As a small business owner you are probably pulled in a thousand different directions running your business and are wondering why you should devote precious moments of your time to social marketing on Facebook. Here are a few key items to consider when deciding how to prioritize your time:

  1. Lots of potential for new business – There are over 900 million (and counting) users on Facebook today.
  2. Your existing and potential customers are already on Facebook – With such a high number of users, your current customers are already on Facebook and you can start marketing to them to strengthen your relationship with them.
  3. Match/Exceed your competitors – Your competitors are on Facebook too. If you are not using Facebook to promote your business, you might actually be losing business to your competition.
  4. Numbers don’t lie–  According to Facebook’s February 2012 data:
    • 51% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or brand after liking them on Facebook.
    • 80% of consumers are more likely to try new things based on friends’ suggestions made in social media
    • 74% of consumers are more likely to encourage friends to try new products.
    • Social Media is becoming more influential at each phase of the connected world.
  5. It’s not that hard! – Not to toot our own horn, but tools like Pagemodo are constantly evolving to make social marketing on Facebook a snap, even if you don’t have any technical skills.

If you are just getting started utilizing Facebook to promote your small business here is a quick checklist to help you create a strong social presence and build up your Facebook fan base.

5 Proven Techniques for Building up Your Facebook Page

  1. Select a vanity URL –A vanity URL describes a custom website address you can create for your Facebook fan page. It usually looks like www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname instead of a default URL assigned by Facebook. Please note you will need to have at least 25 fans in order to be eligible to create a vanity URL.
  2. Set your cover photo & profile photo – Once your business has a new fan page and a custom URL, it’s time to start thinking about your branding. One way to convey your brand and what it stands for is by taking full advantage of available cues: cover photo and profile photo. Think about posting imagery that helps to tell the story about your business.
  3. Add milestones & key moments – Potential customers want to conduct business with companies that they trust, one way to create trust on your fan page is by adding and highlighting important dates and events for your small business. If you can, try to make these milestones as visual as possible to help them pop when visitors are scanning your page. Learn how to add milestones.
  4. Get your customers to Like your page – Timeline does not allow page owners to default the landing page on which visitors land, but that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage growth of your fan base. One way to grow the number of your fans is by providing valuable information that existing and potential customers want (for example a coupon code) that can be accessed once a user becomes a fan of your page. You can achieve this by adding a “Like Gate” that hides your content:  It is important to note that growing the number of followers on your page should not be a only a numbers game.Quality matters more than quantity – target potential customers so that you can engage them. Don’t stop here – email your contacts, and tell them about your Facebook Page. Make sure you add a link to your Like-gated page.
  5. Engage fans with quality content – Now that you have created and customized your page it’s time to make sure you are posting quality information that your fans can interact with. Here are a few pointers to think about when creating content for your fan page:
    • Posting visual and timely updates increases fan engagement and also increases the virality of your Facebook Page, potentially attracting new fans
    • Post on regular basis – try to post at least 2-3 times a week
    • Interact with your fans by responding to posted comments and questions
    • Don’t be afraid to be yourself and showcase your personality
    • It is okay to ask questions (remember we can all learn from our customers!)

Looking to learn more about available timeline options? Discover Timeline 101: 9 Tips to help you get started.

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About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Pagemodo’s Marketing and Social Media Manager. Get more from Irina on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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