Facebook for the Small Business Owner

Large, global brands seem to be the most noticeable businesses on Facebook, but that is changing. In fact, it has already changed somewhat. There was a time when you could forget about trying to find your local business’s Facebook page, but more and more small businesses are turning to Facebook to market their products.

Maybe you would like to promote your small business via Facebook. Here are some tips that may help.

1. Separate professional from personal

Your clients don’t need to see the latest pictures of your pets, or hear about your latest haircut. Keep your personal information on your personal profile, and establish a separate page for your business. If you like, you can hire someone else to be a sort of proxy for you who can represent your brand. This might be helpful if you already have a significant personal presence on Facebook.

However, you might also use your personal networking to your advantage. When you set up your business page, you can incorporate those friends who share your interests into your target market. Still, your personal profile and business pages should be separate.

2. Your page name

This is important, because you can’t change it later. You will have to shut down your page and build a new one, and that can mess with your client base. So consider key words when you develop your page name, and make it a good one. Put lots of thought into it.

3. Your landing page

This is like the “home page” of a website. It needs to have a compelling image and good information right off the bat so that visitors will be inspired to click the “Like” or “Become a Fan” buttons. You can use something called FBML, which stands for Facebook Markup Language, to create a unique and interesting landing page.

4. Tabs

You can also use FBML to create tabs, which are visible buttons on your page that represent applications, or apps. Twitter, Networked Blogs, Events, and Inbox are just some of the apps you can put on your business page. These really help promote your business as they give visitors and fans a chance to interact and connect with you and your business.

5. The value of personal communication

One of the appealing things about Facebook is the personal interaction it encourages. In a world of automation, customers appreciate a “live human” at the other end of the keyboard, mobile device, or computer screen! The telephone used to provide this, but with more and more businesses resorting to automated customer service, Facebook gives your business an edge. So try to communicate with your fans and followers regularly, and on an individual basis as often as possible. Happy fans then tell their friends.

If your business grows to the point that you can’t handle all the individual contact, consider outsourcing this to someone else who is closely associated with your business.

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