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How to make Facebook work for your business

How to maximize the effectiveness of Facebook for your small business

Does your small business maintain a Facebook page? Are you thinking about venturing into social media with a presence on this ever-growing social network? Mari Smith, often referred to as “The Queen of Facebook,” offers some insight to help you use it most effectively.

by kmurray, Community Moderator

Understand the fundamentals

Before jumping head first into Facebook, consider some fundamental questions. Ask yourself:

  • Why am I on Facebook in the first place?
  • What am I trying to do here?
  • Am I trying to just generate fans and get better sentiment for my brand, or actually sell product or improve customer service or just get visibility?

facebook-logo-watercolorHave a clear idea of what your goals are with your Facebook account so that you can measure your successes properly — and not based on standards that don’t fit what you’re trying to accomplish.

Think strategically

Smith says, “It’s really a matter of strategically thinking through what content you are posting in a manner that people are top of mind. You are top of mind because they have built this relationship with you and you’re in their news feed, sharing valuable content and sparking interest.”

Be smart about what you decide to post on Facebook — what are you trying to achieve with each update? Smith adheres to an 80/20 rule. So, 80% of the time you engage on Facebook, you’ll share “a mix of your content, articles, resources and tools.” For the other 20% of the time, you’ll post content that asks for the sale or lead.

This mix can add a lot of value to your page, which Smith suggests updating once or twice a day. With a varied approach, you won’t be bombarding visitors with requests for sales all the time, but you’ll be memorable, because of interesting content that resonates with people and gives them a positive impression.

Be realistic

“One thing to keep in mind as a small business owner is that just because you have 1,000 fans, all 1,000 of those people are not seeing your posts. It could be a fraction of those.”

Smith warns that the misconception of views is something she sees a lot with Facebook use. In reality, she says, only between 2% to 48% of page fans will see your updates.

So what’s Smith’s recommendation for small business Facebook use? She suggests approaching it “from the standpoint of generating email leads and gently guiding people to cross into your funnel, your e-mail list, your blog, your website and looking into your offers.”

Used effectively and realistically, Facebook can be a powerful contender in your arsenal of marketing tools.

This information was first published January 23, 2014

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