Social Media
Matthew Small
by Matthew Small
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How your business can benefit from Facebook

01/13/2010
How your business can benefit from Facebook

Social networking sites have grown into house hold names in recent years, it is not surprising to find that these popular internet sites were developed by young college students who sought to develop tools that would benefit anyone, and arguably they have.

Although the primary adoptees of such tools were young people early on, its power has caught the eyes of many corporations who view it as a new marketing opportunity. In the past several years there has been a visible paradigm shift in the way companies approach marketing. Marketers are attempting to get closer to their customers. Myspace, Facebook and Twitter are enabling marketers or seller to communicate directly with the prospect or customer and listen to their concerns, answer specific questions, provide additional information, inform, persuade, and possibly even recommend other products or services.

Although there are many social networking sites, each with their own respective pros and cons, it is undeniable that Facebook is the most popular.

Today, there are more than 250 million active users on Facebook, with more than 120 million users logging in at least once a day and two-thirds of those users being outside of college.

Surprisingly, the fastest growing demographic are those users 35 years old or older signing up to join the social networking site. Inside-Facebook.com reported several months ago of a 7% increase in female users over the age of 55 and a 5% increase of adults over the age of 65.

With simple customization and free traffic reporting of your page, a facebook page for your company could be a viable solution to expanding your presence on the internet.

So, How Does Facebook Work?

From a marketing standpoint, Facebook is a great tool where one could find customers, stay in touch with existing clientele and easily promote new products or services.

Facebook provides users access to many features and applications.

  • Creating profiles
  • Adding people to the friends list
  • Forming networks
  • Forming groups
  • Messaging
  • Chat (new)
  • Sharing photos and videos
  • Sharing events

Social media marketing’s first strategy is to earn the customer’s trust and building a strong and positive customer response.

There is a certain level of intimacy that has been adopted into the norm of social networking. Users have created a level of expectations, whether conscious or subconsciously - and that is to understand something about someone or something that they usually would have only known in a personal conversation.

Building your Brand on Facebook.

Creating a Facebook account for your company adds real value about your business while adding personal touches. It also establishes relationships and projects the image that you value your customers and by posting information in first-person, you are given your followers (or in facebook terms, ‘fans’) a sense that you are real and ‘one of them’.

Again, Facebook builds credibility, friendships and sometimes authority in your industry. You can instantly share incentives or industry insight.

Its benefits also include having a customizable page, easily displaying pictures and other content that can be organized allowing viewers to navigate easily. Blogging and writing personal notes are also neatly organized for viewing.
Facebook offers profiles specifically tailored for businesses to market themselves with their services such as a profile, messages, fan followers, application development and usage, events and polls as well as notes (blog section).

Many businesses make the mistake of using all the features Facebook has to offer. When it comes to building your brand and making its presence in the social networking scene, the expression less is more fits best. Getting started is far more important than trying to get it perfect straightaway.

The 3 Basics

There are three basic and very important ways of utilizing Facebook as an effective social marketing strategy.
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<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Establish yourself - This starts with a strong profile page. This is where your company must showcase themselves, express what they are all about and direct fans to information that will sell your goods or services. Like a homepage, this is the front door to your business.
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<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Make connections - Facebook allows you to connect with people of similar interests. Use that to your advantage. Social networking users share information about themselves. If you are a bank who has great interests rates, and you realize that Timmy wants a new car but is not sure about his finances, send him a message! Which brings me to my last point.
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<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->Reach out to your target-audience easily - Facebook features easily allow you to see friends of friends. If one friend has become interested in your business, try to reach out to their friends.

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