Facebook Basics For Small Business

facebookslFacebook.

In only a few short years it has become a household name and a part of everyday life for over a billion users and growing.  Each day, all across the globe members are engaged in a seemingly endless stream of sharing, “liking”, commenting and communicating on every kind of topic; from world issues, to gourmet recipes and adorable photos of pets dressed up in costumes.  The content flying around the world of Facebook each day seems to have few exemptions or limitations.  The undeniable fact is that power of Facebook is, for lack of a better work ginormous.  It has revolutionized so many aspects of our day to day lives and continues to gain momentum at the speed of a runaway freight train.

Being the savvy business woman you are, you’ve decided that you are ready to tap into Facebook’s vast network and want to get started with using it to market your small business.  Excellent!  Or maybe you have already tried your hand at Facebook by creating a page for your business.  Congratulations!  But…  You are feeling intimidated by what you see when you begin to create your page…  The jargon, the tricks, the quirks.  It all feels so overwhelming, like too much work and perhaps you are ready to give up.  Or for existing users, you feel the page you created just isn’t doing for your business what you had expected it to, or you aren’t sure how to decipher if your page truly adding value to your business.

Rest assured I have been in your shoes and feel your pain.  Especially if you are relatively new to world of social media and social media marketing.  If you are a sole proprietor or a small business in many cases you are already operating, managing, marketing and facilitating all aspects of your business.  To help empower you to tame the Facebook beast I have complied useful information from some of the top social media review sites on the web for you to consider reviewing.  The tips and information written in the below articles and blogs are excellent for helping the beginner get started, as well as will teach the novice a thing or two that if implemented, your page will reap the benefits from.

Success on Facebook: A How-To for Small Businesses (http://bit.ly/XarGi0) is a fantastic article that will provide any Facebook for small business newbie valuable information on how to get started. Page creation guidelines, why creating your “place” is important and quite a thorough breakdown of how Facebook measures success are all included herein.  This article does an excellent job of outlining how to measure the success of your page through Facebook Insights, reach, traffic and sharing.  Also included is a straightforward explanation of EdgeRank, which is the newsfeed algorithm for Facebook.

6 Tips for Writing a Facebook Post with the Perfect Call to Action (http://bit.ly/QnPVsz) is a valuable blog post that highlights the 6 steps to creating engaging content that will subtly direct your followers to not only read your posts but like and share them with others.  Writing engaging content that is short and sweet is an art in itself.  If this is something that you find to be a challenge then you will find the tips provided to be especially helpful.  Examples are provided on how to spin a basic “OK” post into one that is a call to action that will engage viewers and drive traffic.

5 Facebook Marketing Resources You’re Not Using Yet (http://on.mash.to/NyhkZk) is a post from Mashable (considered by many to be an authority on all things social media) that I found to be especially helpful as it references 5 marketing tools that have been created by the official Facebook social network.  If you are looking for inspiration, this article will provide you with some excellent visuals to help stimulate those creative juices.  You will find links to visit the Facebook Studio and Success Stories and also a link sharing tips on marketing mistakes to avoid.  If you click on Brand Resources & Permissions Center you will be directed to the place where Facebook guidelines and rules are set forth.  Yes, there are rules for the content you display on your page and if caught violating the rules your Facebook page could be suspended, so it’s best to get to know the boundaries and limitations early on.  I know of more than one Facebook page that has been suspended due to lack of diligence on policy awareness by the page owner and one in particular that was shut down completely.  In the case of the page being shut down ALL of the content contained on that page was lost and needed to be recreated, which is something no one wants to be faced with.  Information on Facebook’s Demo Tool is also provided along with the link to Facebook’s official marketing page.  I highly recommend that if you own a page on Facebook at the very least bookmark or like this page.  It is an excellent resource that provides the most up to date information, events and Facebook marketing news.

The great thing about each of these articles is that contained within are additional references to other to reputable social media marketing and information sites that you can choose to visit for additional information and to help grow your knowledge base.

Facebook can be a highly effective, low cost, marketing catalyst that can yield thousands of far reaching followers provided you have a grasp on the fundamental basics and how-to’s.  With quality information and resources at your fingertips to guide you along each step of the way, in a short time you will learn how to design, create and launch a purposeful Facebook business page that represents your business in professional manner that aligns with the goals and the vision of your company.

Happy “Facebooking” everyone!

(Infographic source:  Crystal Vilkaitis – Director of Social Media, www.snapretail.com)

Shannon Lauzon is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder of Pragmatic Approach, a boutique small business development, strategic planning and social media marketing firm located in Southwestern Ontario.  Pragmatic Approach’s mission is to provide purposeful, solution-focused consulting to entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout all stages of their business life cycle.
Contact information:  Pragmatic Approach ~ Tel: (519) 498-4958 ~ Email: purposeful.biz@gmail.com ~Twitter: @shannon_lauzon~ Blog (under construction):  www.PragmaticApproach.wordpress.com
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