A Guide to Facebooking for Business

Even if you are living under a rock, you are aware of Facebook - or at the very least, its premise. It's mobile now you know. If your rock doesn't have coverage scamper out for a bit and go here immediately. I think at last tally Facebook boasted 750 million active users worldwide and boasts further mind-blowing stats here.

Suffice to say, Facebook is a terrific and easy way to reach people. Especially if you're in business. 

If you’re anything like me, you like to keep a modesty sock between your personal and your business life. What works for everyone is different. For me, I like to have a personal account where my Friends constitute people I have actually, physically met and consider actual, old fashion,'you have something stuck in your teeth' comrades (I know, how very old world of me).

For business, I have a page. Facebook explains pages:
Pages are for organizations, businesses, celebrities, and bands to broadcast great information in an official, public manner to people who choose to connect with them. Similar to profiles, Pages can be enhanced with applications that help the entity communicate and engage with their audiences, and capture new audiences virally through friend recommendations, News Feed stories, Facebook events, and beyond. 

When it comes to business use of Facebook, frankly, I don’t think there are many organisations out there that are using Facebook to its fullest potential. I’ve noticed content improving every week but at this stage I believe that most of us are still just feeling our way and the winning formula is yet to be discovered. However, with so many innovative thinkers out there and so many great ideas floating around we’re getting there.

My favourite Facebook pages are those that have struck a balance between self promotional and infotainment. In short, the Facebook page posts I look out for and religiously read demonstrate an understanding of their target market(s) and are hell bent on keeping them interested. A few that spring to mind:
With these in mind, to follow is a list of the different ways you can approach your business’s Facebook page so that you leave enough of an imprint to build and keep an audience.

PR Clippings Clickings

“We were on TV/radio/in this magazine ... here’s a link to some audio/video/ image/text / website.” This type of post is essentially PR-ing your PR – or getting more bang for your PR buck. Get that extra mileage out of your media coverage. After all, there’s no point winking in the dark.

Link References
Provide interesting link-worthy online references that are either entertaining or educational. Memo to self: make sure link contents are consistent with your image and brand. If you don’t want to be associated with kooky or slightly crass You Tube videos, don’t post them (even if they are hilarious. Like the one with the double rainbow. (No, I’m still not sick of it).

Inspirational Quotes
Either your own meanderings or quote someone else who can eloquently express something you would like to say.

Self Promotion
A little FIGJAM never goes astray. It is perfectly acceptable and expectable to plug your own new products, best sellers and success stories so long as these are not your only posts – or even the majority of your posts.

Sales/Discounts/Special Offers
Even better.  Who doesn’t love a bargain? If you’re offering something of worth to your target audience, you’re following the golden rule of social media; offer easily accessed value to people.

Raise awareness for charitable causes or endeavours you are affiliated with or personally support.

Blog link
Facebook is an excellent way to lure more people to your website – especially if you have something new or controversial to say. Also, don’t forget to cross-pollinate by linking Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and anywhere else you have an online presence.

Dear Diary ...
Providing detail after tedious detail about when you’re heading out to grab a soy latte or how messy your desk is can be TMI and off-putting. However, offering little titbits on the type of project you are working is a great way of showing what you can do.

Life Observations
Silly or funny personal observations about recent events, news topics or just life in general – self-deprecation is usually well-received.

Future Plans
Announcements of future plans, new services or events can encourage take-up, sign up and attendance.

Portfolio images or personal photos are another way to stand out in the news feed and another excellent way to show off your good work (and your mug!)

Create Dialogue
Ask questions or run a Facebook poll that inspires ideas, incites debate (monitor these closely) or encourages conversation through comments under your post. Often the simplest questions are the most popular (e.g. how hot is it where you live right now? Where did you go on your last holiday? Vegemite should be stored in .. a) the fridge  b) the pantry?

Shout Outs
Bring attention to your clients or affiliates by posting about their achievements and efforts. This is just another way you can bring extra value to your relationship with them.

Share your expertise and remind people why you are good at what you do.

The Golden Rules
To get the most out of Facebook for your business, the main things to remember are maintain a link with whatever you post and your brand – keep it consistent and relevant and mix things up. Build yourself a Facebook reputation based on educational, entertaining, beneficial posts that keep people interested and wondering what you’ll have to share next.

What I do
Colourful Words is a copywriting business with a social media service. Each client has individual requirements. Sometimes I provide advice on post ideas and guidelines and the type of social media they should utilise to complement their business objectives. I also write and edit Facebook posts, tweets and blogs (NB: I believe it is more important for a blog to demonstrate the expertise of a business than to be a literary masterpiece ... in fact, I think this would make a great tip to share via my Facebook page ... see).

What are your favourite Facebook pages?

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