Facebook started in 2004 as a social network directory for college students, but now it’s used by all ages. It’s still a great tool for personal connections, but it’s also powerful for businesses wanting to stay in touch with their audience and attract new customers.
Facebook has millions of users and continues to grow every day. Businesses of all sizes access the power of Facebook by creating a ‘page.’ The page has different functionality from the common ‘profile’ that is created for an individual. Think of the Facebook business page as a small-scale combination website and blog because you can have static information as well as real-time comments posted to the ‘wall’ (acts like a company bulletin board) of your page.
A page’s audience is built through something called ‘likes.’ You can think of ‘likes’ as positive word of mouth endorsements. When an individual ‘likes’ a business page, that action is posted into the individual’s content stream where his or her friends can see it, comment on it, and even click on it to go directly to the business page to ‘like’ it for himself or herself. It’s a great way to gain exposure. ‘Likes’ also correlate to a company’s credibility, and the numbers are relative. For large companies, 15,000 ‘likes’ are about the same as 25,000. However, for a small company, the difference between 70 ‘likes’ and a few hundred can make a world of difference.
Facebook offers you a way to interact with your audience on a regular basis. Think of your relationships with your customers. Not all conversations revolve around your product or service, do they? On occasion, you have small talk to find out more about the person on an individual level, unrelated to your business. Facebook also shows pictures along with that update.
By taking an interest in your audience, the people take more of an interest in you. With a Facebook business page, you can post questions, polls, inspirational quotes or photos, links to videos or other type of content that gets your audience talking. Once you post something to your wall, people can ‘like’ the item and they have the opportunity to actually comment on it. As more people see your post and comment, they will read the other comments and some will end up talking with each other. When you can start a conversation that gets others talking with each other, that adds to the power of building your audience. And as mentioned above, each comment or ‘like’ on your business page shows up on the individual’s personal page and is an opportunity to reach people who are not yet familiar with your business.
A Facebook business page can really increase your ability to reach new customers and build your client base. If you aren’t already on Facebook, why not get started today? Create a business page for free and start building your online business presence. If you’re already on Facebook as an individual, starting to create a business page is as easy as clicking “Create page” from your profile page! (While you're there, you can also connect with the Intel® Software Partner Program fan page!)
Social Media Starter-Kit: Using Facebook to Market your Software Company