MarketingSherpa just ran a great article on how to market yourself or business on Facebook. As they point out the approach to marketing in a social community takes a little different approach than marketing in other contexts. Offending the community means you won’t be trusted.
It goes like this. Imagine going to church and thinking that there are a lot of people in your potential market there. So you decide to make an announcement about a big sale at your store. Everyone feels uncomfortable. It’s happened to me and it was in bad taste.
Facebook is a community of 46 million members, it’s growing by 3% a week since January, especially with the 25 and older demographic. I’ve noticed more and more friends joining in the past few weeks.
MarketingSherpa interviewed Andrew Kaplan and Neil Patel, who is Chief Technical Officer at ACS, a social media marketing and search engine optimization agency, to see how to best optimize for Facebook. I’ve added some of my thoughts below.
Your Profile and URL
Every social network with a profile page can be an opportunity to brand yourself or your business. I don’t know if Facebook lets you do this (my profile is http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=626820159) but many social networks like MySpace will give you a custom URL. So I could be http://www.facebook.com/newspapergrl.
Also, create a separate profile for your business. If you’re an unknown, use one of your main keywords in the URL such as http://www.facebook.com/SEOcopywriting
Put links to articles you’ve written, to your LinkedIn profile, and to any articles about you. Talk about successes and specific goals.
I thought this was well-put: “If you say, ‘I’m looking for a job,’ people have a hard time with that. If you say, ‘I’m looking for a job with a PR firm based in New York in the entertainment industry,’ that’s more specific. You have to be very clear what your intentions are. Be very specific about what you’re looking for and people will help you, just like any part of life,” Kaplan says.
Join a Facebook Group
You can create or join groups on Facebook and share information with others. I checked out the biggest internet marketing group and it was full of advertising everything from an MLM to want-to-be-rich-quick internet gurus. But there are groups that are active and professional.
After you join a group, you can text-message other members, send them emails, comment on their profiles or contact them. You’d be surprised at the range of types of groups there are.
Buy Advertising Space
I didn’t know this but you can buy an ad on Facebook. It’s called Facebook Flyers Basic so you can create banner-like advertising on networks. This is a great way to target advertising to a specific demographic.
Facebook also has Flyers Pro — a cost-per-click advertising program that’s triggered by keyword searches (like Google AdWords). The article has more in-depth tips on how to do this and I’d be interested if anyone reading this has tried either advertising method.