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Tech Tips for Small Businesses: Use Facebook

Farmville is great and all, but small business owners can do much more with Facebook. Find out how to use Facebook to drive attention to your local business.

Attracting new customers can be a challenge for any company, and small businesses have to work exceptionally hard to reach this goal. By using Facebook the right way, Galloway business owners can spread the word about their companies.

The first thing you’ll want to do is set up a Facebook account for professional use. You probably won’t want to mix your personal and professional Facebook friends, and the easiest way to keep them separate is with a second account dedicated to professional use.

Once you’ve created the account, take the time to fill out all of the information fields. By having a completely filled out profile, you’ll be making it easier for other Facebook users to find you and your company.

Next, you’ll want to set up a fan page for your business. Again, it’s important to take the time to fill out all of the fields available to you. It’s also a good idea to include some pictures of your business and your products. Once that’s done, it’s time to start setting up your fan page’s features.

If your business hosts events of any sort, include an event calendar on your fan page. That way, your Facebook fans will know what’s coming up in the near future. For example, a coffee house that has live music every Friday night could post an event detailing which bands will be playing each week.

Every fan page allows for user comments on the wall. Be sure to check in on what people are saying on your wall – if they’re complaining about a problem with your products or services, be sure to address their concerns and see if you can help them get the issue resolved.

It’s also important to start conversations on your fan page’s wall. Take the time to engage your fans in real conversations about things other than your products and services. If your fan page just looks like a giant ad for your company, people will be less likely to check in on it often. If you turn that fan page into a community, your fans will visit regularly, thus keeping your business front and center in their minds.

So now that your fan page is all set up, Facebook users will flock to it and shower your business with praise and affection right? No, not quite. You’ll still have to spread your fan page around before it will become popular on Facebook.

If you have a website, the first thing you should do is add the fan page to it. Facebook provides easy to use tools to integrate your fan page with your website, so you really don’t have any excuse not to do it.

You should also spend some time each day finding people to invite to your fan page. By doing a Facebook search for “Galloway NJ” you’ll be presented with a list of local Facebook users you can invite to your fan page.

Don’t just invite everyone who turns up in the search results. Be sure to only invite people who are likely to be interested in your business. For example, if you run a store that sells nothing but video games, inviting an elderly woman to become a fan of your page would probably be a waste of your time.

This may sound like a tedious process, but you won’t have to do it forever. Once you have at least 50 fans, you should start gaining more without inviting them yourself. As you gain new fans, their friends will see the things they say and do on your fan page, thus exposing more people to your fan page.

By setting up a Facebook fan page for your business, you’ll be able to attract a new set of customers you might not have reached otherwise. Follow these steps, and in a matter of weeks, you should see increased traffic to your fan page, and increased interest in your business. 

John Melville August 20, 2011 at 09:33 PM
A separate Facebook account for business. I thought all accounts had to be associated with a personal profile, so how is this done?
Mike Kurz August 21, 2011 at 01:33 AM
Basically, you create a new profile for yourself on Facebook using an email address different from the email address your personal account is tied to.. You can always use the same account for personal and professional use, but as I mentioned in the article, that can get messy. For example, you may not want your customers seeing all the pictures you've been tagged in.
Suzan August 25, 2011 at 03:50 AM
It is against Facebooks Terms to create more than one personal account "4. Registration and Account Security 4.2.You will not create more than one personal profile." To see the full Terms of Use have a look at this link http://www.facebook.com/terms.php
Mike Kurz August 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM
I've run into a number of people who consider creating an account strictly for business purposes (ie: a "professional" account) to be completely different from creating a personal account. If you're not comfortable with that interpretation of the ToS, consider creating an account for the business itself. Either way, this is a common practice among business owners looking to use FB to attract attention to their company. I have yet to run into anyone who's had their professional account closed by Facebook (as long as they're playing by the rules and not spamming other users that is).

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