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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Facebook Crash Course for Small Business Owners

I’m seeing more and more Small Business Owners making Facebook Fan Pages for their shops and I love it!  It is an easy way to show off new items listed and communicate with customers and potential customers.  It gives your business a personality of its own, while still showing the real person behind your small business.

Facebook in and of itself can be so in-depth that people are writing articles and marketing technique books that cover nothing but Facebook Fan Pages and how to leverage their use for your business.  I’m going to limit this article to just a few small tips and pointers to get you going.  So if you are new to Facebook Fan Pages or want to start one, this article is for you!

I won’t go over how to make a Facebook Fan Page, since there are ample articles about how to make one.  A good place to start is the Facebook Help Center for Pages:  http://www.facebook.com/help/pages.

Once you have your Fan Page set up, now what do you do with it and how do you use it?

First, I am going to discuss the difference between a Fan Page and a Profile, two things that are easily mixed up and confused by many people.  A profile on Facebook is meant to represent an individual person and a Fan Page is meant to represent an organization; whether that be a business, artist or brand.

I won’t go into the specifics of what Facebook says about a business having a profile rather than a Fan Page, other than to say that Facebook says a business must have a Fan Page and not a profile.  Personally, I think having a Fan Page for a business is the better way to leverage Facebook for marketing and connecting to customers.

After you have set up your Fan Page You can post on your Fan Page and other Fan Pages as either yourself (via your Profile) or as your business (via your Fan Page).

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When using Facebook as your business Fan Page make sure your business Fan Page name and image are displayed in the upper right, if it isn’t then anything you comment on or like will not show up as being commented or liked by your page; but will show up as being commented on and liked by your personal profile.

Facebook only counts the ‘Likes’ on a Fan Page when the ‘like’ is done using the personal profile.  You can ‘like’ things as your Fan Page as well, but just note that if you are exchanging likes with someone or a group of people only the likes made directly with your personal profile will show in their total likes.

When ‘liking’ a Fan Page with your Fan Page there is a mall box on the right side of your Fan Page that will show 5 pages at a time that you have liked.  You can set this up under the Featured area to display all the pages you have ever liked with your Fan Page in a random order or to only display certain pages.  To get to the Featured area:  Click Edit Page and click Edit Settings from the drop down menu.  From there click on More… and click Featured from the drop down menu.  You can also choose to feature all of some of the page admins on the Fan Page About section in this area. 

When you feature yourself as an admin on a Fan Page that page with will show on your personal profile About section also.  This will give people one more way of finding your business Fan Page.

Ok, so now you have gotten some people to ‘like’ your page and you have ‘liked’ their pages… but WHY? 

Almost everyone has a Facebook profile these days and it is a good platform to use to show off your work.  Use you page to provide more information about your business, who you are as a small business owner, and to give your customers a behind the scenes look at what your business is all about.

Post things on Facebook that are targeted to your specific audience.  Don’t just run through and post a bunch of links to items/services that you have for sell, eventually people will stop paying attention to your posts because they are spammy.  Engage your audience by asking questions, giving a free recipe/pattern/template, giving advice, or posting about shopping for supplies.  Pictures attract the eye more than just words.  I have noticed that I get way more interaction on posting pictures to my Fan Page wall and adding just a few words or a link to the picture as a caption/description.

I have read many places that posting pictures get the most views, comments and likes.  Status updates come in second for fan interaction, followed by other types of posts.  Posting links and having auto-posting set up tend to draw very few people, even though they save you time.  Try everything and see what works for you!

Take time to notice what others are posting on their Fan Pages to get ideas.  You will notice that some pages do not draw your attention the way some do; tailor your posts to fit your customers interests.  Don’t bore them with just sales pitch after sales pitch, use your Fan Page to brand your business and let others see what you have to offer.

Just like with any marketing strategy you have to convince your potential customer why they need to buy your product versus someone else’s product.  Use your Fan Page to give a voice to that reason in a personal way.

What unique ways do you use Facebook to reach your customers and potential customers?  Leave a comment below and share you insights with others!

Stop by my Facebook Fan Page and let me know what you think:  http://www.facebook.com/GuRuOriginalsFanPage


 

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