Build Your Business Following on Facebook
As you can see from the graph above, Facebook continues to skyrocket in popularity. What does this mean for your small business? It means that your customers, vendors and industry connections are probably on Facebook and you need to be too. To help you get people following your business on Facebook and start building your business following, we’ve put together these great tips that will have your network blossoming in no time.
20 Ways To Build Your Business Presence on Facebook
1. Promote Your Facebook Profile on Your Website – One of the best and easiest ways to promote your Facebook profile is on your company website. To do so, add a link or a badge on your site with the url to your Facebook account embedded in it.
TIP: Place your Facebook link in a prominent location. The more people that see it on your business site, the faster your following will grow.
2. Befriend Others – When you find other Facebook users that pertain to your specific industry, send them a friend request to ask them to add you as their friend, too.
TIP: Be sure to include a small note along with your friend request and let the person know why you think it would benefit them to add you.
3. Promote Your Facebook Profile in Your Store – If you have a store, promote your Facebook profile at the point of sale. Ask them to send add you as a friend on Facebook for special promotions and upcoming events.
TIP: If you can customize your receipts, add something like “Be our Fan on Facebook for exclusive discounts”.
4. Promote Your Facebook Profile on Your Business Cards – Facebook is just as good at communicating with your customers as the phone and email, and in certain aspects, even better. Include your Facebook link on your business cards with your other communication details
TIP: Be creative with your Facebook marketing by including fun or value. When you give your card to people, let them know why they should follow you and they probably will.
5. Promote Your Facebook Profile in Your Advertisements – Your current advertisements are a great way to get your Facebook link in front of loads of people for free. It shouldn’t cost you anything to change your ad and you’ll get lots of friends just for including this little piece of information.
TIP: Remember value! If you have the space, let people know what they will get for following you on Twitter and you’ll see your conversion rates skyrocket.
6. Promote Your Facebook Profile in Your Network – In today’s economy, it’s imperative to spend time networking with other business people in your market or industry. Tell those you already know in these networks about Facebook and ask them to be your friend.
TIP: Be sure to ask everyone else in your network to become your friend. If they aren’t already on Facebook, invite them to join and to add you as a friend when they do.
7. Promote Your Facebook Profile on Other Sites – Do you already have a MySpace, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn account? If so, promote your Facebook profile within these networks, as well.
TIP: Just like on your company website, promote your Facebook link in a prominent location to get the most attention. Better yet, write a blog post or status update.
8. Promote Your Facebook Profile in Your Email Signature – Email signatures are a great way to add some excitement to the end of your emails and one of the easiest ways to promote your Facebook link. If you don’t already use a signature, typically all you have to do is add it in your settings.
TIP: Depending on your business, your email signature may be seen by a lot of people. To increase these numbers, ask people to tell others about your Facebook link within your email signature.
9. Promote Your Facebook Profile in Guest Posts/Columns – One of the best ways to brand yourself as an expert is to write a guest post on other industry blogs or to write a column for an industry publication. If you have these opportunities, be sure to mention your Facebook link.
TIP: A good way to leverage these opportunities is to invite people to get exclusive add-on material of the topic you just covered by following you on Facebook and then sending this information out in a status update or personal message.
10. Update Often – A great way to get more friends is to update your status with interesting things on a consistent basis.
TIP: Think of yourself as a filter for your market and provide updates about insightful topics in your industry. The more useful you can be to others, the more likely they will be your friend. Asking questions is a good way to get people to reply to your status updates.
11. Converse With Others – On the flip side, it’s also important to respond to other status updates and build conversations with others in your market. It’s never good to be perceived as a “taker”, so take part instead.
TIP: The best replies are those that help solve someone’s specific problem. Keep an eye out for problems you can solve that directly relate to your business.
12. Update at Peak Times – The majority of Facebook users are U.S. based and use the service during U.S. business hours. Even if you have to take a five minute break during your workday, it’s better to update during business hours than after them.
TIP: Update about limited-time offers in your store. Say something like “15% off product X for the next 2 hours only!” and then promote your sale through other avenues so that your customers understand they have to be your friend on Facebook to take advantage of these offers.
13. Organize a Contest Through Your Facebook Profile – Contests are always a good way to build excitement in your brand. Promote a contest through your store, website and Twitter profile and name the winner in a Tweet.
TIP: Think about the type of prizes your prospects would find most beneficial and then offer them to the winners. those that don’t win are a great pool of prospects for you to market to in the future.
14. Ask Specific Users to Recommend You – The more time you spend on Facebook, the more users you’ll find that share similar markets with you. Ask these people to be your friend and then once you’ve had time to build a relationship, send them a message and ask them if they’ll recommend you to their friends.
TIP: If your business is strictly local, join up with other local businesses or those individuals who have some influence in your area.
15. Use Facebook as a Customer Service Tool – Customer service should be one of your top priorities and giving your customers another way to contact you is a a good start. Let your customers know they can send their inquiries through Facebook.
TIP: Use Facebook to build a better FAQ section for your website. Ask your friends to send you their questions and see which ones get the most attention. Then add the answers to these questions to your company website.
16. Send Valuable Content to Influential Members – Most influential members of any network are starving for more valuable content to recommend to their network. Find those who are influential in your target market and send them articles and information their friends might find useful and allow them to share it with them.
TIP: Be sure to include your contact information in any content you send them. The point of sharing this content is to get more traffic for your Facebook profile, which won’t happen if they don’t know how to find it. For best results, create an additional report exclusively for their followers that they can access after following you.
17. Join The Get More Friends Facebook Group – Facebook has millions of groups you can join to expand your network. One of the first you might consider joining is the “Get More Facebook Friends” Group.
TIP: Remember to always be a valuable member of any group you join. If your sole purpose for joining the group is to saturate people with friend requests, don’t bother. People in these groups are looking to build their followings too, so provide them useful content and help add value to their communities.
18. Use The Built-In Friend Find Feature – While you likely sent friend requests to your email contacts when you first created your account, it’s a good idea to go back through these accounts from time to time and add those you left out before or who have recently become new contacts. Find this feature here.
TIP: Not all of your email contacts are good candidates for becoming your Facebook friend. Be selective when you send these requests and try to keep your friend list targeted for business purposes.
19. Use The Search Box – Facebook’s built-in search feature is another great way to find friends related to specific industries or geographic locations. Search for specific names, industry topics, locations near you or any other idea that may spring to mind.
TIP: Remember to always include a note with your friend requests letting people know exactly why you want them to add you and what you can provide for their community.
20. Ask Those In Your Other Social Networks To Add You – Facebook may be your first foray into social networking, but chances are you’ve spent some time on one or more of the other social networks on the internet. If you have, ask your followers on these sites to add you on Facebook.
TIP: Remember your business goals. Having 1000 friends that have nothing to do with your business is great, but having 100 friends that are specifically related to your business is even better.
Facebook provides a fantastic opportunity for your small business to grow and nurture a community around your products and services. The most important thing to remember is to always provide value for those who have taken the time to add you as a friend. By doing so, you’ll escalate your status as an expert in your field and garner invaluable goodwill and grow your reputation as a company worth doing business with.