About Me

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Len focuses on helping small and new businesses succeed through developing appropriate marketing and sales strategies. Len enjoys mentoring, relishes in getting both arms and feet wet in addressing technology, marketing and sales issues. He understands the drivers impacting business results for today and tomorrow including time-to-market, time-to-revenue, marketing, sales channels and social media.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What Can Facebook and Other Public Social Networks do for Your Business

I have a Facebook page. I have a Facebook corporate page. You may ask why? One reason is Facebook pages come up in Google search results. That means one more search hit for me when someone is seeking a company that provides marketing and business development consulting services like mine.

The other reason I am both personally and corporately on Facebook is the size of the community. Today Facebook has over 300,000,000 members. If it were a country it would be the fourth largest in population, just behind the United States. That's a lot of potential customers.

Here are the top five reasons for you and your business to be on Facebook.

1. Facebook Company Pages

If you are already on Facebook then you have created a personal profile. Did you know that you can create a public company profile with the similar functionality and design? Unlike your personal page there is no limit to the number of fans you can have on your publicly viewable company page so take advantage of this feature to create a fan base and stay in touch with them.

2. Facebook Events

Facebook offers the ability to announce events. Events are a great way to create visibility for your brand and business. A Facebook event can be a cause. A Facebook event can be a webinar or online workshop, a physical meetup, even a discussion activity. Events are great ways to attract and retain customers.

3. Facebook Groups

With Facebook you can join groups. Groups can be thematically or geographically organized. Participating in a group is a great way to find new customers and tell your story even if just in passing. Remember your 20-second elevator pitch. You may get many opportunities to tell it when you join groups.

4.Facebook Share

Share provides the ability for you to hyperlink your Facebook page to your website so visitors can share your web content with their Facebook friends. Share requires a little bit of HTML know how but is easy to install. It's just another tool for spreading the word.

5. Facebook Connect

Through Connect you can use your Facebook account to populate other social networking sites without ever having to fill in the information for these sites. It's almost like having a portable phone number that you can take with you if you leave your cell provider. Now your Facebook profile can go anywhere. Considering the fact that I am a participant on many social networking sites, the connect feature in Facebook means I can publish once and automatically populate numerous sites.

Finally I would like to talk briefly about Facebook Ads.

You may have tried Google Ads as a marketing investment, purchasing sponsored sites to gain search engine positioning on the top or right-hand side of Google search results. Or you may have enrolled with Google AdSense to earn click through revenue from visitors to your company web site.

Facebook Ads resemble both of these types of ads. They are primarily text with the opportunity to include an icon or small image. Unlike Google Ads, however, Facebook ads can include a friend's endorsement in which an action and picture appear.

Is Facebook a good place to advertise. It really depends on your target demographic. Genreally speaking Facebook ads are not very effective. Generation Y and Z Facebook users do not click through. Whereas older Facebook users, people my age, or more inclined to click on ads. But the average click-through rate for Facebook Ads is very low, in fact less than 1/100th of 1 percent. So unless you are targeting the 50s plus Facebook audience I do not recommend purchasing Facebook ads.


So what can you conclude from this article?

1. Facebook is a big community, the largest online community in the world. Where there is a big community there is a big opportunity.

2. Facebook has lots of tools that can create greater visibility for your business, whether large or small.

3. Facebook can be a great way to connect to other social networking communities without having to input all of your company information over and over again.

4. Facebook is a poor place to buy advertising space unless you are selling to a specific demographic within the community. But Facebook is a great place to create events and activities and attract fans and new customers.

5. Facebook is free. That's hard not to like.

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