Facebook marketing and advertising for small business

Creating and maintaining a Facebook Fan Page should be considered by even the smallest of businesses.

If you’re a service based business like a hairdresser, or a retailer with a local presence, there are some pretty cool marketing techniques you can employ using Facebook tools.

Probably the first one is encouraging people to ‘check in’ when they enter your store, restaurant or ‘hairdressing salon’. The first thing you should do is make sure your business is actually in Facebook Places.

When you arrive at your place of business, simply ‘check in’ using your (or your friends) smartphone.

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Using the Facebook Mobile App, you’ll be able to see a list of nearby places to check in to. Hopefully your place is on the list!

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If it’s not, then you can easily add a new place (your place).

Once that’s done, pop some signage in the window, or at your counter encouraging and reminding people to check-in to your business.

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This creates a viral effect through Facebook. All their friends will see a shared update that they’ve checked into your business!

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So easy, but also remind people to like your Facebook Fan Page too. You might like to offer some kind of incentive, such as a free manicure or colour!

When people click the Ad, you can send them to a custom Fan Page Tab with a coupon which can redeemed for a discount or a value add.

As your fan base begins to grow something else becomes possible that’s really quite cool.

Read this next bit carefully.

You can start to use Facebook Advertising to reach the friends of the people who like your Fan Page. That’s seriously powerful, because you can also make sure you’re only advertising to friends of ‘fans’ who are near your place of business, and not show ads to people who live overseas, etc.

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By targeting your ads towards friends of your fan page means you’re reaching exactly the people you want to reach. They’re already seeing their friends checking into your business via regular wall posts, so they’re starting to become aware of who you are (and hopefully what you offer).

Friends of Fans are perfect people to reach as they’re more likely to respond to this form of ‘word of mouth’ marketing than anyone else. If their friends have endorsed your business by becoming fans, then they’re much more likely to take your business seriously.

And remember, most people use Facebook with their phones!

For more Online Sales expert advice, click here.

Chris Thomas heads up Reseo, a search engine optimisation  company which specialises in creating and maintaining Google AdWords campaigns and Search Engine Optimisation campaigns for a range of corporate clients.

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