Facebook for Small Businesses

Facebook has conquered the social networking world. Now it’s looking to help small businesses. Facebook for Business launched recently, giving your small businesses information about creating pages, posting ads, and spreading the word about your company and its offerings.

Offered as one of the free services Facebook provides, Facebook for Business instructs members on posting content directly to members’ news feeds. It also tells you how the “like” and “share” features can help word spread to other Facebook members about your business.

According to DesignTaxi.com, a spokesman for Facebook described it as allowing “small businesses to create rich social experiences, build lasting relationships and amplify the most powerful type of marketing—word of mouth.”

Facebook for Business comes on the heels of Google+‘s announcement that its services would be limited to individuals. Still in beta, the much anticipated social networking arm of the search engine site prefers to keep the “social” in social networking, shutting down profiles of users whom it felt were in violation. The move has brought questions as to whether Facebook will reign supreme once Google+ debuts.

Facebook for Business is not a service in itself. It is actually a group of how-to articles to educate small businesses on how to best use Facebook to attract new customers.

Among the tools available to small business on Facebook, the “like” and “share” features are most popular. Post relevant content and your fans will share it with all their friends. If those friends share it, news of your brand can spread beyond your ability to see it, driving countless business your way.

Businesses have begun using the “like” button to replace traditional advertising. Offer customers something in exchange for liking you on Facebook. One “like” is seen by up to thousands of Facebookers, making the coupon or giveaway you deliver in exchange well worth the price.

If you choose to invest in online advertising, Facebook provides a prime opportunity to reach savvy users. Facebook for Business offers a tutorial on targeting the correct users, designing an eye-catching ad, and choosing a budget for your advertising expenditures.

Facebook offers advertisers access to the ads manager, which provides detailed statistics on visits, click-throughs, and demographics. This puts the power to see how your advertising is working.

Another way Facebook helps small businesses is through Sponsored Stories. For a fee, Facebook will post advertisements of your business activity (“likes,” “shares,” etc.) in the top right corner of certain pages. Those pages are generally associated with the person who liked or shared information about your company. This can interact with Facebook ads by first encouraging Facebookers to like your company in your ad, then sharing the story of this activity through Sponsored Stories.

Facebook Credits can help your small business earn money. Facebook allows users to purchase credits, usable for purchasing goods and services of companies on the site. Users know Facebook Credits offer a safe, reliable payment method on the social networking site and sometimes look for ways to spend credits. These credits are also usable by Facebookers in other countries.

Facebook for Business has the potential to position Facebook to rule the social networking market long after Google+ goes live. Using Facebook’s tutorials, small businesses can edge out the competition and gain new customers on the most popular social networking site on the market.

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About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who worked in information systems for more than a decade. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

  • http://twitter.com/hppyplntcntrl Happy Planet Central

    Facebook is an important online venue for businesses of all sizes.

    A few weeks ago I joined old friends and neighbors at the annual town festival, where everyone came together to taste local specialties, listen to hometown bands and catch-up with one another. We talked about everything we like about this town, including the great people that live here and those that serve this community.

    Amongst those we met were the new owners of a traditional Italian restaurant that recently opened downtown. We exchanged a few mouthwatering family recipes and cheerful kitchen stories. We were grateful of the encounter and promised to visit soon. Since then, we have tried a few of the recipes at home and shared them with friends. We also held our promise and have become regular patrons at the restaurant.

    It’s unfortunate that it will take another town festival before we have a chance to socialize like this. In the meantime, we’ve connected with the restaurant owners through Facebook and Twitter, where they regularly share culinary secrets and special offers. In turn, we’ve been able to share our newfound love for this restaurant with our circle of friends online.

    Happy Planet Central
    http://sites.google.com/site/happyplanetcentral/