If your business is not on Facebook, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with customers and prospects.
Today, Facebook boasts over 500 million active users, and 50% of them log on to Facebook everyday. It seems just about everybody and their grandma uses the social networking platform to connect with the world around them.
Businesses are jumping on the bandwagon too with more and more marketing campaigns asking customers to "Like" their Facebook page.
The problem is: Once you setup a Fan page for your business, how do you attract fans?
That's the issue we'd like to solve for you today by providing a list of 7 ways to promote your business on Facebook.
These tips are not about tricking prospects into liking your business. They're about building a community over time which---with the right amount of gentle persuasion---will turn them into loyal customers.
#1 Start with your friends and family.
It may sound silly, but the first step in promoting your Facebook business page is to invite your friends and family to "Like" your business. They are your biggest fans and are more likely to promote your business page on Facebook to their friends.
That being said, only invite friends and family that are interested in your business and that will participate on your page.
#2 Let customers know you're on Facebook.
You can't assume your customers will know you're on Facebook. You have to shout it from the rooftop.
If you send out a newsletter or email notifications to clients on a regular basis, let them know you now have a Facebook page and encourage them to check it out. Put a Facebook button on your website in a place where people will see it. Do what you can to spread the word and then follow the rest of these tips to win them over.
#3 Connect to your blog feed.
Do you have a blog on your website that you update on a regular basis? If so, you can download an app on Facebook that will automatically pull new content from your site and post it on your wall. It makes sharing your content easy, and it gives your fans something new and interesting to look at.
Facebook offers several apps to pull in content from your blog feed. We recommend giving the RSS Graffiti a try.
#4 Engage your audience.
While automated content sharing apps like RSS Graffiti make sharing content a snap, you can't rely completely on auto tools to do all the work for you. Facebook is about sharing and connecting with people, and you can only connect with a prospect if you make an effort to communicate with them on a real level.
Talk to your fans. Find out what they like and don't like about your product or service. Make every effort to communicate honestly with your prospects. By showing that you care about what your customers think, you break down the invisible barriers that keep you from developing real relationships with the people that use your product or service.
#5 Pull in content from other social media outlets.
Do you have a YouTube, Flickr, or Twitter account? Facebook offers apps to connect to all the major social media outlets. The more useful, engaging content you can post on your Facebook wall, the better.
But be careful not to post anything that will bore your fans. Think of them as your audience. What do they care about? What would they find interesting?
#6 Build community first, promote your business second.
I know this tips seems counterintuitive in a post called "7 Surefire Ways to Promote Your Business on Facebook," but such is the world of social media. Nobody in their right mind wants to listen to you talk about how great your product or service is when there are plenty of other Facebook users that have something interesting to say and want to connect with the people that follow them.
Sure, you should talk about your business. But avoid using a heavy-handed technique and instead focus on interacting with your fans. The more they feel like they have a voice within your business, the more loyal they'll be.
#7 Nobody likes spam.
We can't stress this enough---don't treat your Facebook page like an advertisement for your business. A successful Facebook business page must focus on what the customer wants. If you bombard them with a constant stream of updates and wall posts about how awesome your business is you'll lose friends fast.
Facebook is like a party. Nobody likes the person at the party that only talks about his or her self. Converse with your fans and make them feel like they have a voice in your business.
Show your customers and prospects that you care.
Setting up a Facebook page for your business gives you the opportunity to connect with the people that make your success possible. If you approach Facebook with a true desire to start an ongoing discussion with customers and prospects, you'll have more success than businesses that use Facebook as another way to inundate people with advertisements about their business.
Go ahead and explore the possibilities that Facebook can provide for your business. And while you're at it, please "Like" Avelient on Facebook ;)