08 December

Using Facebook as a Tool for Business

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Just imagine telling an entrepreneur from thirty years back that they could reach an audience of tens of thousands of people in a single day with news of their product without spending a penny on advertising.

Today social media provides us with that opportunity.  Indeed it has utterly revolutionised the way in which we communicate with one another, and the way in which celebrities and personalities in the world of entertainment, art, sport and politics can interact with us.  Just think, the President of the USA issues a nocturnal tweet and, for better or for worse, the whole world is able to read it within an instant.

There are actually hundreds of social media platforms around the internet but still only a handful are household names.  Of those, Facebook is the one used most often and by the most people for communicating everything from photos of their breakfast and embarrassing details of their latest domestic tiff to helpful articles from their websites and blogs.

Target important and relevant information

It is argued by many that Facebook specialises in trivia and is not a serious tool for marketing or promoting business.  I believe this is wrong.  Whilst there certainly is a lot of chaff posted on the timelines of the world there are also ways and means of directing important and relevant information to a targetted audience, and it can be done with surprising ease.

Most Facebook users with personal accounts acquire over the months and years a substantial portfolio of “friends”.  How many friends you have depends pretty much on how rigorous you are in approving or rejecting spurious requests as well, to put it bluntly, on how popular you happen to be.  Surprisingly, even personal friends – some might say especially personal friends – can be useful in promoting your work.  Share a blog article with your 800 registered friends and ask them to share it with theirs and, potentially, you have an instant audience of 640,000!  Of course, in real life that doesn’t happen but such an exercise is still likely to result in views running well into the thousands.

Join Facebook groups to target your niche

For enterprise though, the serious marketing is to be done amongst the multitude of Facebook groups which exist, and which can be researched and joined according to niche.  Some groups on Facebook run into six-figure memberships and, remember, every one of those is a person who by definition is interested in that particular topic.  Post something of interest there and you really do have a ready-made marketplace for the service or product that you’re offering.

Facebook does offer a paid advertising service, but in my experience it is superfluous.  The most productive strategy is to join groups serving your particular niche, engage in some discussions to generate “cred” and protect yourself from charges that you have only joined to promote your own material and then – discreetly – promote your own material!

Make it interesting, make it memorable, with a view to leaving something that is going to go viral.  Make sure it includes your link, or at least your URL, and whatever you do make sure that whatever it links back to is going to serve your business objective.