The Official Starting Block for Social Media:  Facebook

Social media is here to stay!

If your business is not yet in the game, Facebook is a great place to begin. If you want to get more exposure, increase your traffic, or become an industry thought leader, join more than a billion users who embrace Facebook.

Despite the growing number of social media channels out there, Facebook remains the most popular, having penetrated 54% of the entire US population and 73% of our online users. It has proven to yield substantial results.

In order for any marketing efforts to be effective, you need to know your audience. The number of women on Facebook is slightly more than men. Facebook users’ ages fill the gamut, with a healthy majority in the 18-29 segment, followed closely by 30-49, then 50-64 and 65 and older. Check out  this site for up to the minute social media statistics.

Okay, now that we know that your target audience is on Facebook, what is the best way to harness its power for your benefit? Here are some guidelines for putting Facebook to work for you:

Figure out what you want to accomplish.

Here are some common goals:

  • Get more people to know your brand.
  • Find potential buyers.
  • Sway public opinion.

Create a business page.

Make sure you include your address, phone number, hours of operation, email address, and website. Don’t know how to get started? (Here’s how!)

Schedule Time

Add Facebook posting to your ‘to-do’ list no less than two to three times a week.

Get posting!

Here are some ideas:

  • Share links: If you have a pet shop, you could find a news article that involves a pet. Post the link on your Facebook page with a customer friendly comment that will appeal to your customers.
  • Advertise: Post details of an exclusive sale that requires posting a ‘like’ on your business page. Publicize it by emailing or texting your existing customers.
  • Chat: Ask a provocative question to start a discussion that involves your expertise. For example, if you are a pediatrician, you could ask people to comment on the pros and cons of ‘family bed’.
  • Brag: Share details about what your group has accomplished. New digs? New employee? Satisfied customer? New offerings? Be creative.
  • Commentary: Make a general comment that will appeal to picky important people (aka potential customers). Think — meeting mother-in-law for the first time. For example: Our staff is loving this spring weather in mid-January. Stay far away from strongly opinions unless that kind of thing is your business.

Invite all your friends to join the party.

Ask people in your existing network to visit your business page. Once you start getting some regular activity on your page, those posts will show up on the pages of your Facebook Friends and their connections will soon be part of your audience.

Facebook is a powerful tool. Although it does take some time and effort to get up and running, in the end it can be a fun, entertaining way to increase your bottom line.