Social Media and Small Business – Part 2 of 3

Social Media and Small Business - Part 2 of 3We have covered the world of Twitter and now it is time to discuss how Facebook can be used from a business standpoint.

Let’s dig in.

According to Ed Henrich of Clickz, Facebook has reached 200 million members and the fastest growing demographic has become users age 35 and over, specifically women age 55-plus. It is obvious to see that there is a huge opportunity for business within this realm. Facebook is different than Twitter in that it is slower paced and serves more as an additional resource to a company’s web site, blog and even Twitter account.

Here are a few ways to take full advantage of Facebook.

Brand Identity
The fan page that you create serves as a way to create an identity around your brand that plays off your identity elsewhere. As you gain followers you have the opportunity to start conversation with them. Engage your fans by posting comments on their pages and encouraging them to pass the word about your fan page and company.

Some good examples of people who have created a successful brand identity on Facebook include:
Duct Tape Marketing
Mari Smith

Applications
Facebook’s unique interface is shown best through the thousands of applications you can add to your page. If you look at someone’s fan page you notice they have several tabs across the top and several sections on the left hand column providing information and interaction on all different levels.

Let’s start with the tabs at the top of your page. The most commons tabs to use are the info, photos and discussion board tabs. Other ones you can add include RSS Feed/Blog where your blog is automatically fed through Facebook and an events tab for posting events from webinars to promotions to your annual gala. You also have the ability to personalize the name of each tab to fit with your own brand identity.

Within the left hand column, the sky is the limit. You can add videos, surveys and polls, photo albums, your twitter feed and also an email opt in form. This column is the place to take full advantage of the ways you can interact with your fan base.

Acquiring new email addresses
As I mentioned above, you can add a section on your fan page to allow people to opt in to your email newsletters. If you really want to have your fans be willing to lend out their email, offer them something in return. They could enter their name and email to receive a free white paper of yours or a discount off your product. A helpful application for this is the Static FBML.

To sum up, Facebook allows you to expand your brand’s identity through applications to effectively engage fans and create relationships with them. In turn, they will trust you enough to give you their email address and you can pursue them in the personal way Facebook started you out to do.

The final post to this will take a step further in developing concrete ideas on how social media, email marketing and automated marketing can work together in the best interest of small businesses. Stay tuned!

Social Media and Small Business - Part 2 of 3

2 Responses to “Social Media and Small Business – Part 2 of 3”

  1. I see the importance of social media such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. How can I add Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In buttons to the Swiftpage templates I am using with Act?

    • Hi Julie, Thanks for your comment. Currently you can add social media buttons yourself and linking them to your social media outlets. We are working on integrating social media into our templates now. So keep an eye out for this feature in the future.

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