Facebook for your Small Business

Use the site to connect with customers and a more personal level and watch your business grow

By: Maham Abedi, Staff Writer

Image Courtesy of: techbeat.com

Corporations like H&M and multi-national fast food joints such as McDonalds are riding the social media wave, using social networking sites such as Facebook to communicate with customers, offer special deals, and advertise products.

Multimillion dollar corporations may have it easy when it comes to grabbing the attention of Facebook users, but the social media world still offers great opportunities for businesses of any size and expertise.

Many reports, such as the 2012 Yellow Social Media Report, have shown that more and more small businesses around the world are turning to Facebook to sell their specialty products from baked goods to vintage clothing.

Facebook offers an incredible amount of resources and tools for small businesses, says Nasser Daher, brand exposure specialist at TREK-IT INC., a company that helps businesses gain exposure on the internet.

“Facebook is most effective when communicating pertinent information to specific clientele,” explains Daher.

This means Facebook works best when companies use it the right way, knowing which information to share and who to share it with.

There are countless small businesses trying to make it through Facebook; some succeed with thousands of likes while others plateau at a dozen. This isn’t just a matter of luck; it’s a matter of taking advantage of all the resources offered by the social networking site.

Before setting up a page for your small business, prepare your brand for exposure. Create a proper logo, a catchy name and slogan, things that will make your brand recognizable. You want to make sure you have all the necessary information about your brand online.[pullquote]Checking out competitors’ pages is always a good idea, as you can take away the good and add what’s even better.[/pullquote]

“Checking out competitors’ pages is always a good idea, as you can take away the good and add what’s even better,” comments Daher.

Before inviting people to your page, do a final look-over. It’s imperative that the grammar on your page is flawless, that your pictures are professional and of high resolution, and that you’ve included all the relevant information a potential customer may be curious about in simple language.

Once you’re prepared, decide who your target audience will be and post accordingly. If you’re selling children’s clothing, target parents by inviting all the parents you know to “like” your page, or post a link to your page on other pages that parents might frequent.

This will help jump-start your page, but to really increase your popularity on Facebook, you will have to do a little more (i.e. spend a little more). Creating a Facebook ad is a great way to reach your targeted clientele. Facebook ads allow you to target a specific audience by selecting the age group, sex, location, marital status, and even political views of the audience whose profiles you wish to feature your ad on. Facebook also allows you to set daily budgeting options so you don’t end up spending more than you want. The ads are monitored so that you can keep track of who is clicking on your ads.

Attracting potential customers to your page is one thing; keeping them interested is another.

When it comes to keeping your customers, the most important thing you can do is communicate with them. Respond to their questions, inquiries and likes in a timely, friendly manner.

Most importantly, don’t just try to sell your products and services – make your brand likeable. Post pictures and videos of not only your products, but of items and scenes of a more personal nature, such as interesting finds you come across on a shopping trip, a picture of your visit to the beach, or a yummy lunch! Also, make sure you have frequent and personally written status updates; signing off status updates with your name instantly gives them a personal touch.

If people think they know you personally and genuinely find your page interesting, they’ll feel more willing to buy what you’re selling.

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