Using Facebook For Business

One of the most popular searches on Google is ‘Using Facebook For Business’ and with good reason. Facebook is a phenomenon that offers new ways to find customers and develop relationships. It can also help to build and reinforce your brand.

In this article I will outline some of the practical steps that you can take if you wish to use Facebook for Business.

use your Facebook Profile – a full-detailed page becomes available once people connect to you and it is your opportunity to create an impression and stamp your personality.
use Facebook Groups – you can set up (or join) a group on any topic. Within groups you have the ability to post text, discussions, photos, videos and links. As the owner of a group you can also send out messages to your members as often as you like. Members of groups can invite others to join and so it possible for a group to grow exponentially in a very short time. With popularity comes spam – so you will have to devote more time to moderating your groups as they grow larger.
Facebook Pages – a Facebook page can include HTML, Flash and Facebook applications. Fans can sign up to your pages (and pass them on to their friends) and you can again send messages. Don’t do anything naughty though, pages are monitored closely by Facebook!
News Feed and Mini Feed – the News Feed is what you everyone sees on their login page. It is a summary of what’s going in your Facebook world – what your friends are doing, which applications they are installing, which groups they are joining – even simply changing their image, you get to know. The feeds are amongst the most powerful aspects in using Facebook for business. Consider this for a moment. In our viral marketing campaign, we connect with others and when they connect, their connections see the connection through their News Feed. Should some of their friends decide to connect, then their friends see the connection. And the chain reaction goes on.
Groups, Pages and Feeds – the foundation to viral marketing. What many organizations fail to do in trying to use Facebook for business is to apply what Malcolm Gladwell calls ‘The Law of the Few’. There are three types of people who have disproportionate impact on others – connectors (know lots of people), mavens (find new information) and sales people (persuaders). These are the people that you want as fans for your pages and members of your groups. By targeting these people, rather than indiscriminately trying to connect with hundreds of people, your marketing can take on a life of its own. Your marketing will be driven by people who know your target audience and whom your target audience trust. The key principle is that using Facebook for business requires a rifle rather than a shotgun approach. You may be wondering how you get these connectors, mavens and salespeople on your side. The answer is simple – by offering something of value to them. Involve them in pre-launch activities, send them products for testing, ask for their opinions, hold events. You may notice the similarity with classic PR activities. That’s exactly what they are. In the digital, socially-connected world, these people are the new journalists.
Facebook Events – Facebook Events is an interface for promoting … events. You can create a page and invite friends to events through facebook and receive replies through the system.
Notes and Photos – you can share photos and blog posts and by ‘tagging’ they can appear in your friends’ News Feed. This is not an opportunity for you to broadcast your stock product photos. You need to be creative in everything you do. It is the unusual and different that gets passed on. Bore them and you will be ‘disconnected’.
use Facebook marketing applications such as Facebook Video, social RSS to promote your blog, IEndorse for testimonials and the various applications to connect with business networks such as LinkedIn and Xing.
Marketplace and Networks – in the past heavily spammed and so tread with caution.

Using Facebook For Business – The Key Principles

To summarize, to make the most effective use of Facebook for business you should:

participate by offering valuable and unique input
be proactive and create groups, pages and events
identify and network with ‘the few’
get involved regularly –  this is a hands-on activity