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How you can use Facebook to grow your business

 

Last month I talked about Twitter and how you can use it to grow your business. This month I’ll discuss Facebook.

Facebook claims to have 500 million active users worldwide, and it’s estimated that between six and nine million of them are in Australia and New Zealand, so it’s a great place to promote your business and let your followers know what you’re up to. Facebook differs from Twitter in that you can post a lot more than 140 characters, as well as photos, discussions, competitions and more – so you can really interact with people.

In order to fully understand the possibilities there are with Facebook, it’s a good idea to look at how some of the big companies use it. Here are a few examples:

Ben & Jerry’s – http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/benjerry?ref=ts

Starbucks – http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/Starbucks?ref=ts

They use these pages to interact directly with their customers by asking questions, getting them to suggest new ideas or flavours and posting photos of their products being consumed. It’s a great way to do market research, let customers know about new products or services and stay in touch.

Also check out Peter Walsh’s page http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/PeterWalsh?ref=ts and the AAPO page http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/aapoinc?ref=ts to see how people in the organising industry use Facebook.

The other great thing about Facebook is that it’s cheap to advertise there. You can target who you want your content to go to by choosing their demographic and location, so your ad will only go to the types of people you choose.

When setting up a Facebook account for business you need to be aware of Facebook’s policies. Facebook does not allow businesses to have their own profile. You must set up a page that is linked to your personal profile. If you don’t already have one it’s easy to set up. You don’t even have to use it, but you must link your page to this profile. You can also have more than one page, so multiple businesses can be managed from the one profile. For more information click here http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904 and read the conditions.

As with Twitter, the best way to work out how to use it is to watch what other people do, then jump right in and have a chat with your followers!

- Claire Lane, AAPO Social Media Coordinator

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