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How Facebook can be used in your business

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Facebook Tip #1 “Why use Facebook?"

Quite simply, to increase your business or organization’s exposure these days, you need a Facebook page. Facebook is a free social network platform that allows you to post updates on events, showings, products or your own thoughts to gain more exposure, empathy, and popularity.

It works like this: you create a page with content that you totally control. You should post only what you want a potential fan-base to see. As you can imagine, advertising is a must, but it doesn’t have to cost you very much. You control how much you want to spend (more on this in another tip).

There are a few options you have when creating a page.

One popular way is to set up your page so people can become your "fan". For instance, if your business is a local newspaper then your subscribers can become fans of your Facebook page. It is then your (or a volunteer’s) responsibility to post updates (at least a few a day!) to your fans to keep them abreast of any upcoming events, sales, changes, etc. that they may find helpful.

If you are a popular personality, the process is the same. You can post your upcoming shows, appearances, products, etc. The best part is that it is all free for you!

Facebook Tip #2: “Preliminary questions/steps”

When setting up a Facebook page for a business, a personality or a group, Facebook allows users to choose from three criteria:

1) Is your business “local”?
2) Do you have a “brand”, “product” or are you part of an “organization”?
3) Are you an “artist”, “band”, or “public figure”?

After you have decided what category to build your page under, there is a drop-down menu of between 10-30 other categories to narrow down your business. You also have to authorize that you have permission to create such a page representing the said group. There are penalties for those who try to do so falsely.

Once you have created your page, it is time to start building up your content. But first, you should fill out your profile and post an image or a picture/logo that you want associated with your page.

You can display your address, phone number, web pages, interests, and even political associations if you choose! In the least, you should definitely provide your businesses address, phone number, and website url. Below your picture/logo, Facebook also allows you to post a "blurb", which has limited character space. For instance, you could put a tag line or a slogan. Below that is your address and below that is the space where your fans’ icons will appear once they become your fan!

Now that you have your address, picture/logo, and your slogan, you will want to fill in your “info” section. NOTE: You can list store hours, if appropriate, under your address.

Facebook Tip #3: “Your Facebook Layout”

The main part of Facebook is what is known as your “wall”. Your wall is where you would post the text that you want your fans to know (up to 420 characters per post). Your wall is the largest part of your Facebook page and it is also where your fans can post any of their thoughts.

They can do this in one of two ways: They can post directly to your wall or enter their text in a “just fans” section. That way your posts and their posts are actually separate.

Facebook also has many applications that you can use to make your page unique.

For instance, one of the most popular options is to upload photos onto your wall. You can do this in a number of ways. You can upload a single photo from your computer or take one with your webcam. Lastly, you can also create a photo album and upload hundreds of pictures if you like.

This is a great way to personalize your page. If you allow, your fans can post photos as well. There are many privacy options you can enforce if you so choose (we will get to these in another tip).

In addition to adding photos, you can also add videos to your wall. Videos are a great way to get your message out there in a hip and unique fashion. You can take a video from your webcam and upload it to Facebook. The other way to add a video is to upload one from your computer.

Published - March 2010

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