Facebook Marketing Success

Introduction

In today’s internet terms, social networking is roughly defined as specific groups of people getting together for a specific purpose. This concept exists both online and off. However, social networking on the internet has really exploded in popularity. In fact, it is the most preferred choice.

People do still get together offline for social networking, but it is so important online that it pretty much defines the way the internet works nowadays.

Other tools, such as social bookmarking, are subsets of social networking. Social bookmarking is when you add your favorite websites to your account on places like StumbleUpon (which is now Mix.com) and share them with others.

Why Social Network Online?

Think about your community. What kinds of organizations and groups exist? You may have a group of friends you regularly spend time with. You may be part of an organization and attend meetings. Or perhaps you form a study group in college.

The problem with this is that it is a little limiting. People respond to social networking on the internet because you have access to millions of people. This means that no matter what you want to accomplish, you can potentially do so on a large scale.

It also means that people like business owners can potentially reach a large audience for their product or service. Think about it. Facebook already has a wide range of people on the site.

The demographic information is readily available. All of this indicates that if the site is used correctly, the site can definitely be something that people will start using more and more for entrepreneurial endeavors.

How Does Facebook Fit In?

Facebook is currently the second largest social networking site on the internet, and it is growing fast. This means that millions of people have accounts, form networks and groups, add people to their friends list, and use the website to socialize and keep in touch.

If you decide you want to do some social networking online, all you need to do is create an account with Facebook, build up your profile, get acquainted with the features, and find friends.

Find Like-Minded People

The idea is to decide what you want to accomplish with Facebook and then use the tools on the site to build up your profile. Once you do that, you can find people to add to your friends list and join networks and groups.

If you have no idea what you want to do on the site, you can just create a general profile and look at the profiles of others. The basic idea is to find people that you know or want to get to know. Even if you’re using the site to further your business, you need to stick with this idea.

Ethics Of Social Networking

There are some ethics to consider before you start social networking. First of all, it is important to always have in mind the fact that social networking is very community oriented.

You need to ask yourself if your actions help support that community. If they don’t you could potentially be violating the unspoken rules.

Basically, if your actions while social networking makes people upset, sad, or angry, you’re not handling it in a very ethical way. The same rules that you use when with someone in person apply online. Behind the profile picture, there is a real person.

Another element that is rigidly adhered to is a no-SPAM policy. This means that if anything you do can be interpreted as SPAM, then it isn’t allowed. If you’re stumped as to what that means, consider what would annoy you.

Constant sales pitches sent to your inbox? Do you get posts on your wall advertising products? These activities would annoy almost everyone.

If you conduct yourself in an ethical and civil manner, you will make the community a better place. If you don’t, you shouldn’t even sign up for an account instead of potentially costing yourself business.

Facebook Networking Tools

So, what kind of tools can you use to do social networking on Facebook? The short answer is, anything goes. Since there are so many things you can do with the site, you’d do best to consider it a blank slate.

Since you define your experience on the site and set your own goals, you basically want to choose the activities, applications, groups, and networks that will help enhance this experience.

Here are some ideas for using the site for social networking:

Inbox

You can send messages to other users and accept messages from your friends.

Groups

Joining and participating in groups is a great way to meet people.

Friends

Once you find someone you have something in common with, you can add them as a friend. Once they accept, you can do things like sharing photos, inviting them to participate in groups, and encouraging them to add certain applications.

Applications

There are a lot of different applications on the site. Each of them helps the user engage in social networking. You can play games, send the applications to each other, take quizzes, etc.

Share

The ultimate way to enjoy the site and use it for social networking is to share things with each other. This goes for applications, videos, and photos. You can also invite them to join groups, and use the site to take a look at the groups your friends are interested in.

News Feeds

This is another important social element of the site. It is through the feeds where you can see what your friends are up to. For example, if a friend added a certain application, you have the ability to check out what they added and decide if adding it is a good thing for you to do.

Those are just a few of the examples. The site has so many resources that it’s up to you to figure out how to use them for social networking. Just make sure you abide by the Terms of Use and conduct yourself in an ethical way while using the site.

A lot of people get in trouble for not using Facebook as ethically as they could. In fact, people who are part of social networking sites throughout the world continually abuse the privilege of being part of the site and end up using tactics that are less than ethical.

These are called black hat tactics, and they could result in your profile being banned. For lasting results, don’t use black hat techniques or anything related to misdirection.

On the internet, some people will use dubious tactics such as optimizing a site for a keyword that is really popular but doesn’t even relate to the niche. Facebook has its own version of that.

Facebook For Business Basic Philosophy

Facebook is an ideal place to start a business. Think about it. There are literally millions of users on the site. They belong to groups and networks. They use different site applications. Basically, they are sharing their lives and interests with you so that you can help enhance it.

If you look back at the Social Networking chapter, you’ll notice that we talked about the ethics of social networking. These absolutely apply when using the site to promote your business. You first need to make sure that your actions aren’t violating the terms of use. If they are, you need to change your approach.

Also, make sure that no matter what you’re trying to accomplish, that you don’t use the site to SPAM people. You will not be successful on the site this way. You’ll just annoy people.

If you use the site ethically and follow the terms of use, you won’t have any problems.

The Basic Philosophy

The basic philosophy behind using the site for business is to do what you can to build a community around your profile, service, and/or product. If you just post a bunch of links and a sales pitch, people won’t respond to that. They want to get to know the company or brand and have a good time there.

For example, if you run a fantasy football site, your profile will focus on your love for the game. You may also start a group with fantasy football as the theme. You can post your ad and the link for your fantasy football service in the group and those who are interested will click on it.

If people learn to trust your voice and understand that you’re on the site to get to know them, they’ll respond to that and buy your product or decide to use their service.

To further enhance your group and encourage participation you can create and/or add applications, post a poll, and hold meetings where your group members can discuss things.

Gain Exposure For Your Product Or Service

Your basic goal is to use Facebook to get exposure for your product or service. You can use the site to get people familiar with your product. An important aspect of this is to use the site to help build a brand.

Even if your product is a little uninteresting (for example, a topic related to finances) you need to do your best to make sure that you somehow make it interesting to your potential customers.

The way Facebook works is that you need to find a way to keep people engaged and interested in what you have to offer. You can do this through applications, groups, and by attracting potential customers based on what’s on your profile.

Build A Sense Of Community

In order for your online business to succeed on Facebook, you need to build a sense of community. People crave this sense of belonging – it’s a basic fact of human nature. In order for your business to succeed, you can’t sell to them.

You need to make people understand that you want to belong to them, that you want to create a place for people to go and participate in what you’re offering.

People want to be introduced to new ideas. They want to find people with the same interests. They want to connect with others and form friendships on the site. If you are going to use the site for business purposes, this is something that should always be in the forefront of your mind.

How Can You Use It For Business?

So, how exactly can you use Facebook for business? There are several different things you can do with your account, and all of them will lead to your eventual success. When you decide to run a business from your Facebook account, you can choose the activities that make sense for your goals.

Here’s a list of what you can do with your account:

These are just a few examples of how you can use the site to build or start a business.

If you take a look at companies that are currently using Facebook to promote their products, there are a few basic things that they are doing. Each of these ideas must be applied while still keeping the idea of building a community at the forefront of your mind.

A Note About Links

Yes, you can use Facebook to do affiliate marketing. If you don’t know what affiliate marketing is, it’s a way for you to prevent products that other people have written and get a certain percentage in commissions.

It is important to note, however, that if you want to use the site for affiliate marketing, the terms and conditions prevent you from posting an affiliate link directly in your profile.

You can get around this by putting affiliate links in a blog and putting the link to your blog in your profile section.

How To Join A Facebook Group

There are several ways you can join a group. The first is to do it from the search page. When you search for a group, you’ll be able to view a list of choices. On the right-hand side of the listing, you’ll see two options: “View Group” and “Join Group”.

If you already know you want to join, click “join group” and follow the instructions. If you want to see if the group is right for you, click “view group to get more details.

Another way you can join a group is by accepting an invite. Sometimes, you’ll get a notice that you’re invited to be part of it. For example, if a friend starts a group, they may invite you to join.

Or, if someone views your profile and thinks you would be the perfect member of the group, they might also send you an invite. You can either accept or deny this invitation.

Another way to do it is to view the groups that your friends are part of to see if you want to join. Then, you can click “join this group” which is located on the upper right-hand corner of the information page and follow the instructions.

Facebook Groups For Business

Keep in mind that if you decide you want to build your business, groups are an excellent tool to do that. This is because they help foster a sense of community. The more people are engaged in the community you’ve created on your profile, the better your product or service will sell.

Keep in mind that in order for the group to be effective, it needs to be valuable and meaningful to people. For example, if you wrote an ebook on how to make a six-figure income as a freelance writer, you may want to create a group on how to be a successful writer. Your group can participate by sharing ideas on how to make money as a writer.

In order to make your group a success, you not only need to find a subject that directly relates to the product or service you are selling, but you need to find people to participate in the group.

Here are some ideas:

Simply starting the group is not enough. People won’t necessarily be able to find the group since there are so many of them. You’ll need to go out of your way to get group members, at least at first. Once there are members who are happy with what you have to offer, your membership will start to increase.

Grouping It Up On Facebook

On Facebook, groups are another tool you can use to socialize online with people. There are groups on just about every subject including business topics, study groups, and groups that are purely for fun. You can also start your own group.

Your profile page will have a link on it called “groups”. Click on it to get started. Also, remember that when someone starts a group, they can list it as public or private. If it is private, people can’t join it unless they are invited.

Groups can be started by individuals, groups, or companies. Some groups are formed for a common goal. Others are filled with like-minded people. And, anyone can start a group. If you want to start a group, you’ll need to go through the effort of finding members and managing it.

Why Get Started With Groups?

Groups are another way that Facebook helps develop a sense of community and share like-minded interests. If you want to get the most from your experience on the site, you should consider joining at least one group.

You can also start a group. If you have a particular interest, you can start a group to share that interest with like-minded people.

Facebook Groups For Business

You can definitely use the Facebook groups feature for business.

There are several ways you can do this:

Remember that Facebook is a community, and you need to work to foster that sense of community. Groups are a great way to do that. However, if you try to sell to them, you won’t be effective. You just need to be a nice, kind member of the community.

How To Find A Group To Join

Before you can actually join a group, you need to find a group to join. In order to do this, the group needs to be listed on one of your networks. Or, it can be listed as a “global” group, which means it is available to all of the networks.

When you click on the “Groups” link on your profile, you’ll notice two things. The first is that the page will feature a list of groups that you are a part of, and also groups that your friends have joined.

To find new groups, you can either join a group a friend is a part of, or you can use the search box to find groups that support your interests.

Tip: You can also use the category feature of the Groups page to browse through groups that are part of a specific category.

Keep in mind that there are a lot of groups on a variety of different subjects. Each group has a different purpose and a different dynamic.

The Viral Nature Of Facebook And Measuring Your Success

The fact that Facebook is so focused on its community makes it a very powerful marketing tool if you use the site correctly. The idea is that you want to help encourage people to recommend your profile, product, service, application, and content to others.

In order to achieve success on Facebook, this viral nature needs to exist. And, it will naturally if you create things that others find interesting, helpful, or just plain neat.

Are you unsure of how to take advantage of the viral nature of the site? Your number one goal is to make sure that all of your content somehow relates to the product or service you’re trying to promote on the site.

Here are some tips:

Videos and Photos

Take advantage of the fact that Facebook allows you to upload photos and videos. Make sure that they are interesting and have value to the users. However, don’t just upload it. Encourage people to rate them and pass them along to their friends.

Applications

This is a powerful tool for Facebook. It is worth the effort to put together an application that is fun and also relevant to what you’re trying to accomplish.

Applications are one of the most vital aspects of the site. Once someone adds an application, they are automatically encouraged to invite their friends to also participate in it.

Start a Group

If your group is interesting enough, people will invite their friends to join. Start a group that is helpful and informative, or just plain fun. If you do that, it will be even more appealing to others.

No matter what you do on the site, it is helpful to put yourself in the place of the members of your community. What kinds of things would encourage you to participate and eventually buy your product?

Why would you recommend something to your friends? Carefully think about your answers and then apply them to your Facebook business.

You Need To Participate

When it comes to social networking, you pretty much get out of it what you put in. We’ve talked extensively about the idea of building a community.

But, it’s important to realize that you can’t expect your community to run on autopilot. You need to be involved with it on a constant basis or hire someone to be involved with it.

If you don’t participate, this will not attract other people to you. People will quickly get bored with the community you’re trying to build and eventually find other things to do on the site. This will result in lost sales.

Log in often. Answer messages and emails. Put new content on your profile. Post to the group and encourage participation and discussions. All of these things are especially important in the beginning. However, you always need to be involved to make it a success.

How To Measure Success

When it comes to Facebook, it is very easy to measure success. Everything that you do on Facebook to build your business relates to building and engaging a community. If you go through all that work to find people to be part of your profile, and to get them to participate, this is not a good thing.

But how do you know if there is something wrong with your approach or if it will just take a while to really get the community going? It’s a little difficult to measure because it all depends on how much time you’re spending on it. If you spend an hour a week, then your success may not be as immediate.

If you’re spending a lot of time, however, the fix isn’t necessary to spend more. You also need to evaluate if the activities you’re choosing are right for your overall goals. If you change your tactic slightly, your results may change.

So, your measure of success can be gauged by the level of participation in your community. Once people start participating, the sales will follow. If the participation is not where you want it to be, you’ll need to evaluate why this is the case.

Business Tools On Facebook

Facebook offers tools that you can use to help build your business.

These include:

Each of these is designed to help you build your brand on the site and get customers and clients. Your first step is to learn about these tools. In the next section, you’ll learn how to tie all of this together so that you can find your success on Facebook.

You can take advantage of these features further by visiting http://www.facebook.com/business.

Social Ads

Social ads are a unique feature because they interact directly with the News Feeds of the people on your friends lists. This means that anyone who has you added as a friend will be able to see information about your business directly in their profile.

This also means that you can directly control who sees your ad and achieve targeted traffic rather effortlessly. When it comes to making sales, targeted traffic is what you want.

Facebook Pages

If you have a business, you should create your own Facebook Page for it. This is the same as your profile. By having a page for your business, you take full advantage of the site by allowing people to interact with your business. It also helps build your brand.

When someone on Facebook participates in your site, you know that you’ve won their support and potentially their business. They treat this page as they would any of their friends. People can write on the wall and participating in the experience of your page or profile.

It’s your job to encourage this interactive experience by adding applications, quizzes, games, starting a group, etc. Basically, you need to pick the activities that make sense for the brand you’re trying to build.

Facebook Beacon

This is another service that Facebook offers that can help your business by promoting it to your Facebook friends. Beacon allows Facebook to interact directly with your site by posting news about your business on your friends’ news feeds.

For example, you may specify that you want your friends to know when someone purchases a product or when a new product is released. In order for it to work you need to paste some code to your site.

This feature works because it helps enhance participation with your Facebook Page, with your company’s site, and with your brand. It can also help increase the word-of-mouth potential for your company, service, or product.

Are you afraid this will affect the user’s privacy or your business privacy? The people on your friends list have the option to deny the updates. This helps protect your privacy as well as theirs.

Facebook Insights

If you want to run a business and use Facebook as a tool, it’s natural that you’ll want to know some statistics as to who is participating in your Facebook Page and clicking on your Social Ads. This is exactly what Facebook insights are. It’s a tool that gathers data so that you can determine if your campaign is successful.

Once you gather this data, you can determine if your business, product, service, or brand are spreading virally or not. Facebook is powerful because of the word of mouth aspect.

Facebook Insights helps you gauge just how successful your attempts truly are. Not only that, but it also helps you get data concerning demographics, which can help you target your promotional campaign even better.

Facebook Platform

Facebook Platform allows your programmers to design applications that will interact with the site and help enhance the user experience. In order for this to work, you have to make an application that will be fun for people to use.

The idea is that they’ll enjoy the application and pass it along to their friends, which will give your business more reach and expand your user base.

There are different kinds of applications you can design. Quizzes, games, and interactive tools are all popular. For ideas, visit the Applications page on Facebook to get a feel for what designers are coming up with and which applications are the most popular. Whatever you design, it needs to help build your brand on the site.

Facebook Polls

Facebook Polls is a valuable tool that you can use to determine certain things about your business. For example, if you’re thinking of launching a product that can target a certain demographic, you can give a poll to those who pertain.

This feature works because you have access to demographic information such as age and marital status if the users are on your friends list. You can use this information to focus your efforts on only those who are relevant.

Taking advantage of these tools can be an advantage for your business.

Web 2.0 For Business

While this idea started as purely social, it has turned into something that businesses are embracing as well. Each time the internet changes, businesses need to change, too or else they won’t get the sales they want.

Now, in order to find success with sites like Facebook, a business needs to think about the very elements that make the site special and unique.

The site is a place for people to socialize and participate in communities. If the business wants to sell their product or service, they need to build a community around it.

For example, if you’re a writer and you want to sell information products to help other writers, you can start a group on Facebook that is designed to teach other writers. If they like the group, they’ll likely buy your product.

One huge advantage to using Facebook for business is that you have access to the profiles and information for a lot of users. For a business owner, this will help you target the demographics of those who will be interested in your product or service.

Facebook Is Growing

Facebook is one of the largest social networking and Web 2.0 sites out there right now, and it just keeps growing. It started out as a site primarily for college students and has grown into a worldwide phenomenon.

Unlike some social sites, Facebook actually embraces the idea that people can use their sites to build their businesses. The founder and developers are devoted to providing a positive user experience for everyone on the site, business owners included.

But, there’s an art to using this site in that way. If you don’t embrace Web 2.0 and the way social networking is, your efforts to build a business using Facebook will be in vain.

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