by Paul Slack

Facebook for BusinessIn this multi-part series on Facebook marketing for small businesses, we will be walking you through tips, advice, and best practices for getting the most out of Facebook for your business. If you will follow these simple steps from our Facebook 101 series that should take you no more than 10-20 minutes each week, your likes and leads will increase dramatically.

Think about the first time you heard about this new website called Facebook.  Someone, probably a teenager, told you it was a really cool site that allows you to connect with your friends so you can keep them up to date regarding your life.  If you were like me, you probably thought “What a waste of time!”  Yes, I must admit, the first time I heard about Facebook, I never expected it to be what it has become, and I’m in the business.  No wonder it has been hard for entrepreneurs and business owners to get a handle on Facebook’s importance.  Now, here you are reading this post.  My guess is that one of the main reasons is to figure out how Facebook can help you grow your business.

Before I jump right into Facebook, I’d like to dispel a myth that I’m sure a lot of business owners have when they think about using Facebook as a marketing tool.  The biggest myth is Facebook is only about individuals talking about where they went to high school, what they did today, and what they did on vacation with no relevance to the average business person.  There is an element of voyeurism on Facebook that makes it popular because people are interested in looking at photos and updates from family and friends.  Facebook is revolutionizing the way we communicate and connect.  This is the element that fuels the fire and keeps people coming back to Facebook.

The myth, however, is that this type of behavior is the only thing going on.  For businesses, Facebook is a built-in endorsement and testimonial machine.  Why do companies pay big bucks for famous people to endorse their products and some businesses love to show testimonials of customers who have used their products or services?  The answer is obvious; endorsements and testimonials help companies transfer trust to the potential customer.  “If Michael Jordan says it’s good, then it must be good.” Imagine a world where you were able to create trust transference on a grand scale, but instead of the endorser being a celebrity or some stranger who has used your product, it’s a prospect’s Mom, Dad, the best man at their wedding,  or the pastor of their church.  That’s the power of Facebook for business

Facebook is absolutely important for business because it’s truly becoming the 800-pound gorilla in social media. It’s a way you’ll connect with your customers, prospects, partners, employees, potential employees and influencers.  It’s a place where you’ll be able to offer advice, share knowledge and help others.  It’s also a place to generate leads and sales—if you do it the right way.

The core idea behind Facebook is people sharing information and media with their friends, family and customers.  Users are use Facebook to tap into the advice and opinions of people they trust to find Internet content that is relevant rather than using search engines. Because of its sheer size Facebook provides a platform for us to discover what content we can trust.   For instance, if someone you know and trust says they finally got rid of those pesky termites because they used XYZ Company, you’ll be more likely trust this company when you have a similar pest problem.

NY Times Study on Facebook Sharing for Small Business

Facebook also allows people to share unstructured content.   For instance, search engines are good at providing relevant structured content (web page, press release, blog, etc.) but in Facebook your trusted friends are posting all different types of content you might find relevant.  They may share vacation photos and their experience at a particular hotel or restaurant you may want to check out.  They’re creating access to information that isn’t easily accessible in any other format.  They’re also acting as an unofficial endorser because this information is coming from people you know and trust.

N THIS SERIES WE WILL REVIEW:

Part 1 – An Introduction

Part 2 – THE PURPOSE OF FACEBOOK FOR SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING

Part 3 – LISTENING ON FACEBOOK FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Part 4 – BUILDING COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK

Part 5 – BROADCASTING ON FACEBOOK

Part 6 – STRATEGIC CONTENT MARKETING ON FACEBOOK

Part 7 – ABC’S OF CONVERSION ON FACEBOOK