Facebook is an internet sensation , but do you know how to work Facebook to make money? Can Social Networking truly help your small business?

Facebook has the second largest number of hits on the internet, with Google being number one. With more than 600 million users it is a huge source of potential customers. It should not be forgotten however that Facebook is a social networking site and the majority of users are there to socialise and interact with each other , so given that users would prefer not to be ‘sold’ goods and services in this environment , how do you use Facebook to make money?

Unless you are using Facebook’s paid advertising features, using social networking to gain customers requires a different mindset than many other marketing methods. Think of Facebook like a huge party, if you simply wander in wearing a t-shirt advertising your product and stand there doing nothing you will probably not get lots of people coming up and interacting with you, especially when there are lots of other people standing around wearing t-shirts that look similar.

To use the above simile when you go into the party you have to keep your t-shirt mostly covered, interact with others and develop relationships. You need to get people to buy you before they buy your product . ‘In your face’ (no pun intended) marketing will not work.
So how do we go about doing that?

How To Work Facebook Tip #1
Set up your own Facebook page, separate from your company , remember people are interested in who you are as a person, not some faceless company. Complete your profile with places you have worked, educational institutions you have been to etc. Begin by adding friends, as well as people you know personally Facebook will also suggest friends based on the data you have provided it with. Try to include a message with your friendship requests and thank people for joining up. Remember it is building relationships that count.

How To Work Facebook Tip #2
Update your posts often, even if it is just a simple status update, it keeps your photo on peoples news feeds, however make it real, simply posting quotes repeatedly gets a little annoying. Let people see into your life, particularly if the goods you are marketing or the business opportunity you are offering is having a positive affect on it .

How To Work Facebook Tip #3
Join a group. Facebook contains pages for people with similar interests known as groups. Just type your area of interest , usually the goods you are marketing or the niche market you are going after, into the search bar along the top of your Facebook page and a list of related groups will show up. Join the groups that interest you, they are also a great source of friends with similar interests.

How To Work Facebook Tip #4
Start your own group/fan page. There is some debate over which is more useful, a group or a page (Facebook’s name for fan page) and both have their advantages and disadvantages . There is a lot written about the best way to do this and I will not go into the details here. Send out invites to friends to join your new group and encourage people in other groups you are a member of to join yours. When you are leader of your own group you have the facility to send newsletters to the members and generally have more control of promoting what you are attempting to market.

Overall if people see you as being trustworthy and reliable, and they have a positive experience by being your friend then they are more likely to become a customer. It could be something as simple as using your affiliate link to buy a recommended product to taking up a business opportunity that you are involved with.