Facebook has grown to become one of the most popular websites today due to its social networking tools and utilities, audience reach and its relevance to businesses. Facebook is a social utility for connecting with people – friends, family, co-workers, or simply others – with similar interests as well as sharing information with them in several ways.
When the site was created, most people didn’t recognise Facebook’s potentials for growing their businesses. But today, successful companies are using Facebook’s utilities such as applications and advertisements to build their brands.
Before discussing ways Facebook can help you grow your business, here are some goals for using Facebook for Business:
- Attract people who are searching for your products or services online.
- Connect and engage with current and potential customers online.
- Create a community around your business for interaction.
- Promote your contents such as blog articles, press releases, product information, events, photos, videos and other resources
If these are part of your business goals, then you might want to learn ways you can grow your business using Facebook.
Apart from creating a personal profile as an individual, you can also create a Page for your business to represent your company on Facebook. A Page is similar to a Profile except that it is, by default, public and users can become a “fan” of your Page without first requiring approval from the Page administrators.
Creating a Page is absolutely FREE but will require time and effort to build and maintain. To get started, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
In a few cases, however, it may make sense to create a Facebook group instead of a page or in addition. The key distinction between groups and pages is that a group is for a community of people with a common interest, while a page represent a brand or entity of which there are “fans.” For example, there could be a Nokia phone users group on Facebook and/or a Nokia brand fans page.
By participating in the discussions of your page or group, you can promote your business, establish contacts and connect with potential customers and redirect them to your company website. To create a group, visit http://www.facebook.com/groups.php and click “Create a New Group” in the top right hand corner of the webpage.
Facebook ads allow you to advertise a website or content you manage on Facebook (like a group, page, or event). The system for building and running ads on Facebook is quite similar to Google Adwords. Thus, you can promote your business, get more fans for your business page, and drive more leads for your sales team.
Facebook allows you to target the reach for your ad by location, gender, age, and interests. As you add filters, Facebook will automatically update the count of people fitting your criteria so you can gauge the size of your target market on Facebook.
Facebook has built-in analytics to help track ad performance in terms of number of impressions, clicks, and click through rate. You can also run multiple ad variations at the same time and use the ads manager to determine which ones deliver the best results for your business.
Facebook allows you to select a payment type and budget for your ad campaign. The two main payment types are “pay for clicks” and “pay for views.” The “pay for clicks” offers the best value for the cost, particularly because the click through rate is very low (less than .1% for most ads).
Thus, if you include your company logo as the photo for the ad, you will get a large number of brand impressions to your target audience, and you will only pay for the actual clicks to your Page or website. With Facebook Ads, millions of people are able to see your business on Facebook who would naturally visit your website, purchase your products or use your services.
To create a Facebook Ad, visit http://www.facebook.com/advertising and click “Get Started.” Then, choose what you would like to advertise: an external website, a Facebook Page, a group, or an event you manage.
There are thousands of applications or apps on Facebook that can help you share content and interact with your customers. A Facebook application can take on many forms, but in order to fully utilize the suite of integration points and deliver a full user experience, it is recommended that you integrate your application into certain areas of your Facebook profile. Facebook applications allow you to connect with your potential users, customers and partners. You can visit http://www.facebook.com/applications to browse available applications.
Businesses need to start using Facebook (if they’re not already doing so) to reach out to millions of Facebook users worldwide who are actively involved with the site named “The Most Popular Site” for the Year 2008.
Indeed, Facebook can help you to build your business brand, interact and engage with existing and potential customers, and drive sales and generate revenue for your business.
And here comes the best part – Facebook is FREE!
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