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Why Facebook is a must for your business

Loath it or love it Facebook is massive and a value community for commerce! During July 2011 500 million people worldwide logged onto Facebook in a single day, and 10.6 million Australians (Socialbakers.com) have Facebook accounts which represents 61% of internet population, and these users are spending over 6 hours per week (Hitwise) on Facebook. With this many consumers using Facebook it is impossible for businesses to ignore. But you may question, how does Facebook fit into the marketing mix and how to execute?

In this article I will talk through some of my ideas and provide some helpful hints to get you started.

Why use Facebook to do business?

Almost every day, I get asked 'what should I include on my Facebook page?' My response is always to ask 'what do you sell?' as this will determine what to include. If you sell cars, then list the cars you sell and information to help consumers buy; if you sell services then list those plus information to help people buy.

Everyone knows the power of Facebook to connect with friends and share ideas and recommendations. Facebook is simply another avenue to promote and sell a business’ products and services. So the content of your Facebook pages should showcase what your business does and what products or services are on offer.

Re-use existing information to showcase your products and services

You don't have to reinvent the wheel and create a new suite of information for Facebook, although at times it does make sense to develop Facebook-only content, such as promotions and special offers, to drive the uptake of followers. As a rule, generally, simply re-use existing content. As an example, take the content from brochures and print ads, and using Thrusocial.com, these can be easily uploaded to Facebook. Also, if you have available video content on YouTube, you can easily include this footage too.

But remember Facebook is a social environment so to keep it interesting, as an idea, why not reuse old content such as photos of your shop in 1985 to showcase your business history to help personalise your business page and engage and even entertain your customers.

What should I include on my customised Facebook page?

Typically, include helpful information so that consumers understand what you are selling or servicing! Be sure to include important contact information, links to your website, phone numbers and email. Remember to provide information on how to proceed with a purchase.

How do I get more people to my Facebook page?

Driving traffic to your Facebook page is a critical step. You'll notice that businesses are increasingly promoting their Facebook page, just as they do their website. While there no one answer, a must-do step is to 'have people like' your page using the Facebook 'Like' button available for your page. You can also create special Facebook offers to entice people to your page. Also, be sure to include Facebook URL promotion in all your campaigns and promotional material such as shopfronts, business cards, menus, email signatures, delivery trucks, websites, pamphlets. Okay, you get the idea. Simply include it wherever consumers can see it. Like any marketing campaign, be patient and persistent, as it can take time to build a supportive and sustainable following that adds value and sales to your business. However, once established, Facebook has the power to significantly grow your business , and change the way you communicate and sell to your consumers forever.