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How to use Facebook as an effective business tool

The obvious reason to look at how Facebook can be used as a marketing tool is, quite simply, their numbers.

In April 2009, Facebook had 175,000,000 active users. By October 2009, that number had risen to 300,000,000. Today, the social network has more than 400, 000,000 active users.

Think about it – that is greater than the population of the United States; if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest country in the world.

How do I leverage Facebook to grow my business?

• Create a Facebook page and maintain it. For business it may be best to create a page rather than a group. (See http://www. facebook.com/sanjug?ref=profile #!/pages/ganglani-productions -inc/329931494741?ref=ts.)

•Publish content that others will interact with. Make it fun and interesting! Also, design your page for your users. Facebook lets you add a larger picture, known as a profile picture, as well as a smaller version of the same image to your fan page.

• Keep content short and interesting. Time is important online, so keep your postings brief and make sure they contain valuable information. Be innovative, but don’t overcomplicate things. Users are used to the traditional navigational structure of Facebook, so be careful not to complicate their experience.

• Have a consistent voice. This standard marketing practice applies to social media as well. It’s good to have a personality, but be sure to maintain a consistent tone appropriate for your fans (see earlier articles at www. CanadaBoundImmigrant.com). For example, a doctor may want to be conservative, while a night club would probably turn off fans if they used a conservative tone.

• Schedule your publications – fans prefer consistency. People don’t need to hear from you every day; in fact, if they hear from you too often they might remove your fan page from their list. It’s good to share breaking news, but otherwise, create a schedule and pace the delivery of your content.

• Continually evaluate and adjust your efforts. Facebook has a tool called Page Insights that can help you identify who your fans are, where they live and the posts that create the most interest. Leverage this information to improve the way you communicate with fans.
Integrate Facebook with your company website. Facebook provides tools that make it easy for you to do this. Currently Facebook lets businesses share Facebook content or post a Page Badge on their websites, allows users to add a fan box to their Facebook pages and can even automatically post your Face-book status updates to Twitter.

SANJU GANGLANI is the President of Gang&lani Productions, a Mississauga-based custom marketing services company and co-founder, brand & land

Need guidance? Write to Sanju at sanju@gangandlaniproductions.com. With over seven years of experience with the largest Fortune 500 companies, Sanju Ganglani specializes in brand management, web marketing, event management and revenue generation planning. Visit www.gangand-laniproductions.com or www.brandandland.com for more information

Posted: Nov 14, 2010

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