facebook social media for small business workshop imageI could talk about Facebook for days.  I’ve been on it for more than eight years and have seen it evolve from a social engagement platform for college students into an irrefutable part of life.  Facebook has become a verb.  “Facebook official” is perceived as an actual legitimization of relationship status.  Facebook messages and posts are seen as a viable communication method.  And at the end of the day, Facebook is more than just a social media platform – it is a tremendously powerful tool for small businesses.  If you aren’t using Facebook in your business, here are some reasons why you should start:

  • It’s where your competition is and it is a level playing field.  Pages are free. Traffic is free. Engagement just takes time and effort, but a local business’s page can be just as effective as a Fortune 500’s page.
  • It’s where your customers are. There are over 1 billion people on Facebook and 74% of internet users worldwide check Facebook daily.  The average user has 130 friends and creates 90 pieces of content each month.
  • It’s real time and measurable.  There are metrics available and the interactions are made in real time, allowing you to use current events, seasonal promotions, and time-sensitive data to your best advantage.  It is also highly valuable from a customer service standpoint, allowing you to interact and engage customers, making turning unhappy customers to happy customers and happy customers to brand ambassadors.
  • It’s searchable and shareable.  With social media you are able to search for and find topics, locations, and people and also to be found.

My number one rule when it comes to social media: get organized.  As soon as you are organized, it’s much easier to stay on top of things – maintaining relationships and business development with Facebook.  Create a content calendar and plan your posts.  Use this as a way to ensure that you aren’t being redundant, lacking in ideas, or failing to incorporate video, images, or other media or web 2.0 items into your messaging.

Rule number two is almost as important.  Be authentic and impart value.  Bring real value to your customers – give away some secret sauce.  It’s okay, they will still keep coming back.  Present yourself as an authority on your topic and develop a voice of authorship on the web.  By imparting value, you make your social media presence appealing and engaging.  Even if developing your process is a slow one, it is worth it in the long run by creating an engaged and dynamic social media presence.

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