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The marketing potential of Facebook is huge, but many companies struggle to devise a strategy that’s suitable for such a social platform.

But there are more than 400m active users of Facebook, meaning whatever your product or service, there’s a huge potential market there.

So, how can you use the platform to promote your brand? Here are some of the ways marketers can approach it.

Make a Facebook page

Let’s start with the most obvious; do you have a Facebook page?

Since the website began inviting users to ‘like’ business pages rather than ‘become a fan’ of them, it’s much less intrusive and people seem to be far happier about this slightly more subdued way of showing their approval.

If you’re marketing a lively brand or product, don’t make do with a dull standard Facebook page, make your landing page lively and interesting.

Promote your page offsite

Don’t expect your potential fans to find you on Facebook without a little support. Add a ‘Find us on Facebook’ button to your website, email marketing communications and even printed brochures, so that people know you’re on there.

You may disagree, but I think that having a Facebook page shows that a brand is interactive and personable. So, even if people don’t bother looking you up, they may be left with a better impression of your brand.

Make your page interesting

What are you going to do with your Facebook page? Will you post deals, links to blog posts, competitions, notes, photographs of your corporate summer party (guilty!)?

You need to add content to your page so that your fans have something to interact with and so that they see your brand in their news feeds, building brand awareness.

Have a clear content strategy before you start building the page, otherwise you could suddenly be left scrambling for something to say.

Have a clear idea of what you want people to do

What are you hoping to achieve with your Facebook page? If it’s just brand awareness then you want content that people will interact with on the page. If you want to get fans to click through to your site, you’ll need links to offers and exclusives.

If it’s to create brand advocates, you need to create applications and games that people will share with their friends.

If you don’t know what you hope to achieve, then you won’t be able to create appropriate content.

Use Facebook ads

Will your marketing budget stretch to some paid Facebook ads? You can use keywords from people’s profiles to target your advertising at relevant demographics, (female friends who’ve become engaged tell me they see nothing but weight loss ads from the moment they change their relationship status!).

So, you can target people of a specific age, gender, educational level, workplace, even location.

It is a fairly cost-effective way to market your brand. You may even decide to use your advertising to drive people towards your fan page and give it a proper kick off.

Build a Facebook app

Can you create an interactive app? Some of the cleverest Facebook marketing is app-based, with the potential to turn viral and suddenly create enormous interest in your company.

You can build games, quizzes and other types of dynamic content that people will use and share.

If you don’t have the skills inhouse to create this kind of content, many business have sprung up that will develop an app with you to market your brand.

Make your content easy to share

Do you have a blog back on your website? Linking works both ways, you shouldn’t just be driving people to your site through Facebook.

In fact, you should also give people the opportunity to alert their Facebook friends to interesting content on your company website. Add a button allowing people to share the article on Facebook, as well as to Tweet it, Sphinn it, Digg it, Buzz it, or whichever your social platforms of choice are.

Make it as easy as possible for people to spread your brand message.

Create and interact with Facebook groups

Join some relevant Facebook groups and maybe even create a few. This will allow more people to see your brand, giving you the chance to build a fan base without paying for advertising.

Of course, this is a dangerous tactic if you’re a bit blunt. You mustn’t simply charge in and start trying to sell to people who are busy socialising. Instead, you should offer tips, support and advice, building confidence in your brand.

Is there a cause or campaign your company believes in? Maybe you’re a debt management company campaigning against payday loans, or a restaurant campaigning for more local food to be eaten in your town?

Create a group that promotes your cause and you’ll be able to interact with people who wouldn’t necessarily ‘like’ a brand but are very willing to support a campaign they believe in.

Give your fans exclusives

If someone has updated their Facebook page to show friends that they like your brand, you really ought to reward them.

Give them exclusive deals, sneak previews of new products, discounts – special offers to show you appreciate their support.

Use Facebook analytics

Having created a Facebook page, you need to need to monitor the success of the page. Facebook’s analytics tools allow you to see what kind of content works well.

Once you’ve created a page, you’ll be able to access this information through Facebook Insights, meaning you can see how people are interacting with your content, what demographics they belong to, which countries they are in, how many people have signed up, how many people have unsubscribed.

Make use of this information. It’s free and it will inform your developing Facebook strategy.

Don’t forget

If you’re a marketing professional, it’s not just your business you can promote through Facebook – you can also market yourself and build connections with other people in your sector.

There are groups, discussions and a thousand other ways to connect. You can even have different settings for your work-related ‘friends’, meaning they never need to see that picture of you after 12 vodka shots…

Kevin Gibbons

Published 16 July, 2010 by Kevin Gibbons

Kevin Gibbons is UK Managing Director at digital marketing agency BlueGlass. He is also known as an SEO speaker and can be found on Twitter and Google+.

102 more posts from this author

Comments (40)

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Samantha Noble

Samantha Noble, Marketing Director at Koozai

Some great pointers here Kevin - thanks.

One thing I will add is to be aware of the frequency of your posts from your Facebook Page. Too many updates will cause your fans to stop 'liking' the page as you will appear to be filling up their News Feed.

about 6 years ago

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Andrew Bonar

Great Article, and a very good pointer from Samantha on not spamming newsfeeds.

Another thing you can do to promote your business on Facebook is encouraging "Likes" from your email newsletters. It is now possible to integrate social marketing and email marketing. My most recent blog posts shows you how to overcome the problems of embedding the Like Button in your email creative.

It is actually pretty simple:

Embed Facebook Like Button in your email

Another thing you can do with this code is use your links in an email to go to a page that contains a div overlay that offers the opportunity to Like the page before continuing.

Plenty of scope for customisation.

http://emailexpert.org/adding-a-facebook-like-button-to-your-email-template/

about 6 years ago

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Teena

I really have to take your advice for it. I never tried promoting my site on Facebook and I know I'm missing a lot. Glad I found your site. Thanks.

about 6 years ago

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Mark A Carbone

I was hoping for something more in-depth coming from a marketing site and from you Kevin.  Tell us something that 20 other blog posts on the subject just in the last month via a search on Google didn't cover.  

I know you can do much better than this. 

about 6 years ago

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Howie at Sky Pulse Media

I agree with the premise of this post. But wish to correct some things. 400million accounts they consider active. Which means logging in once per month. That is not active in my opinion. There are 80 million in the US who log in each day. But only 10-20million are updating their status, commenting, or clicking 'Like' based on FB's own stats. People 'Like' a fan page 4 times per month and upload 6 photos each per month. So please don't over state the market on the site. Next, Myspace already has proven that people will trick out their profiles and upload photos and even blog, and leave for another site. There will be a better site than Facebook sooner than later and we will be going there. So prepare for that! Lastly the live feed means your business posts will not get seen my 80+% of the people who fan you. Every time I log in there is always 300+ updates and I only read the first page of them. That is ok. Just don't think everyone will see every post. Major brands with millions of fans only experience a 0.01% interaction rate on their fan pages. That will not be changing any time soon. That said even if you had 30million people who you can reach today that surpasses a 30 sec spot on American Idol

about 6 years ago

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Jennifer Bair

Social media sites such as facebook and twitter are an evolving marketing and social gathering place that seems to bring people together without as heavy a committment as face-to-face communication. I am happy to learn and utlilize what I can to promote my books and CDs on social media sites. I am curious as to what will come next!  

about 6 years ago

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Steve Reynolds

Thanks Kevin for the tips.  Great to see the ongoing evolution of marketing with social media taking such an important place.  We have several clients that prefer one platform over the other, but who want to learn asap why they should be incorporating them all simultaneously.  Keep challenging us all to adapt to the realities of web marketing 2.0. Cheers!


about 6 years ago

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Lisa Cripps, Marketing Owner at Bitesize Marketing

I think this is an excellent review of how to use Facebook.  To many people create a site but don't think about the med-long term strategy and engagement with fans.  I'm currently working with a client on their facebook site- we have a content calendar and are posting 1-2 times per week however there is so much more we can do to make this interactive.  

about 6 years ago

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Debra

Thank you for this timely article. I started a Facebook page recently and haven't done a thing with it yet. You have inspired me to get to work on it. Have a great day! Debra : )

about 6 years ago

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Jeff

My Agency uses Facebook TabSite it an easy way to create a custom landing page for your Fan Page. Also easy to edit if I need to make changes.

about 6 years ago

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Terry Bullock

I've just created a FB page for my business. A bit of a newcomer to social networking sites, so I found this article quite inspiring. Now off to investigate the Landing Page thing...

about 6 years ago

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Byron Bay Accommodation

Good advice thankyou - we are new to FB so this article is helpful.

about 6 years ago

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Ram R

Hi folks ,

Nice article to position your brand on facebook.

we at kamyoo.com have taken these marketing principles and built a social CRM product . you can start with a  business page on facebook and much more.

Ram

Co-Founder

kamyoo.com

about 6 years ago

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Heinz Rainer

Ongoing discussion Forum on LinkedIn  deals with fanpage Linkexchange to enhance your fan page visibility and popularity.

Linkedin Marketing Expert Michelle created the discussion which attracts lots of inputs by fellow Facebook marketers.

  • Basic concept 
  • create a list of Fanpage URLS externally. On Google
  • Edit this list, add your own fanpage URL link.
  • Go to the listed Fanpage and press 'like'
  • Expect the fellow marketer to follow same tactics
  • Thus, Fanpages will attract more visits and rank higher amongst others
Facebook BlogNetworks

africasiaeuro biz (will be re-directed to new site)

about 6 years ago

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T-Cee

does that sound like a chain letter?

about 6 years ago

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jonathan wood

Great article, simple to read and follow, so much so that i will now go and set up a business page. Have bookmarked this page and will report back.

about 6 years ago

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erica

With all the advertising research I have been doing on facebook advertising, I still haven't figured out a couple of things.

Occasionally I get an "ad" in my news feed from a page I belong to.  For example, I belong to Pittsburgh, PA, and an ad appeared directly in MY news feed for a place to hold events and weddings.  How can I do this and have my "post/ad" show up in a specific group or page directly in the members' newsfeeds?

Also, can I post comments/advertising on a page with a link to my page?

Lastly, how can I buy ads and have them show up on specifice pages, instead of just by interests, locations, etc.  What if I want to advertise only on a specific page.

about 6 years ago

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William Hawthorne

i really need all the help i can get, don't have time to do it my self but have setup company page.  willing to pay a little to see with hit count increases pay more.

about 6 years ago

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Sallyanne Howell

An informative and interesting post - sometimes it is best to start back at the beginning and this post highlights some of the best methods in which to start advertising a business / building a fanbase on Facebook.

Definitely agree with @Samantha though - keep an eye on how many updates you are putting up each day and make sure they are always of interest to the reader and better still, will entice the readers to start a discussion.

about 6 years ago

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life coaching articles

Now a days advertisement is most important due to the competition. Moreover Facebook,Orkut all this community sites popular in today's world. The users of this sites increase more and more. Free advertising, like the ideas you've posted can often be far more effective than paid advertising.

about 6 years ago

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Mobile Monopoly Bonus

Facebook marketing has been one of the popular strategies in promoting a business. I can see small to big time players who created fan pages to promote their products and services, and somehow, it generates prospect consumers and clients. It’s like everybody’s ground, and anyone could get a page for their own - free.

about 6 years ago

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Web Design Dubai

I thought facebook is only useful to get touch with friends and there we can transfer photos and all.... But after read this useful blog i came to know the root works of facebook for business peoples....

about 6 years ago

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David

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have seen that I recently joined Foursquare, admittedly to try and find out what all the fuss was about

about 6 years ago

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Ben

Did you know that you can advertise on other people's cars? This website has set up a system whereby you can view the country, mileage, etc. of vehicles, and pay to advertise on them:

http://www.heyuok.com/cars/

almost 6 years ago

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Stephanie

Thats great advice! I am new to the social networking scene for business so it has helped!

almost 6 years ago

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Kelly Morris PR

GREAT article.  Back to basics.  Thank you!

over 5 years ago

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Brad

Thanks for the tips Kevin. Great article. Just about to start an Ad campaign on Facebook to see if I can drive more traffic to our new Facebook Company page offering website design and computer repairs in the Chicago area.  This is a first as I usually promote with Google Ad words and hopefully it turns into some "Like"'s along the way!

New Facebook Fan Page for Operation Technology Web Design

over 5 years ago

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Oliver

Nice one cheers.

over 5 years ago

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Asad

This article has given me new motivation and shown me new ways to promote my business. I wonder why I forgot it. Well researched and very informative article indeed. Well done and thanks.

over 5 years ago

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Svend

It seems like every article on the internet about facebook is about what to do with a facebook page.

It is hard to find information on How to do anything on facebook like how do i setup a competition on facebook

over 5 years ago

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John Green

Great site! Using FB is a great way to share links with friends and family and allow for great viral advertising.

almost 5 years ago

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rachel

Hi,

Do you have to pay any fee for putting a small business on face book?

almost 5 years ago

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Martin

You can also add your facebook profile, page or group to FBKPages.com

almost 5 years ago

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baotri

Good starting points. I have done all that when I created a page for my business about a month ago. The real problem seems to be attracting people to become fans. I have invited all my friends several times, but only few joined. No one really interacts with the page, hence it is not listed in their newsfeed. I tried sending private messages, tagging people, etc., but still not much luck. If you have any further ideas of how to get more fans and engage existing ones, please let me know.

over 4 years ago

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P Welch

What is the cost of using FB to advertise?
How do you get started?

over 4 years ago

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comocom

Some great advice and information here. Thanks for this list. There are really thousand ways to connect on FB and promote your business. You've conducted an excellent list to follow.

almost 4 years ago

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Business Facebook Page

Superb tips! Thanks for sharing these useful list. I think one thing I can share is that we can obtain more fans through our creativity, facebook fan page does not only allow us to post blogs or advertisement but also import some photos and videos and not only that facebook has given us a special feature like timeline which we can utilize in order for the business to be patronized and promoted.

almost 4 years ago

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jruss

Very good info - I would also check kungphoo.com - you can promote your business free and hit all the social networks. Good luck & and thanks for a great article!

almost 4 years ago

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Jack Watson

I like your all points.Space Age is a major player in the production of all kinds of office materials.

over 3 years ago

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Bizadz Team, Marketing Associate at Bizadz

I would like to add on by listing a website small businesses across Canada can use for FREE to advertise !! Log on to www.bizadz.ca and advertise your services for FREE. If you can't find a category to fit your business let us know we will create a new category exclusively for you and at zero cost !!

Why Bizadz ?

- Latest and fastest scripting enabling very fast loading and great User experience

- Post your advertisement where it can ACTUALLY BE SEEN

- Thousands of unique visitors use our website daily (according to alexa ranking)

- We DONOT charge at all

- You can integrate and sign in using Facebook for better social presence

- Embed Youtube Video talking about your business for greater response for FREE

Spend 5 minutes on advertising at www.bizadz.ca and see the change !!!

Regards

Bizadz Team

over 1 year ago

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