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Facebook Marketing For Dummies

Facebook is a social networking website that offers a free, online location to market your business, organization, or individual to the Facebook community. The Facebook Page for business is fun and easy to set up, and it provides a powerful set of online tools that lets you fully engage with your customers. But to efficiently market your business in Facebook, it helps to understand the underlying principles that make all these connections possible.

Understanding the Basic Principles of Facebook Culture

Facebook is creating its own virtual world, a world built on openness and transparency, where friends connect with each other about things they care about. By giving you the power to share, connect, and market your business to this community, Facebook hopes you will do your best to enhance the positive aspects of this community, and avoid creating unpleasant experiences.

Following are the principles that guide the world's largest virtual community:

  • Freedom to share and connect: You can share whatever information you want, in any medium or format. You have the right to connect online with anyone — any person, organization, or service — as long as you both consent to the interaction. Keep in mind that Facebook users have a variety of ways to configure their privacy settings. And like you, they expect their privacy boundaries to be respected.

  • Ownership and control of information: You own your information, so you have the freedom to share it with anyone you want and take it anywhere you want, including removing it from Facebook at any time. Your privacy controls allow you to protect those choices.

  • Fundamental equality: Whether individual, advertiser, developer, organization, or other entity — you have representation for and equal access to information within Facebook, regardless of another person's primary activity.

  • Social value: You have the freedom to build trust and reputation through your identity and connections, and you should not have your presence on Facebook removed for reasons other than those described in the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

  • Open platforms and standards: You have access to a programming platform for sharing and accessing all available information in Facebook. The specifications for these interfaces are published and made available and accessible to everyone.

  • Fundamental service: Facebook is free for you to establish a presence that can market your business, connect with others, and share information. Everyone can use Facebook regardless of his or her level of participation or contribution.

  • Common welfare: The rights and responsibilities of Facebook and the people who use it are described in a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which are not inconsistent with these principles.

  • Transparent process: Facebook makes available information about its purpose, plans, policies, and operations. Facebook has a town hall process of notice and comment and a system of voting to encourage input and discourse on amendments to these principles or to the Rights and Responsibilities.

  • One world: The Facebook service transcends geographic and national boundaries and is available to everyone, everywhere, with Internet access.

Making the Most of Facebook Marketing for Your Business

Facebook offers many ways to promote your business to its online community. From creating a Facebook Page for your business, to starting a topical group, to launching a targeted ad campaign, Facebook is becoming an increasingly important component of a company's online marketing plan. Following are some Facebook marketing tactics that can work for your business:

  • Share your content. A Facebook presence should be on everyone's list of must-haves for social network marketing. But once you have a presence for marketing your business, you need a content strategy. What will you share with your fans? Why should they come back?

    Be sure to encourage your best customers involved with your Facebook presence. Encourage them to become fans of your Facebook Page and drive the conversations to help you build a thriving community. This approach leverages the core value of Facebook as a word-of-mouth marketing platform.

  • Advertise. Advertising on Facebook is unlike any advertising medium you've experienced before. Thanks to its advanced targeting capabilities and mass audience, you can reach as narrow or broad of an audience as you desire. Link to pages either inside Facebook or on a website of your own and include social actions, such as becoming a fan of a Page or RSVPing to a Facebook event.

  • Create an application. Another way to market yourself on Facebook is through branded apps. Facebook apps are software modules that you can install on your personal Facebook profile or Page to add unique functionality, further engage your audience with your brand, and help market your business.

    These apps can take many different forms, from video players to business cards to contest solutions. Facebook offers countless apps for marketers, but creating a Facebook app of your own has become widely popular among marketers.

  • Syndicate your content. If you already have a blog, podcast, or video series, you can leverage that content across the Facebook community. Use Social Plugins to enable your website content to be shared quickly and easily — particularly the Like Button and the Recommendations Bar.

  • Throw an event. Facebook Events are a great way of getting people together virtually or in person in support of your local business, brand, or product. It's also a very economical way of getting the word out beyond your normal in-house marketing list by inviting the fans of your Page who can then help promote your event to their friends.

    Don't forget to follow up after your event. You can even post photos from the event and send them to all who attended. If you had a very healthy debate at your event, with lots of questions, why not send a transcript out to everyone who attended? And if some questions didn't get answered because of time constraints, consider writing up the answers and sending them to all attendees.

  • Be generous. The law of reciprocity is a key part of Facebook culture. Sharing posts from other like-minded Pages will no doubt encourage those businesses to promote your Page in the future. Your Page is like a river raft that can travel further in the Facebook rapids when roped together with other rafts.

  • Take action. Most of the challenges you encounter as you market your business on Facebook are not insurmountable, but sometimes they feel that way. The best way forward is to have a solid understanding of how to best use Facebook for your organization, but keep taking action. This way, you will continue to refine what works for your business while getting results along the way.

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