May 30, 2010

Facebook as a Business Tool

Last week I spoke at the Ipswich Women in Business meeting about social media networking - most of the attendants had a facebook presence for their business and also a personal page. What I want to address in this post is the importance of having a personal page for your business as well as your fan page.

Facebook is a tool that many people use to keep in touch with friends and family and to share photos of your children and what you are generally up to in your day to day life. This is done on your personal page, but if you run a business and have a fan page for it, it is highly likely that you do not want to share your personal life with your clients or fans.

Your personal page is a very important tool for increasing your fans or (likers) as they are now called on your business fan page. Therefore, you need to use your personal page for your business. If you have not started a fan page on facebook for your business yet, then you are starting with a clean slate. The best thing to do is to create another personal account on facebook just for your business and have a personal page that shows your photo or business logo . From this account start your fan page - as these two pages will be working together for you.

If you already have a personal page and fan page up and running, and have been using your personal page to keep up to date with friends and family - I suggest that you start a new personal page and invite your family and close friends over to that one to share the more personal side of your life. The other option is to stop using your personal page in that way and only now use it for your business and for networking.

Ok, so now that you have that under control lets move on to how to grow your fan base. It is called active prospecting! - and no it is not hard.

From hanging out on facebook you would know that people tend to join groups or pages that interest them, these are the places to find your new clients. For instance one of my businesses is related to jewelery making - so if you search in the groups area of facebook and type in beading or jewelery - there will be groups associated with this pastime. My suggestion is to join the group and see how active the members are and establish if your product or service will relate to them.

Each group or page will show you the list of members - if you see someone of interest add them as a friend but the important part is to add a personal note. Let the person know that you are in the same group or have the same interest as them. Be upfront and let them know you have a fan page - and that you are looking to connect with people who are interested in the same product, service or pastime.

Example of what I would type.

Hi Jan - I am Tania and I am the owner of Jet Beads & Craft - I saw that you were a member of the "Beaders Group" and I am looking to connect with other people interested in beading. I also have a fan page on facebook - Cheers Tania

I would maybe ask 10 people a day to become friends with me - all these people are interested in a product or pastime that is associated with my business.

Next step - a percentage of these people will become my friends which is great. Once they become my friends it is posted on their wall. The important next step is to suggest to them your fan page. You can only suggest your fanpage to your friends - this is why it is important to use your personal page for business and networking. Each day after accepting new friends, while you are still fresh in their memories suggest your fan page to them, the majority will join. Once they join it will be posted on their wall -- If their friends are interested in the same service or product they might just click on the link and become a fan as well. (you didn't even have to prospect for them). Do you see how this can quickly grow your fan/client base.

You are being smart and targeting your market - where your market hangs out - just remember that it has to be personal and you have to have a giving mindset. You are going to provide your new friends with valuable information that is going to benefit them.

In the next post I will talk about the content you provide your new fans.

I hope you enjoyed this post - if so please share it with your friends via Facebook or Twitter - the links are provided below on the Sharing the Love link.

You can also follow along on the facebook Group - Social Media Networking Tips for Businesses

Sharing is Caring - Cheers Tania

I have been wadding through the terms & conditions on Facebook this morning in relation to have two personal accounts - it seems that having multiple personal accounts in a violation of it's use - I see many people with them on facebook. I think people get around this issue by using another email address and using a name that their friends know them by. - I personally only have one - but I only share info and photos that I would be happy to show a customer or client.
I think if you are going to use facebook as a business tool you have to make the decision to stop sharing your family and personal life on your personal page. Or use your partners or create a family profile on facebook - if anyone else has any insight to this please share)
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