Facebook ipadWe’re sharing 15 ideas for small business marketing on Facebook.  Facebook is like a photo album filled with family and close friends.  When developing ideas for Facebook for your small business, remember why fans of the site use the platform. It’s a social getaway where you turn for laughs, encouragement and connection. When using Facebook in your marketing strategies, focus on content. It’s a terrific platform to showcase the human side of your business and the people who work there. On average, 80% of the content on a business Facebook page is content they’ve found and are sharing. Only 20% is original content that deals specifically with the business (or is something they’ve created.) And why not?  The internet is loaded with useful content relevant to your business. Your audience just needs you to share it with them, in a non-invasive way.

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Here are 15 ways you can implement Facebook with your small business marketing. 

1.  Host a virtual event and promote it through Facebook.  Virtual events allow you to broaden your audience to world wide.  A women’s shelter charity might hold a virtual baby shower for an expectant mother and invite followers from its Facebook page.

2.  Use the Facebook timeline photo to create awareness.  The timeline photo is the first image guests see on your Facebook page.  Consider updating it at least monthly to showcase something new.  Facebook policies now allow us to use the timeline photo to show calls to action.  It’s an ideal place to showcase a great program or service you offer or a photo related to a customer testimonial.  Visual content, like photos, receives more emphasis in Facebook.

3.  Use Facebook photo albums to highlight behind the scenes of planning an event.  So you’ve decided to host a grand opening or big sale.  Why not take photos of all the people who are helping you make this happen and send a shout out to them on your Facebook page.  There’s no ‘I’ in team and we all know it takes a team to put on a successful event.  Include clever dialogue with each photo and tag, tag, tag your photo subjects.

4.   Use the Facebook timeline photo to generate momentum about an upcoming event.  What makes your upcoming event special?  Is it a one-of-a-kind?  Does it draw in a thousand people or more?  The timeline space is great for building momentum using a picture that is titled with a statement like ‘Main Street’s largest block party!’  While you can’t use a call to action like “Be a part of the event”, your statement can tout what’s unique about the vent.  Your statement should make others say, hey I want to be a part of that!  When viewers click on the photo, you can offer more details in the photo description text.

5.  Hold a contest or sweepstakes and promote it on Facebook. Facebook’s promotional policies are strict (and rightfully so), so make sure you read them carefully when planning a contest or sweepstakes.  But the good news is, you can host a contest!

6.   Use Facebook’s check-in deals to offer discounts to guests when they check-in to your business.  Check-in Deals can help you engage with your customers and grow your business. Check-in Deals allow you to reward loyal customers with discounts and other special offers, so you can build valuable relationships with this influential audience.

7. Let your employees be your brand advocates on Facebook.  Allowing employees to  talk about your business on Facebook should come with your own company social media policies, but is definitely something to consider.  Employees show how great it is to work for your company and they can build a following.

8. Use Facebook as a means to recognize employees.  Your employees work hard and should be recognized for the job they do.  Using Facebook as a platform for recognizing employees shares information about the employee’s efforts, their function at your business and how great it is to work at your business.

9.  Allow guests to RSVP for an event through Facebook.  Facebook’s event planning function allows you to promote your event through Facebook channels and audiences and allows guests to RSVP. When you get a large number attending the event, you can “turn on” the show who has RSVP’d function and let everyone see who is coming.

10.  Use your Facebook status to promote other online channels.  When you write a new blog entry or update a new feature of your website.  The Facebook status update allows you to include links and photos to drive traffic to your other online channels.

11.  Create a customized tab to showcase a product or an area of your business.  Coca-Cola page developers have the market on this. Check out their custom tabs on their page.  You can use our free ebook Integrated Facebook Marketing for Business to learn about creating customized tabs.

12. Use your timeline cover photo to recognize a customer, a preferred vendor, or a local charity.  Social media channels are all about building community and relationships.  The cover photo is so prominently placed that it is great for giving someone the spotlight for a day or a week.  Chat about the recognition on your other media channels like Twitter, YouTube, and company website.

13.  Use a photo album to tell a story.  One of the most compelling stories on Facebook (that went viral instantly) was about a young girl who was sharing about her brother through photos and flash cards.  Her brother had down syndrome and she was showing how beautiful he was by taking various photos and holding up a message on a flash cards.  Stories like this engage an audience and people share them! Include links to landing pages and other areas of your website.

14.  Promote other businesses on your Facebook page.  Success in business depends largely on how you treat others–whether they are your clients, vendors, or society as a whole.  Use Facebook to share about other local small businesses.  Share a compelling story on your news feed as a status update.  Remember, it’s about building community and relationships.

15.  Keep your information current.  There’s a reason the position of “social media manager” exists.  It’s because it takes work to monitor channels, keep information fresh and current, and respond to inquiries immediately.  It’s a requirement for being successful with Facebook marketing.  If you don’t have the time to manage your online profile and you don’t have a team member or trusted volunteer who will, consider using a trusted source.  Don’t give up this opportunity.  In truth, you can’t afford to.