Using Facebook to Market Your Business

You’re Doing It Wrong: Facebook Marketing for Small Business

With nearly 10 billion users, Facebook (FB) is easily the most widely used social network in the world. If Facebook were a country with a seat at the U.N., it would hold the third largest population, behind China and India. And like China and India, Facebook (should we call it Facebooktopia?) has its own distinctive customs and norms, and you should understand and respect them so that you can utilize the site’s potential as a tool for promoting and expanding your small business. Whenever I see small businesses do a face plant on Facebook, it’s often because they don’t invest some time to learn Facebooktopia’s customs.

Tread lightly on Facebook

What makes Facebook distinct from other social networks? It’s the fact that users have strong ties with one another. They are linked with their best friends, their family members, their in-laws as well as their long-lost friends from grade school. They share intimate parts of their lives. Things like:

  • Birthday celebrations
  • High school graduation footage
  • Baby photos
  • Wedding announcements

The upshot for businesses? They have to be conscientious and careful within their approach. You can’t use the old kinds of one-way, direct-response marketing on FB, because people aren’t there to listen to sales pitches. They’re not in a buying mindset. They’re in a socializing mindset. You should respect that.

Keep it real (for real) on Facebook

If you are trying to port the old style of marketing into Facebook, you will be disappointed. “With Facebook, marketers of any size can do effective, word-of-mouth marketing at scale for the very first time,” says Annie Ta, a Facebook spokesperson. “But FB is all about authenticity, so if your company is not authentic or engaging with customers in a fashion that feels genuine, the community will see through it.”

If you’re doing it right, it’s hard

Marketing on Facebook is incredibly effective. But it’s also really hard (and equally rewarding) if you do it properly. Many businesses assume that if they set up a page on Facebook, that’s all they have to do. But it really takes much more of a commitment than that. Don’t be lured by social media sirens who make ridiculous promises about effortless Facebook success. Social media is all about building relationships and influence—which takes time. But the payback is well worth the effort. Nearly two-thirds of businesses engaged in social media say that Facebook has improved their overall marketing effectiveness, and 80 percent report forming new partnerships after just two years of engagement, as per a study from Social Media Examiner.

To Your Success!

Luke Harlan
Marketing Strategist

p.s. See you soon on Facebook!