I signed my company up for an account on Facebook. Now what?

business

Good question. Glad you asked.

The benefit to having a Facebook account for your business is that it can used as a tool for networking, customer service and free advertising. It gives your customers another way to reach you, it’s a more personal way to get your name out there than the old-fashioned print ad or email blast, and it opens up, and it’s yet another touch-point where people can be reminded that you exist!

You can advertise, create events, invite employees to join you, search for new employees, create live updates, and more. Facebook is always growing and adding features. The sooner you join and begin to understand it’s capabilities, the easier it will be to grow with it.

Ways Facebook Can Help Your Business:

Facebook Pages — Facebook “Pages” (that’s with a capital “P”) were created to give businesses their own profile on Facebook. In fact, originally, the code that made up a Facebook “Page” appeared to be almost exactly the same as that which generated user profile pages.

Pages give your business or brand an identity on Facebook. With a Page, those interested and following your brand can become “fans”, and when they do so, all their friends will see this. You can store photos, videos, information about your company, and custom applications on your Page. All activity on Pages gets posted back to your Mini Feed for all your friends to see. Click here for a detailed overview on what fields you can store on a Facebook Page.

Groups — Groups on Facebook are similar to Pages, but are meant to be built around a group of people rather than an individual business or brand. Groups have no “become a fan” feature, and do not share as much information with users’ friends as users interact.

Applications — Facebook has a very powerful API that you can have developers write software for to help promote your business on Facebook. Applications give you full power to say or promote anything you want about your business, and use the social tie-ins provided by Facebook to do this. For instance, Visa created the “Visa Business Network” application, which takes information about users and allows them to better network with other small business owners. They even integrated with Facebook advertising by offering those that install the app a credit towards advertising on Facebook.

Advertising — Facebook has a powerful advertising engine that enables businesses to specify a specific demographic target, see how many people that demographic will hit, and advertise to that demographic. Facebook has also provided even more customized options for other areas of the site which businesses with a larger budget can advertise through. Then there’s the highly controversial Facebook Beacon – if you do e-commerce transactions through your site you can enable users to share updates on purchases users make on your site amongst their friends. It has been awhile since I’ve seen anyone use Beacon, however, so it’s hard to tell whether Facebook still supports it. You can still access this and the other advertising features through the Advertisers link at the bottom of Facebook.

Polls — Facebook Polls are great for marketers looking to get a quick answer about a particular feature they’d like to implement, or just to find out information and opinions from a specific demographic. You can access Facebook polls via this link.

Facebook Connect — just announced last week at F8, Facebook Connect enables your website to easily integrate with Facebook. Now you can integrate Facebook into your login process, retrieve users’ friend information, and even post data back to users’ Mini Feed so all their friends can see their activity. Think of Facebook Connect as the new Beacon, with much more flexibility to do even more throughout your site! Click here to learn more about Facebook Connect.

source: insidefacebook.com

Here are some useful links to help you learn more:

http://www.facebook.com/advertising/?pages

http://webworkerdaily.com/2009/07/21/32-ways-to-use-facebook-for-business/

http://whyfacebook.com/2008/08/28/10-reasons-to-use-facebook-for-business/

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