Originally only available to Harvard college students, Facebook was launched in 2004.Today it has increased in size to over 750 million users and has a revenue of over 2 billion per year. It is the second most popular website on the internet and so the opportunity for marketing is massive .
Facebook earns most of its income through banner advertising however in this article about how to work facebook I will not be looking at advertising directly but rather the free methods that can be used to direct traffic to your website and develop your client base .
1) Setting Up Your Profile
To use the various functions of Facebook you must first have a main profile page with a unique email address and preferably your own name as opposed to your company name. As an internet marketer you should view this page as a way of ‘branding’ yourself. Social Networking sites such as Facebook are designed to work by networking peoples names.
Also fill in details about your education and business to help with networking, however it is not necessary to include personal tastes, in fact adding these details may result in you receiving targeted advertising.
The privacy settings are easily customizable however I would recommend you do not make to much of your profile page public. As you will be branding yourself you will want to include some personal information about yourself and family. There are other places on Facebook that can be viewed publicly, your profile page should not be one of them
To get contacts or ‘friends’ on Facebook you can import your contact lists from other places , search for people on Facebook manually, add ‘mutual’ friends or even use take advantage of Facebook’s “Friends You Might Know” function which searches through your networks, schools, friends of friends etc to provide suggestions of people you may want to add. Individual profiles have a limit of 5000 friends. You can set up rss feeds directly from your blog and post links from any url you like straight on to your wall.
Remember you want to present yourself as being someone who is trustworthy and honest as well as likable in addition to being someone who knows what they are talking about.
2) Setting Up Group Pages
Facebook groups are similar to real life groups in that a group is formed by people with a common interest. You can join a group that already exists or create your own. Groups have a limit of 5000 members. Groups are designed for more interaction than fan pages and you can message all members of your group with notifications that are posted to their inbox. Being part of a group of people in the same business as you or being in a group with potential customers is great from a learning point of view as well as the potential for marketing.
Pages or Fan Pages as they used to be known are similar to Groups and are set up for people to follow a brand, famous person, politician, organization etc. They are not intended to be as interactive as groups. Pages do not have any limits on the number of ‘fans’ who can join . Like Groups you can join one or create one. To create one simply type ‘pages’ into the Facebook search bar then click on ‘create page’ on the page that pops up .
There is much discussion on the internet about how to work Facebook when it comes to using Pages or Groups, they both have advantages and disadvantages .
Just as having the ability to ‘work the room’ is useful when it comes to networking offline, knowing how to ‘work Facebook’ is very useful for internet marketers