Tuesday, January 1, 2013

20 Tips To Using Facebook For Business

Launched at the beginning of the online social network boom, Facebook has cemented its status as ‘the’ social network. With active users nearing a billion, Facebook serves nearly seventh of the global population. For using Facebook for business, this is a wonderful opportunity to target the segment of the market. This is why more and more businesses are incorporating Facebook into their marketing strategies.
Online marketing was an afterthought a few years back. Now, it is at the forefront of advertising and marketing plans. Facebook has been an essential tool for businesses. Regardless of size of the business, Facebook proves to be useful. Facebook small business pages to large corporations’ pages, the website is used for promotion and marketing of all kinds of products and services. Any entrepreneur hesitant about using Facebook is missing out big time. Social media marketing has grown in a way no one could have imagined. If you are not using Facebook for your business yet, it is time you jumped on the bandwagon. Chances are your competitors already have.
Start a Facebook business page and set up a profile to bring your business into the public view. This works wonders for local businesses and small concerns. It is equally effective for large global corporations. There are many types of businesses that have been using Facebook successfully. From billion dollar entities to non-profit setups to charities, Facebook has become the preferred tool for online marketing for all organizations.
There are hundreds of ways in which businesses can make use of Facebook. The key is to using it in the best way possible so that you can maximize your business’ profitability. To use Facebook effectively for your business, you have to follow the best practices.

Here are 20 tips for using Facebook for your business.

1. Providing Information about Your Business

Using Facebook For Business
Your Facebook profile is an online manifestation of your business and the image that it wants to achieve. Hence, there are several things you have to be careful about when designing the profile. The way your profile looks will determine how the visitors react. Making a good impression on the users converts them into customers, which is what you should aim for.
The most important thing to do when making your profile is to provide accurate and detailed information about your business. Put in as much information as you deem relevant. There are various headings under which you can fill in the data so select carefully. This helps the visitors learn about your business, what you do and what you offer that is different from others. Moreover, providing comprehensive information enables you to gain the trust of your visitors. Trust building is vital for building long-term relationships and enhancing customer loyalty. This does not mean that you drown the visitors with information. Stick to relevance as the sole criteria.

2. Ensuring Your Business Is Not ‘Boring’

Using Facebook For Business
One of the best things about using Facebook for your business is that you can create a ‘cool’ image. Branding is important in today’s aggressive and competitive business environment. Having a Facebook page makes your business appear hip and trendy, ready to go with the times. The ‘boring’ tag can be a disastrous for a business, especially if your target audience is the youth. By using Facebook, you project a very current and contemporary outlook. The dynamics of traditional business marketing have undergone a quantum shift. Keep with the times to make your business a success.

3. Focusing On Your Target Audience

Using Facebook For Business - Focusing On Your Target Audience
The great thing about Facebook is the wide demographic you can target. People from all over the world use Facebook. This means that you can focus your Facebook page to cater to your specific target audience. Not all products are for a global audience. If you are aiming to gain a particular niche of the market, then Facebook can help you go a long way in achieving that. Design your page and provide content geared towards the people who you want to buy your products. There are endless demographic options for you. Use the relevant information and create a successful strategy for using Facebook for your business.

4. Emphasizing the Customer Benefits

Using Facebook For Business - Customer Benefits
With the large number of businesses vying for the customers’ attention, you have to stand out from the crowd. Otherwise you will be just one of the hundreds of businesses that are there. When you are putting in the effort of creating a Facebook page, it is important that you use it to the optimum potential. The best way to make a good impression on the visitors and catch their attention is by emphasizing on how they can benefit by buying your products.
Instead of going for a self-centered approach, focus on the consumers’ interests and you will see an improvement in your sales. Unless you can convince the visitors about the benefits your business provides to them, they are going to rush off to your competitors. In retrospection, focusing on your business and how great it is will drive customers away. Your rivals will benefit as a result of your self-centered approach.

5. Obtaining a Unique URL

Using Facebook For Business - Facebook Unique URL
When you create your Facebook page, it is imperative that you obtain a unique and distinct URL for it. Only then will you be able to guide your customers to your page. If the users have to work hard to find you on Facebook, they are likely to lose interest midway and quit the search. Getting a unique URL is not difficult and you can choose one according to your business name. Make sure that no other Facebook profile has the same or similar URL that can cause confusion. Keep in mind that directing your customers to your Facebook page is easier with a URL. The number of business pages on Facebook keeps increasing day by day. Make sure you don’t get lost in the barrage.

6. Posting Pictures

Using Facebook For Business - Posting Pictures
Images speak a thousand words, even more on the internet. Catching the users’ attention is easier when you have a visual depiction. Instead of putting up large blocks of text, put a few catchy images that are likely to attract the target audience you are aiming for. Finding photos relevant to your business should not be a major problem. However, you have to make sure that you don’t just put plain photos of your products or your office or something like that. This does not create a good image for your company. Engaging photos are the ones in which people are shown using your products or those that issue a call to action to the consumers. A great tactic is to get your fans and customers to post photos of them using your products. Facebook branding becomes much easier when you choose the right pictures to post and your customers chip in with their contributions.

7. Generating Word of Mouth Buzz

Word of mouth marketing works on social media as well. One of the best ways to create awareness of your business is by getting your customers to tell other people about their experiences and the great benefits of using your products. You can try and convince the users to buy your products all you like. It won’t have the same gravity as a customer testimonial. Through Facebook, you can use your fans and customers to create a buzz for your business. Reward the fans who are the most active and vocal in doing so. Generating word of mouth buzz can help you increase the number of visitors to your website and is one of the best ways of using Facebook for business marketing.

8. Communicating With Your Customers

Using Facebook For Business - Customer Communication
Interact and communicate with your customers through Facebook. Start posting news and information about your business on your Facebook page. Not only does this keep the fans interested but also increases your visibility on Facebook. It is probable that large percentage of your customers is on Facebook. There is no better way to keep in touch with your customers. Market your business and at the same time ensure that they remain loyal to your business. Communicating with your customers on a personal level improves your chances of attracting more fans and customers. Let the communication be two-way rather than one-way traffic.

9. Enhancing Your Online Presence

Every business, regardless of the scale of its operations, needs to have a strong online presence to thrive. By using Facebook, you take a giant step in that direction. Through Facebook, you can multiply the traffic to your business’ website. The increase in traffic is bound to translate to more sales in the future. Moreover, your business becomes more visible on Facebook. By making regular updates and sharing information, you enhance the online presence substantially. Greater usage of Facebook acts as good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your business. As a result, your website is ranked higher by Google and other major search engines. The overall effect is that more people will visit your website than before.

10. Buy Facebook Fans

using facebook for business - buy facebook fans
Your Facebook page is only as good as the number of fans you have. The level of activity of your business on Facebook is heavily reliant on the fans your page attracts. Sometimes, your best efforts to attract people do not reap dividends. Yet, it is imperative that you get people to ‘like’ your page and share content related to your business. Otherwise the main purpose of your business page is not fulfilled.
One of the easiest ways in which you can increase Facebook fans on your page is by buying them. You may not be aware of the fact that Facebook ‘likes’ are traded openly through various websites and forums. The best thing about getting Facebook fans is that they are quite cheap. You can easily buy 20 to 25 fans for every $1 you spend. You don’t need millions of fans anyways so spending around $100 can significantly boost the traffic of your Facebook page.
After all, using Facebook for marketing is free anyway so you shouldn't have any qualms about spending a few bucks on the side to make sure you can make the most of it. Buy Facebook likes and improve your online presence significantly. Moreover, there are different packages on offer through which you can buy fans. Packages are for a certain number of likes for which you have to pay accordingly. Buy Facebook fans is about as easy as it gets for making the most of your Facebook page.
Like Facebook, you can also find fans for your other social network pages. Twitter followers and YouTube views are also up for sale and if you feel like they can help boost your business, then don’t hesitate in exploring this option. The main reason behind all this is getting maximum sales and traffic to your business page. Without a substantial fan base, it is not possible to achieve your goal.

11. Providing Customer Service and Support

using facebook for business - provide customer service
In addition to providing a phone number and email address, use your Facebook page to provide customer service and support. Depending on the number of fans you have, you can shift a significant portion of your customer relations dealings to Facebook. Customers can easily post their complaints, feedbacks or queries on your wall and you can respond to them there and then. If you keep a watch round the clock, it could prove to be an easier way of handling your customers. Those who cannot reach your through phone can contact you on Facebook. Help the customers who require your support and they will remain loyal to your brand for a long, long time.

12. Linking Your Blogs and Other Websites

using facebook for business - blog linking
Facebook allows you to link your page to your existing blog or any other RSS feed you have been using for your business. You don’t need to start a new blog with Facebook. Just provide the URL to your blog and your Facebook business page will be linked to it. Then, your blog will start appearing on your fan page and users can click through to it if they want. Moreover, any posts or new entries & comments made on your blog are updated in real time. In effect, your Facebook page will increase the traffic to your blog and vice versa. Ensure that you do this for any other webpage you are using for your business so that all content could be gathered in one place.

13. Keeping an Eye on Customer Opinions

using facebook for business - customer opinions
More often than not, customers and fans have frank discussions about a business on the wall of their fan page. If you keep an eye on the threads, you will be able to learn about the opinion your customers have of your business. Sometimes, you can have an entirely different perspective from your customers which could drive them away from your business. By keeping an eye on their opinions, you can find out what they think is wrong and what is right about your business. This way you can rectify your mistakes and work towards enhancing your strengths. You don’t even have to engage the customers for doing so. This is an effective way of collecting feedback because your customers aren't aware that you are using their feedback in a constructive way.

14. Using the Best Features of Social Networks

Almost all the social networks have one particular specialty. Twitter is great for posting updates and Pinterest the best for sharing images. Facebook, on the other hand, encompasses the features of the best social media websites. The wide gamut of options Facebook provides means that you get to use the best features of social networks in one place. From Twitter to MySpace, Facebook offers the services that they offer for your business. This is why Facebook is one social media platform that has to be a part of your online marketing strategy.

15. Posting Regularly

using facebook for business - posting regularly
To get the most of your Facebook page, you have to come up with regular posts and updates. If you don’t do so, your page can get fade into the background. With Facebook, you have to keep your page highly active otherwise the users won’t be able to find it. Regular posts and updates show up in the news feed and make your page name visible to the visitors. The mantra to follow is at least one post a day. If you have the time, post more than one new update to keep the fans interested. Facebook displays a notification message every time a new post is made. Greater the number of notifications, the more visible your page name will be. Furthermore, try and reply to the comments and queries posted by your fans. This will also increase your presence on Facebook.

16. Promoting Your Business through Mobile Marketing

using facebook for business - mobile marketing
With Facebook, you can also try your hand at mobile marketing. A growing percentage of the populace is using Facebook through their cellphones and smartphones. Facebook updates can be sent to cellphones as well. With Facebook, you get to enjoy the potential of the best of both worlds. Through internet and mobile marketing, you can increase the target market for your business. Killing two birds with one stone helps you save time and effort. Moreover, you don’t need to develop separate content and strategies for targeting your customers through the internet and mobile.

17. Engaging Your Customers

using facebook for business - engaging customer
One of the most effective ways to keep your fans interested is by engaging them through your Facebook page. There are many ways in which you can encourage their activity and improve your Facebook presence. The most frequently used option is that of running contests on the business page. Many businesses are using this strategy with various degrees of success. They start up contests on their fan page and ask the users to get involved.
In most cases, the fans are willing to comply with your calls for action if there is a reward waiting for them in the end. There are several other viable options if you want to keep your users engaged. Post polls, questionnaires or conduct surveys through your page asking for their answers. This way, not only do you keep your customers engaged but also collect information and feedback for your business. This can work wonderfully well if you want to test a new product idea or want opinions about any previous ones.

18. Selling Through Facebook

using facebook for business - selling through facebook
You can pretty much conduct your transactions through Facebook. Upload your catalog to your fan page and the fans will be able to browse through your range of prices and decide whether they want to become your customers. Using Facebook for making direct sales can work wonders to boost the sales revenue of your business. You can lure more people to purchase your products by offering them special discounts and bonuses which they can only avail if they are buying through Facebook. One of the best things about Facebook is that you can target offshore customers. This is a consideration if you want to make your business known beyond borders. Using Facebook for this purpose can deliver results.

19. Using Facebook for business – Research and Development

using facebook for business - research & development
If you are looking to test a new product idea or are running short of new designs, then Facebook can help you. Approach your fans and customers regarding your needs for opinions, suggestions and feedback. You might be surprised how innovative and helpful your customers would turn out to be. Major companies like Starbucks have used Facebook effectively for their research and development. When you are making products for your customers, then the best option is to get their opinions before giving it the final shape.
By having a general perception of the customer opinion regarding your new products, you can discard the ideas which you think are not going to work. This way, you can devote your energy and resources towards those products which your customers want from you.

20. Networking and Making Contacts

using facebook for business - networking
Networking and making contacts is important for sustaining the growth of your business. The large user base of Facebook allows you to network your business far and wide. In fact, there are few better tools for networking. Through your Facebook page, you can link your business website, blog, RSS feeds and any other social media networks you are using for your business. This is a great option as you can make Facebook a second home for your business.
Moreover, you can network with individuals and groups that are related to your business. Building relationships and contacts serves to maximize the exposure your business gets through Facebook. There are hundreds of thousands of pages on Facebook. A simple search can help you discover the pages related to your business or the industry you are operating in. Furthermore, you can link your own profile to those of your business collaborators and customers. You have the chance to interact with your customers and associates through one avenue with Facebook. Make sure you make the most of the tools Facebook provides so that your business can thrive and flourish.

Using Facebook For Business – Key Takeaway

These are 20 tips on how to use Facebook for business. Using Facebook for marketing is now commonplace. If you are not engaged in online marketing using social media, you are lagging far behind your customers. As you can see in the tips listed above, Facebook is one of the best ways to promote your business. Don’t lose out on customers just because you don’t have a Facebook page!

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