Social media marketing is a powerful tool. Social networks can turn customers into free, word-of-mouth advertisers. But social media marketing is not without pitfalls. This article has 10 best tips on using Facebook for social media marketing.

1. Always create a separate company page. Don’t use your personal Facebook timeline to promote your business.

Facebook is a social network, so you don’t want to spam your friends with a lot of advertising. Create a separate company page which allows your friends and others to follow your company updates. That way you can promote your business to an opt-in list.

Instructions for setting up a Facebook “Page” are here: https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page

You can set up a page for your company using your personal Facebook account. You will have administrator access to the page. Use Facebook as your company by selecting it in the drop-down menu on any page. You can optionally add account administrators and editors to your company page, without sharing your personal Facebook login.

2. Share content from your company page to your personal timeline.

When you keep a separate company page, your posts there won’t be seen by your personal Facebook friends (like your personal posts are). If you want your friends to see an update from your company page, you can share it on your own timeline. But do this sparingly, so as not to burden your friends with advertising. Instead, invite your friends to “like” your company page. That way they can see all your updates on an opt-in basis.

3. It’s okay to post promotional content.

Since your Facebook company page is opt-in, it’s okay to post promotional content. Only people who like (follow) your page see your updates. Self-promotion is expected on your company page. But don’t overdo it! If you post too much promotional content, your friends will unlike your page.

4. It’s okay to post non-promotional content.

It’s okay to share content, if it is interesting and related. Industry news, events, announcements and related videos are all fine. Don’t post personal updates on your company page, though. Avoid posting pictures of kittens unless they are really, really cute!

If you want to post more often as your company, consider a regular offering like weekly recipes, tips, advice, photos. You can do this in style by adding your own photos and videos.

5. Get people to like your page.

One of your main goals on Facebook is to build a large following of friends. When you post a status update, people who like your page will see the update in their personal timeline. So more friends means more exposure.

Building up a social network takes time and effort. If you want your Facebook company page to be more than a lemonade stand, you’ll have to promote it.

Cross-promote your company page in all promotional materials: Visit us on Facebook.com at https://www.facebook.com/mycompanypage

Put the link prominently on your website. Include it in your email signature: “Follow us on Facebook!” with a link to your company page on all outgoing emails. Include the link in all direct mail and print marketing materials.

6. Get people to comment on your page.

When you post an update on your company page, your friends see it. But when your friends comment on your post, their friends see that comment. So generating comments on your posts is an important goal.

One way to get people to comment is to ask for their feedback. The sales approach often involves asking questions, so you can apply that method here. For example, you can ask customers, “What’s your favorite flavor?” Engaging friends and visitors in a dialog should be built into your social media marketing strategy. Don’t be afraid to approach customers!

7. Check your page daily.

As your page activity grows, it’s good practice to check your Facebook page daily. You may find post likes, general inquiries, customer support requests, or complaints. Be sure to answer all inquiries promptly. Like or thank the people who’ve commented. For customer support issues, post a working email address or phone number. Then invite the user to send a private message. Always apologize for the inconvenience and offer a solution. In the case of an irate user, you can delete comments and ban that account from your Facebook page.

8. Watch out for spam.

You will occasionally receive spam posts to your Facebook page, from people advertising their own businesses. Delete the comments, then ban the user account.

Instructions for banning someone from your Facebook page are here: https://www.facebook.com/help/185897171460026

9. Extend the functionality of your Facebook page.

Third-party apps exist to extend the functionality of your Facebook page.  Ecwid.com has a shopping cart widget for Facebook that lets you take PayPal or credit card payments from your company page.

Facebook has strict rules regarding contests and sweepstakes. To run one, you must use a Facebook-approved app. It is a violation of Facebook rules to promote your own, unapproved contest.

10. Deliver quality content on your Facebook page.

The last tip is the most important. Deliver consistent, high-quality content on your Facebook company page. On the Internet, there is a saying that “content is king.” Give people a reason to come back to your Facebook page. Ask your friends to share your content.

One of your goals will be to use your Facebook page to drive traffic to your business website. From a search engine perspective, it’s best to add new content (blogs and articles) on your own website, then post links to that content on the Facebook page.

A regular website blog is a good way to deliver quality content, increase search engine visibility, and provide quality links on your social media pages.

Summary

Social media marketing can be seen as a hub in a general marketing plan, which includes Web marketing and other advertising strategies.

To build up a larger social media following, cross-promote your company page(s) across all media. Echo all your marketing on your social media page. Offer premiums like newsletter sign-ups, Facebook-only deals and promotions. You can make your Facebook page a Web destination by adding regular, expert content (photos, videos, tips).

Be prepared to invest the time and energy required to build and maintain a social media following. For help with your social media marketing needs, contact Foothill Web.

Matt Cutts – How Search Works

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Steven Arnold, DBA
2354 California St. #3
Mountain View, CA 94040
(650) 965-5722