Facebook for Small Business

Over the past 2 months I have been helping a friend of mine build his Internet presence. His business is kitchens, cupboards, general joinery and cabinet making.

A couple of years ago he decided that a website would help him build sales for his business and so he sourced a web design company that put together what is a nice, clean, but basic website. It has a few sections for copy and a gallery for all his work (or the work he wishes to publish). This project unfortunately took him almost 2 years to complete. I personally can’t understand why, given the simplicity of the site and that it is supported by Content Management System.

So far we have undertaken some key word analysis and have optimised the site for search engines. We have also established a blog. In fact it is actually a news section that will have a monthly article added to it. This should result in more and fresher content and therefore more opportunity to rank on key words. We only have one article at the moment, so it is very early days but foundations have been laid.

Last week my friend asked a question about Twitter and Facebook. I am all for both of these social networks. The more platforms that you can get coverage on the better. It provides for greater exposure and different audiences. The challenge is how do you get started and how to maintain it all.

Yes you can create a strategy document which all of the experts will tell you to do. Realistically how many small businesses prepare a paper prior to doing anything? All you really need is a list of what you think you would like to include on your Facebook page. If you know already great, if not then the best way to learn is to see what others are doing. Start with your competitors and favourite businesses from other industries.

It is really an ideas list. Think about the articles you would like to include, pictures and even video. Think about the regularity of your updates and the themes to talk about and cover. Finally think about where you will find your followers.

This “list” is a work in progress and you might find that within a month you need to start from scratch.

The first physical thing to do is to create your own profile on Facebook. With this, you can then add a business profile or page. By default this will give you a funny looking web address that you can direct traffic to. You need 25 followers in order to customise that web address. So get your friends to like your page.

Now that your page is ready, you need to start posting. My recommendation to my friend was to begin with the articles we will be placing within his news section and to then expand to articles on other blogs and forums that are interesting and relevant. Videos also work great.

In terms of attracting new followers, you should look to add the “Facebook Follow Me” icon to your website. Your regular website traffic can then follow you to your page and hopefully like it.

The best way to learn Facebook is to watch what others are doing and to copy the work you like and believe is relevant to your business, customers and industry.

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