#1 Content is essential for attracting and keeping readers. Ask questions that are business-related, provide tips and post links to interesting and helpful videos, articles and blogs, even to content that you didn’t create but that your audience would appreciate. Repurpose articles and answers into Frequently Asked Questions and use other information you’ve written into short, helpful one-paragraph snippets of content.
#2 Try to keep a conversational tone. Don’t use a hard sell, and don’t constantly promote. Instead, draw your readers in with open-ended questions and try to get them into a dialog. Facebook users want to connect with the person behind the business, so keep the conversation “business casual”, as you would at a networking luncheon. That means that it’s OK to talk a little bit about superficial personal subjects, such as your pets, vacation highlights, sports teams, etc. Always make sure that the information you share shows you in an ethical, trustworthy light. Be human, but also be professional! You can also reward those who “like” your page with occasional special discounts and coupons.
# 3 Promote your Facebook Business Page at every opportunity. Put a “badge” (Facebook can generate this for free) showing your Business Page icon on your business Web page. Add the address for your Business Page to your business cards, signage, invoices, handouts and all marketing material (Facebook makes it easy to create a short, readable page address). Where your Web site is a one-way conversation (you speaking to your customers), view your Facebook page as the opportunity to learn from having a two-way conversation with your prospects and buyers.
#4 Facebook also offers the ability to place ads that show up on the profiles of other Facebook users who fit the demographic description you provide. You set the budget and the duration for the ads, and a campaign costing just a few hundred dollars can lead to hundreds of thousands of impressions and hundreds of clicks. This is a great way to drive traffic to your Business Page or to your company’s Web page.
#5 Facebook has tightened up its rules for allowing contests, but that doesn’t mean that contests are out of reach for small businesses. PinpointSocial.com specializes in template-driven, do-it-yourself Facebook campaigns that comply with Facebook’s rules but are easy and affordable for small businesses to run. Used in conjunction with Facebook ads, this is a great way to increase the “likes” for your page, essentially increasing your Facebook opt-in. Constant Contact has also added a social media tool that creates Facebook landing pages using templates, with the advantage that the tool also integrates with Constant Contact’s impressive email marketing capabilities.
#6 You can also add value to your Facebook Business Page through extra add-on applications within Facebook. For example, one app allows your blog to automatically post to your Facebook page (RSS), increasing your productivity by getting additional exposure for each blog post. The same is also possible for your Twitter or podcast feed. For companies that sell on eBay, Facebook has an app that interfaces with your eBay site. Apps change frequently, so be sure to look for the ones that would be right for your business.
Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Z. Martin