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How to utilise Facebook for business

Facebook is not all about keeping track of friends or ‘liking’ something. Although, it is primarily a social platform, it can be utilised as a highly effective business tool. Connecting with customers or marketing products and services are just two ways to maximise Facebook for business opportunities.

However, it is not just a matter of setting up a page and hoping for the best. A few key foundations need to be in place to support the process otherwise you can’t measure your ROI or evaluate your success. Here are 4 elements to include in a successful Facebook presence.

Select your Objective

Anyone who establishes a Facebook page for business purposes should have a primary objective for their page. Some examples include building community, raising brand awareness, enhancing customer service. Although you may have more than one purpose, it is actually better to keep it as straightforward as possible.

By creating a clear objective, which incorporates your business mission, values and goals, you convey consistent communication. This can be used to help shape online perceptions about your business as well as support your business being portrayed in a positive way.

Create a Publishing Schedule for your Content

Publishing content is time consuming and repetitive. By creating a schedule it becomes your editorial guide.  It will include a plan for publishing updates that will incorporate a combination of text, links videos and photos all supporting your social media business objective. This plan allows time to consider topics of interest, research, create and edit through a well thought-out approach.

Content needs to be published regularly to have any impact otherwise your business page will go unnoticed. However, posting too often means that your Fans will become annoyed with too many updates so a balance between the two is needed.

Link your Facebook Profile

If you already have other social media profiles, then it is wise to link these to your Facebook page. A blog, Twitter account or LinkedIn page should all be connected. These interrelated platforms are a great way to promote your business, become familiar and establish a presence.

As your connections increase you have greater opportunity to engage and start gaining traction with your community.

Create a Resource

Use your Facebook page to “add value” to your customers. Offer information, create contests, offer deals and provide solutions to customer issues. Offering deals is one way to measure your ROI. There are various ways of doing this. You can offer deals exclusively for Facebook Fans or you can cross promote across platforms. However, by having exclusive deals for Facebook you are able to measure any redeemed codes and assess your efforts.

Further use Facebook to start a conversation. Post questions on your ‘wall’ so that your Fans can respond and be interactive. Get them to share insights, opinions and reward them for their feedback. This may seem unnerving at first, to have comments out in the open, however, it shows that you have a degree of trust and respect for your Fans. What is now required is patience, dedication and persistence.

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Anna Cairo

Anna Cairo

Anna is a social media communications expert. She supports businesses to increase their online presence through social media. Additionally, she also educates businesses around the impacts social media creates in the workplace and how to minimise these risks. She is a writer, researcher and author writing for diverse audiences on a range of topics. Further, she conducts workshops, presentations and is regularly asked to speak to lawyers around social media risk. Anna was recently nominated for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2013. You can join Anna on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Cairo-Consulting/285887488090944">Facebook</a> or visit <a href="http://www.annacairo.com">www.annacairo.com</a>.

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