The single most important social media tool for small businesses right now is probably Facebook. As I pointed out recently (Marketing Across the Digital Media Divide), if your customer base is under age 51, it’s a good idea for your business to have a Facebook Page. It’s not quite a simple as just signing up (it never is), Facebook has a growing arsenal of tools for small business.
Facebook for Business
First, see these instructions to create a Facebook Page for your Business – Don’t try to go the personal profile route. It violates Facebook’s terms of service. Profiles are for personal use, Facebook Pages are for your business.
Once you have a Facebook page, you will also want to encourage customers to check in to your business on Facebook Places, Facebook’s location-based service. You can maximize that service by claiming your business’ Facebook Place.
Take it one step further by encouraging and rewarding Facebook Places check-ins using Facebook Deals. Mike Whaling has a nice article explaining how to use Facebook Deals for your business: What’s Your Deal.
You may also want to dip your toe into the Facebook Advertising waters. The benefits of the Facebook advertising platform is that it’s highly flexible, and highly target-able. You can control your budget, spending as little or as much as you want. And using Facebook’s amazing customer data base (Facebook fans share a lot of personal stuff) you can target your advertising by age, gender, occupation, geography, and personal interests. One piece of advice learned from my own Facebook advertising experiment: choose the pay-per-click option instead of impressions. Learn more here: Facebook Advertising
Of course, just having a Facebook presence is not enough. You have to engage with your fans, and for that you need to a have plan. So I suggest that you have a Facebook Posting Strategy.
Also, a warning. Do not put all your eggs in the Facebook basket or this could happen to you: Facebook Fairy Tale – Horror Story
Are you seizing the opportunity to use Facebook for your business?