June 11, 2012
In this difficult economy, where people guard their money with their lives, business owners have to think “outside the box” and “shake things up” to really get the word out about their business. You have to get people to realize that you can sooth their “pain” by taking out their wallet and handing over their money to you.
Social media is one of those ways of thinking “outside the box” and “shaking things up.” Newspaper, telephone directories and television ads just don’t work anymore and cost too much for small business owners. There are hundreds of social media websites and the most popular sites are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. There are also Blogster, Bolt, Focus, Google+, Kiwibox, Meetup, MouthShut, MySpace, Ryze, Tagged and Tribe, just to name a few general, business sites.
Facebook is the most popular social media site to combine business with personal for building long-lasting relationships. There are over 850 million Facebook users worldwide, as of the writing of this article.
A lot of business owners just don’t realize the value of using Facebook and don’t realize how easy it is to use. Hopefully the following information will help with that fear.
1. Set up your Account – Set up your account in Facebook. Include as much or as little on your personal profile as you like and include a photo of yourself. You may be tempted to include a photo of your child or pet but people cannot find you if they do not see “you.”
2. Personal and Business Pages – Create your business page by clicking the “Create a Page” button. Include as much information as you can on your business page so everyone who views it will see what you offer. Be sure to include contact information, including your email address, phone number and website. You can also make your page attractive by including a photo of yourself or your logo. Design an eye-catching cover photo too. The “Create a Page” option is at the bottom of your personal profile and on the first page when you log in.
3. Invite Friends – After you get your personal and business pages set up, it’s time to start inviting friends. Friends “Add Friends” to their personal profiles and friends “Like” business pages. Search for friends, business acquaintances, groups and business pages in the search bar at the top of the page. When you find the right one, just click “Add Friend,” “Like” or “Join Group.” Be sure that you confirm friends by clicking the button on the top left.
4. Write Something – I suggest that you post an update at least once a day, but more is better. Some marketing experts suggest that you post once an hour. Simply start typing in the box on your News Feed, personal profile or business page where it reads “Write something” or “What’s on your mind?”
5. What to Write – The 80/20 rule is a good “rule of thumb” for posting on a page. 80% of what you post should be helpful, valuable information and 20% should be promotional. Post links to articles (like this one), videos, events, photos, questions, newsletters, blogs, testimonials, inspirational quotes, specials and tips.
6. Get Social – Write on other walls, comment and “like” other posts. Respond when you are asked questions or if you see topics that interest you.
7. Grow your List – Include a link to your page on your website, newsletters, flyers and emails. Thank people for becoming Facebook friends and include a link to your page on their profile. Link your personal profile and your business page and link your Twitter page to your business page.
If you follow these seven easy steps, you will find that Facebook is easy and valuable to help grow your business.
Cindy Freland is the author of several business articles. Freland is an award-winning virtual assistant and founded Maryland Secretarial Services, Inc. in 1997. She can be reached at (301) 352-7927 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at http://www.marylandsecretarial.com.