Many small business owners are already on Facebook but are either still not sure that it is a good use of their time, or they see its potential but are just confused about how exactly it can work for them.
Starting a Fan Page for your business may be your answer. But how can you use a Fan Page to achieve fantastic results?
1) The first way to leverage Fan Pages is to set up your Page for success.
One of the first things you need to do when you set up a new Page is to give it a title. A tip with this is to think about using keywords related to your business that you would like to be found for.
You also want to choose a good, clear photo for your Page. Another thing to note is to make sure you have filled out the Info tab on your Page thoroughly with all the relevant information about your business.
2) The second way to leverage Fan Pages is to build your Fan base.
You have to be a little proactive about getting Fans, especially when your Page is new. An easy way to invite people is to use the “Suggest to Friends” link underneath the picture on your Fan Page. Facebook will then pull up a list of your Facebook friends and you would just click on the ones you want to send invitations to.
You’ll want to consider people like former and current clients, people you’ve partnered with in your business, vendors you work with, people who you know have purchased from you before, etc.
3) The third way to leverage Fan Pages is to interact and engage with your Fans.
Once you have some supporters of your Page, you want to encourage more dialogue and interaction between yourself and them and even among each other. The biggest impact comes from simply having conversations with people.
One thing that I do on my Page is to just ask open-ended questions. Asking people to share experiences is another great way to get a dialogue going.
4) The fourth way to leverage Fan Pages is to provide good content.
Offering regular content will naturally encourage interaction because you are giving people something to respond to. You don’t need to come up with all the content yourself, either. You might just link to an interesting article or blog post you have found on the web related to your business or industry.
What content like this does is attract comments from your Fans, which is activity that in turn goes out into the News Feed. The more activity on your Page then, the more attention to your Page you have a chance of attracting.
5) The 5th way to leverage Fan Pages is to use them to drive traffic to and from your blog or website.
To do this, you definitely want to list your website in the Info section, and you also want to share links in your updates to your own site.
You can also use an application like Notes to enter your blog feed so that it pulls your posts into your Page. You also want to add your URL to your email signature, and use the free badges and widgets Facebook provides that you can add to your website.
You can check out http://www.facebook.com/facebook-widgets for those. Once you have something like this on your site, visitors can just click on it and they will land on your Page where they can become a fan.
So, if you don’t have a Page yet, head over to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and start one now. If you do have one set up, use these tips to help make your Page stand out, get noticed, and become a helpful destination for all of your raving Fans.
About the Author: Christine Gallagher, MLS, MSIS, founder of CommunicateValue.com, teaches small business owners and professionals how to conquer the overwhelming aspects of online and social media marketing to increase business and maximize profits. For free tips on how to build profitable relationships, leverage technology and create your own successful online business, visit http://CommunicateValue.com.