Introduction to Facebook for Small Business

Are you a small business owner who currently is using their personal Facebook account for business? If so, then read on…

When marketing online there are thousands of free tools that are universally accepted for business, Facebook is included in this list and is quite possibly the most trusted source for the average consumer. A common pitfall that many small-business professionals are guilty of (especially in Canada) is using their personal Facebook account to update friends on their business news and happenings. As you read this, some of you might be shocked at this fact but unfortunately this is the online social reality, when you think about the growing 35 + demographic of Facebook users (who now represent 35% of all users on Facebook) it is not a complete shock that a good chunk of these users represent a demographic that might not feel entirely familiar with social media and its use for business. There are many shortfalls that come to mind especially when you start receiving inappropriate posts from your friends asking you what your personal plans are for the weekend; some information is best left between you and your friends, not a potential client.

Click here for a fun Facebook Infographic

The solution to this growing problem is a tool called Facebook Business Pages. This free application developed by Facebook for Facebook users is designed specifically for businesses and takes approximately 10 minutes of your time to setup.

Once you have your page setup, what next? Start by adding content to your page; you want to include as much fresh and exciting material as possible before you begin sending traffic to your page. Include information on your listings (videos or photos will do), pictures of your farmed area and the highlights of the community; post articles to your wall on subjects such as community news and events and it is also important to have information on industry-related articles that could help educate visitors who come to your page. If you already have a blog devoted to your business, link to individual posts and provide a brief caption to entice viewers to read on.

A rule of thumb before you start promoting your page is the following:

    5 articles shared on your wall
    1 album with a minimum of 3 – 5 images
    1 link to a video or uploaded video if available
    100% completed information on your business page (bio, contact info and website links)

This is a general guideline to help you get started as you don’t want to promote an empty and incomplete page. The risk in promoting an un-finished page could reflect poorly on the quality of your business, so always remember to spend the effort to do it right the first time around.

Once you have your business page running it’s a matter of building your list of followers and gaining exposure online so that you can start attracting prospects and leads. A simple email to your friends, family, colleagues and clients encouraging that they join your online community is all you need. You may also go as far as promote your page with a Facebook Ad, this is a quick, easy and relatively low-cost way to advertise(will touch on this in future posts). Try to include a link to your social media pages in your signature line as well; you’d be surprised how many followers you can obtain over time with this tactic.

Always remember that Facebook is one of the most trusted online sources for businesses and if you aren’t joining the online party, you’re missing out on a powerful tool. Keep your pages fresh by updating the content every 2 days and once you have a decent following, try to engage in meaningful conversations with your fans.

Stay tuned for another post on using online marketing tactics to build your fan-base on your Facebook business page.

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