitors about your business.

Take advantage of applications.

Currently, there are thousands of applications you can add to your Facebook page to enhance it as you see fit. Some of CyberMark's favorite applications include Blog RSS Feed Reader, which automatically publishes your blog entries directly to your Facebook page; Flash Player, which allows you to display animation, games and other proprietary Flash files on Facebook; and Static FBML, which allows you to create completely customized Facebook tabs and boxes using HTML.

Offer an incentive to populate your Facebook page.

To grow your Facebook following, tempt would-be customers with coupons or other special offers (“10% off any purchase to any Facebook user who prints out this coupon”) they can only get by viewing your Facebook page. Knowing that you are likely to offer specials from time to time, potential customers will be more likely to check back on a regularly basis for more information.

Interact with fans.

Once you get users to “like” your page, you can keep them coming back to your page with engaging, interactive content. To get conversations started, try asking your following a question or asking them to share their stories. For instance, if you owned a coffee shop, you could ask people to share their favorite drinks on your page.

Post intriguing content.

With a Facebook page, you can share all sorts of information. You can announce new products or services, share links to press about your business and even post how-to videos. Even if you don't have any obvious news about your business to share, you can post news stories, magazine articles and videos that convey trends and other goings on in your industry.

Update regularly (but not too regularly)

Your Facebook page updates show up in your Facebook fans' news feeds. Essentially, the more often you update your page with news, photos, videos, links, etc., the more opportunities you have to keep customers in the know about your business. But it's important not to update too much or you risk annoying your fans, who can easily hide or un-like your page to get away from spam-like updates. As a general rule, aim to update at least once per day, about 3 to 5 times per week.

Facebook holds plenty of marketing potential for just about any business or organization. If you're looking to get your business on Facebook, CyberMark can advise you on every step of the way, from creating a Facebook page to posting updates. Contact us for more information.

Next: Getting the Most Out of Twitter

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