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Thursday, January 26, 2012

I don't know about you but it seems like everywhere you turn someone is talking about Facebook.  Individuals, companies, organizations - just about everybody has a Facebook account or fan page.  From a marketing perspective, Facebook has always fascinated me and I've come to the conclusion that it's all about community.

People like to belong.  When you belong to a group, Like a page, or follow someone, it has meaning.  Many people like to judge their worth by the number of Facebook fans they have or number of Likes they receive to their pages.  This seems to be a good metric.  After all, the more fans or likes you have the more popular you are.  Sounds a little like High School doesn't it?  Well, the fascination with Facebook is here to stay and there are a few ways to use Facebook to your advantage. Begin with the following steps:

1.  Create a Fan Page.  Start with the creation of a fan page.  By developing this virtual real estate, you create a community that allows your prospects, customers, and friends to interact, develop user generated content, and gain access to special offers.

2.  Build Your Community.  Having a fan page is great but the real goal is to build a community.  You want people with common interests to interact with one another. The common interest could be you, your company or products.

3.  Create Unique Offers.  You want those who Like your page or become your fans to have access to special content or offers.  This not only encourages them to take an initial action but to keep coming back for more.

4.  Experiment with New Features.  Facebook is continually adding new features and modules.  Experiment by customizing your pages and adding a variety of features that engage your audience and enhances the community.

5.  Promote your Fan page.  If you want to build your community quickly and leverage your fans, you must promote your fan page.  Use your website, blog, emails, and email signature to let people know that you have a fan page and there are benefits to joining.  The more you promote, the more you'll convert. 

The key with any social media is getting started and to keep contributing.  Once you launch your fan page, don't stop there.  You should continually develop the community through original contributions, moderation, and interactivity.  View other fan pages and see how other companies are creating value.

When focusing on creating value, keep in mind the goal of your fans.  Help them solve a problem or learn more about their needs.  Facebook is a great tool for getting closer to your prospects and customers and is a community you can't afford to be without.


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