Is there anything hotter than Facebook right now (other than, maybe, and just maybe I say, the sun)? I think not. But that said, many small businesses have yet to figure out how to turn the media hype and vast popularity of the social media behemoth to their own advantage and actually grow their business using Facebook.
But what you hear is that everyone else is doing it, right? Why aren’t you? Hurry up! Get on the bus, Gus! The Facebook train is leaving the station and you better be aboard. Choo choo!
What if it’s all a bit overwhelming? What if you don’t know the purpose of a “Like,” or the difference between a Brand Page and a Facebook Places Page? How are you going to tap the power of Facebook in that case?
Don’t worry. We’re here to help.
Recently, Facebook launched a new site called Facebook for Business (Facebook.com/Business). And no, it is not yet another Facebook permutation you need to master. Rather, the site provides resources to help any small business easily understand how it can use Facebook to grow their business (I’ll explain how it works in a moment).
It’s not surprising that Facebook undertook this initiative. Not only are more and more businesses migrating to the social networking site in order to go to where the eyeballs are, but many are increasingly using their Facebook Page instead of their own website.
All of which begs the question that Facebook for Business tries to answer: How does one actually use Facebook to grow their business? Before Facebook launched a dedicated portal, which finally brings together step-by-step tutorials on using all of Facebook’s marketing features, many entrepreneurs likely found Facebook marketing to be hit or miss.
Example: I have a good pal who is a photographer. His challenge was figuring out a way to grow his business on the cheap. We were talking on the phone one day, and I mentioned that given those parameters, he should try advertising on Facebook.
He asked why Facebook and I relayed an amazing success story I had just read – on Facebook: The wedding photographer in the profile also wanted to grow his business, and decided to try Facebook. What he liked about this platform was his ability to zero-in on his exact target demographic. He placed ads for his wedding photography business that would show up only on the Facebook pages of women in his city who were 24 to 30 years old and whose relationship status was “engaged.” Perfect, right?
Right indeed. During a 12 month period, that $600 advertising buy netted him almost $40,000.
My friend was so impressed that he immediately tried the same tactic. However, he didn’t get the same result. Not nearly. Down but not out, he actually spent a few weeks tracking down the photographer mentioned in the Facebook Success Story, found him, and asked for help/insight. Thereafter, my pal’s campaign was much more successful as he learned what he had been doing wrong.
But today, he would not need to go to the expense and effort of finding the photo guru; instead, he would just go the place where you should go to learn more about how to use Facebook in your business – Facebook.com/Business.
Essentially, this intuitive business portal demystifies four of Facebook’s useful business features by providing entrepreneurs with resources and tips for how to best use them for their specific business needs. It’s an easy to understand user’s manual.
The four marketing tools highlighted are:
- Pages: Create a space to interact with your fans, get to know potential customers and build a community.
- Ads: Reach the audience you want with ads that let you target by age, location, interests and more.
- Sponsored Stories: Take advantage of friends talking to friends with sponsored stories, a natural way to amplify word of mouth.
- Platform: Transform your website into a social experience with plug-ins and custom apps.
To explore your options, and to learn how to use these features, visit Facebook.com/Business (or click the links above) and check out the step-by-step tutorials. It’s easy and quick. You will be a pro in no time.
About Steve Strauss
Steve Strauss is one of the world’s leading small business experts. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. Steve is also the author of the Small Business Bible and his latest book is Get Your Business Funded: Creative Methods for Getting the Money You Need. A popular media guest, Steve is a regular contributor to ABC News Now and frequently appears on television and radio. His business, The Strauss Group, creates unique, actionable, entertaining, and informative multi-media small business content. You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.