by John Eberhard

I recently saw someone open up an account on Facebook with not their own name but the name of the company they worked for, with a really sexy picture of a girl as the profile picture. And Facebook allows you to type in what you’re doing right now, as in “John is working on a new web design project,” or whatever. In that line this person had typed in something about offering complete satisfaction.

All in all, I thought it was really tacky and not the way you’re supposed to use Facebook. As of today that account is gone so Facebook actually took it down. The reason they took it down is not because it was so tacky but that they have a rule against opening accounts under a company name. You’re supposed to open an account under your own personal name and from there you can do various things to market your company.

I recommend a book called “Facebook for Dummies” which gives all the ins and outs of what you can and can’t do on Facebook.

Once you open an account under your own personal (not business) name, here’s what you can do to market your business:

  1. Create a Facebook corporate page: This is a page that features your business, and where people can learn about your business and also become “fans.” You can then send out information to all your fans easily. The page can also feature general and contact info on your business, videos, photos, and links to any of your web sites and blogs. For the blogs, every time you post something new, the title and descriptive blurb are automatically displayed there. For bands you can put up songs that people can hear. To create one of these, click on advertising at the bottom of your home page, then click on “Pages” near the top, then the green “Create a Page” button. You can see pages I created for RealWebMarketing.net and for Novus Detox. These Facebook corporate pages rank very well on search engines by the way.
  2. Facebook Pay Per Click: Facebook has an excellent pay per click program allowing you to target people by geographical area, and also by other factors like age, sex, and even things like political persuasion. In other words you can target an ad to females over the age of 30 living in California, Florida and Texas, for example. I have used this for several clients and it works well. As with all pay per click programs, you can set your bids (how much you’re willing to pay for each person clicking through to your site) and your daily budget, to control your costs. I generally find that the cost per click tends to be lower on Facebook than on Google AdWords.
  3. Send emails to friends: You can send an email to your Facebook friends. Of course first of all you have to build up a list of friends, by finding them and proposing to them to become your friend. Facebook has a friend finder tool, where it shows people who have mutual friends with you. I became friends on FB with a lot of people I know, and then started adding friends who I didn’t personally know but that have at least 20 mutual friends with me (that’s my criteria, you can use whatever you want) and who belong to certain mutual groups. Anyway, once you build up your list of Facebook friends, you can email 20 at a time, promoting whatever you want. Use this sparingly to promote your business however. If you do it a lot it will annoy people because it isn’t really the expected thing on Facebook. But for instance, if you create a corporate page on Facebook (#1 above) it is perfectly acceptable to email all your friends, ask them to go see it and become fans.
  4. Post links, photos or videos: From your profile page you can post links to your Facebook corporate page, or your own web site or blog. You can also post photos and videos, and these can be business related.

In summary, the best ways to promote your business on Facebook are putting up a corporate page and starting a Facebook pay per click campaign. But you can also email people and post links, photos and videos, as long as you don’t overdo it. Use the emailing and posting in moderation.