You could quickly create a long list of reasons “why” it would be beneficial for a small business to leverage Facebook. Reasons such as 600 million users worldwide and growing fast, the fact that over half of all Facebook users login at least once per day, the fact that “friend recommendations” hold more weight online then nearly all other forms of referral… and the list could go one.
But instead of creating a long list of “why”, I believe it would be more beneficial to a small, medium, and even a large business, to get some insight into “how” to leverage Facebook to grow their business.
The “how” is applicable, in my view, to any sized business – from the small business, to the large corporate giant – because ultimately they “how” are principles of action to follow in using Facebook; a model if you will.
3 Way To Grow Your Business Using Facebook
1) Be active on a Facebook Fan Page
Having a Facebook Fan Page is without a doubt one of the most effective ways any business can leverage Facebook. Not just having a Facebook Fan Page though, but actually leveraging it, making it active, making it productive, and sharing a lot of content each day is how you bring that page to life.
I’ve written before about how a Facebook Fan Page is equivalent to the law of momentum – the more active the page is, the more fans will come to it over time. Inversely, the less active your page, the more your fan page will shrink and lose its influence in your marketplace.
2) Integrate Facebook into your website and blog
In today’s age of the relevance of social media, you MUST bring that influence directly to your own website or blog. You have to integrate your own web properties directly into the social media landscape, making “your business” a part of that social media graph.
The best way to do this is to utilize Facebook plugins (which are free) and add elements like your Facebook fan box and a Facebook commenting plugin directly to your website or blog.
A Facebook fan box is basically an element (a box) that shows the number of fans currently on your Facebook Fan Page, and has a “Like” button where people can become a fan of your page while viewing your blog. Now you can grow your Facebook page directly from your blog by giving your visitors a way to interact with your Facebook presence.
Here’s a “how to” for adding a Facebook fan box to your website or blog.
A Facebook commenting plugin is, in my opinion, the most powerful tool that Facebook has released to date. By integrating the Facebook commenting plugin, you in essence are creating a commenting system for your website, your blog, or any other web page that you own.
Here’s a “how to” on integrating Facebook comments into your website or blog.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
You can see the Facebook plugin at work here at SMSEO at the bottom of this article, and every other article here at this blog.
You can also see where, and how, I’ve added the Facebook plugin to this standard website called Holy Ghost Swag. This site would otherwise be a static HTML website. But now, because of the Facebook commenting plugin, it’s a social media platform and has integrated directly into the Facebook graph and giving it massive exposure that before would have been impossible to achieve.
The benefits of having a Facebook commenting plugin integrated into your site is that when someone leaves a comment, it distributes that comment to all of their Facebook friends, giving you a huge distribution of a link back to your website. And then when anyone comments or reacts (like, share, etc…) to that original comment, it then redistributes what is now a conversation to all of their friends on Facebook. As you can see, with just a few people commenting and interacting through the Facebook commenting plugin, you can quickly achieve exposure to thousands of people that otherwise wouldn’t have been thinking about visiting your website today.
3) Facebook insights and analytics
Finally, you can leverage Facebook insights and other analytical tools to learn exactly what elements of your efforts are reaping the biggest rewards for growing your business.
The Facebook Insights tool is available for you to review and analyze your traffic data from Facebook for both your Facebook Fan Page and your website where you have Facebook integrated.
The Facebook Fan Page insights is viewable directly on your Facebook Fan Page, in the upper right hand corner and it’s called “View Insights”.
You can read more about how to leverage insights for your Facebook Fan Page here, but let me just tell you that I utilize my fan page insights to see exactly what are the page updates – what type of content – that gets the most interaction (comments, likes, shares, etc…). Because the updates that are getting the deepest levels of engagement are the updates that are giving my Facebook page the highest level of exposure and bringing in the most visitors.
Insights for your website is a relatively new tool and you can read about how exactly to integrate insights for websites here. But let me tell you that just like the insights for your Facebook page, the insights for website is equally powerful because it will tell you what pages (blog posts, articles, information pages, products, etc…) within your site are getting the highest levels of engagement.
This information is invaluable to you as a business owner because it tells you what pages are most interesting to your visitors and customers, and gives you – pardon the pun – insights into how you can shift your focus more on what it working at driving traffic and exposure from Facebook, and also what’s not working and what pages you improve on.
Obviously, the pages (blog posts, articles, product pages, etc…) that are working, you want to focus more on that content. If you are a publisher like myself, then it will tell you what types of content generates the most interaction throughout social media, and in turn the highest return of traffic back to your site and the greatest brand exposure. This is obviously the type of traffic that I want to write more of.
Likewise, if you run an online store, with insights for websites you’ll be able to see what products are generating the most interaction and engagement throughout social media. Now you’re armed with information that tells you what products generate the most interest with your customer base and what is driving the highest level of brand exposure for your business throughout social media – obviously powerful information to be armed with as a online seller.
Facebook has over 600 million users and is growing fast. I would confidently argue that the majority of your customers are on Facebook, engaging friends and Facebook pages on a daily basis. Because of this, you have the opportunity to use this free tool (being Facebook) to help you grow your business and leverage the power of social media for your marketing and brand building efforts.
These are some ways that I’ve learned how to leverage the power of Facebook for building both traffic and brand exposure throughout social media.
What are some ways you are integrating Facebook into your online marketing efforts?
Do you have any experiences you can share with some of the tools I’ve mentioned above?