If you’ve never heard of Facebook, it’s time to get your head out of the sand. Facebook is a networking site that has over 24 million active viewers. That’s 24 million people who go on that site a day. That’s 24 million people you could be offering your product or service too.
If you have joined, great. I hope you’re not one of those people who have the fun wall, and other unprofessional things. If you are, you might want to think about having a personal account and having a business account. I know that Facebook frowns on this, but really you need to make sure you stay professional. Do you really want your potential employer to see you drunk with a cigarette at the latest club? Or even worse a picture of you doing drugs? You may cringe, but people are doing this on Facebook everyday, and using their real names.
Potential employers and clients, ones who are savvy, do punch in your name on Google or Facebook to see what they find. Wouldn’t you rather have your business profile show up?
If you are like me, than you would. So this is what you need to do. Make sure your profile is dedicated to your business. So if you are a freelance writer or marketer, only advertise that. Don’t even go into what your day-job is, etc. Toot your horn, let everyone know you are the best online marketer or human resources there is. On your profile it also gives a blurb to talk about yourself. Use this space to really promote yourself and put any websites that you want traffic too.
Now before we move on, you might want to adjust your privacy settings so that all your friends have limited profiles, and your mini feed is contained. A mini feed is a play-by-play of everything you do. If you have any friends, this can annoy them and fast. There is nothing I hate more than logging in and my whole home page is covered in; “R Roberts joined this group,” “R Roberts left this group,” “R Roberts installed the fun wall,” “R Roberts removed his album….” You get the point. I recommend instead to use the Status update. So if you want to advertise you can update your status by “I am so excited – check out why at branding yourself online.” All your friends can now see this new status on their homepage when they log in. I think one line is more effective than a page, and you aren’t annoying people.
Next, you want to have people as friends. The whole goal of Facebook is to network. So make sure in your profile you say something like, “feel free to add me as your friend because I am all about networking…” This guarantees when someone clicks on your profile they see the invitation to be friends.
Why are having friends on Facebook a good thing? Because you can advertise directly to your friends, as long as you do it carefully. Send them emails about the latest groups you’ve made, or articles of interest. At the end of the email, maybe add your url. But do it smart, don’t spam.
One thing about Facebook, they are strict on advertising. When they mean it, they mean it. The only place you can really advertise is on a group you created yourself. So that’s my next suggestion. Create a group. Call it your company name. Set up the profile and info to be about your company. Now that you have a group, you have to invite people. Find similar groups and paste your url (to your group) on their wall. First you have to join. This may mean joining 30 different groups just to get people to come to yours. On each wall of each group type a blurb like, “created a group called Facebook Marketing 101, if interested http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5029874932 click this link.” Then interested people will click on your group and join. For every person that joins, you are directly advertising to them, plus you now can send mass emails to these people to talk about your group.
Okay so you have a profile, you have a group, and you have people, now what? Now you have to get them talking, because if there is no action on that group, they are not going to stay. People join groups to either learn or talk, so if none of that is happening, make it! You do this by writing your own discussions and posting them on your group in the hopes you get people to join. So you might start one discussion as “WELCOME AND INTRODUCE YOURSELF”, this one always works. People will join the group, read a bit about other people’s backgrounds and maybe post their own. This leads to conversation, which leads to tips, which people enjoy.
My last tip, you have to be responsive. Nothing worse than creating a group and you leave it struggling. You need to check it everyday and respond to any comments that might not have been answered. You need to make sure there is no spam going on, and people are staying on target. Or if there is nothing happening, talk about things.
My last item – the marketplace. Don’t try advertising there. If you do, use real products. Don’t advertise affiliates, or digital products. You can get kicked of Facebook so fast for spam, even if it’s not spam. So tread lightly. Only advertise on your group, your profile, and where appropriate in your email. Good luck and happy networking!