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Facebook – 5 Steps to Grow Your Business

Five steps you can take to grow a business presence on Facebook

Ah, the frustration. Nine hundred million Facebook users and only a hand full are fans of your business. Worse still, no is actively following your page or sending business your way. You decide, like many, that Facebook is probably not an avenue to increase business or sales. Before you delete your page or let it die a slow death through neglect, here are some pro-active steps that can give your page, and your business a boost.

Step 1. Learn the competition. Take a look at your competitor's page and see what they're doing right, and doing wrong. You can find the page by going to Facebook's search engine and typing in your competitor's page. If you can't find it that way, Facebook search is still not up to grade in some respects,,try going to your competitor's website. They may have a link or a "like" widget that will navigate you to their page. Once on the page, Facebook, not the website, take a look around. You want to look for how the Cover photo and Profile photo compliment each other. Do they make sense? Do they enhance the brand? How often does this page post? What seems to be working for them? What kind of content are they posting? Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Flatter your competitor.

Step 2. Learn some of the best practices. There are no hard and fast rules to social marketing, but there are some strategies that work better than others. Here are a few:

· Don't sell, engage. Most companies that complain about Facebook as a business platform do so because their sales campaigns don't deliver results. If all they're trying to do is sell, they have a long wait. Successful brands that have thrived on Facebook don't sell to their fans, they engage them. You can engage them by offering advice on products and services you offer; doing surveys; asking fill-in-the-blank-type questions. Asking fans to name a Facebook friend who uses your product or service is a great way to engage a current fan and maybe find a new one.

· Post every day. It may seem to be unnecessary but not all of your fans see every post. If you only post once or twice a week, it may be quite some time before a fan sees a post from you.

· Include a call to action. It could be to click into your website, answer a question, or participate in a survey. Anything that encourages a fan to interact with your page is worthwhile.

· If you do sell, don't over do it. One sales related post out of five is plenty. Beyond that and you're probably disengaging your audience.

Step 3. Add to your page. Replace your cover photo and profile picture on a regular basis. Create a video to introduce yourself. Build a gallery of images that reflects your work or your product. Add a contact or email form. You can highlight a product or service.

Step 4. Plan. Don't go about posting willy-nilly. Have a plan for what you are going to post and when. Plan for the short term and longer. The shorter calendar, typically a week or a month, highlights everyday events and news. The longer view highlights sales promotion, large events and the like.

Step 5. Consider a paid ad campaign on Facebook. Facebook lets you build a page for free, accumulate fans for free, and create a brand presence for free. What they won't allow you to do anymore is communicate with all your fans for free. Facebook is in the money making business and have realized that they can't give away the store and make money. So to reach all of your fans, you'll have to spend some cash.

At first glance, the Facebook platform appears similar to Google's AdWords. But there are differences. Keywords are not important in Facebook, interests and demographics are. You can micro target an audience to certain categories such as age or interest. Images play a key role in the Facebook model so be sure to upload one. You can promote a post to get it a wider audience. It's easy to promote a post. The option is usually provided to you as soon as your post is published. Promoted posts will allow you to broadcast outside your network of fans. The cost for a Facebook ad won't bust your budget. Facebook is an effective advertising tool when page owners realize it's not free and sales results will be generated over time.

 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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