The Best Ways of Using Facebook

FacebookThere are lots of reasons to use Facebook for marketing your business. However, you should not prioritize the social networking site over your own website. This is for the obvious reason that Facebook is not your own site. There are three good reasons why you should pay more attention to your business website than to Facebook.

1. Control

There is always a risk involved in relying on a third party site as your primary marketing source. This is because you have no control whatsoever over that source. It is true that you choose what to put onto your Facebook page, but you could lose out if Facebook decides to change its policies for displaying content (as it did recently, when it introduced time lines and starting promoting particular posts).

You are also exposed to the possibility that Facebook’s server might crash, that it might be purchased by another company (leading to another change in policy), or that it simply ceases to exist. You may think that these eventualities are unlikely, but they are possible, and you would get very little notice if they did happen. You could be left overnight with no online marketing, and you would need to rethink your strategy in a hurry. The lesson is: Facebook is not your business website, so do not treat it as such.

2. There is no search benefit

It is not really possible to have a SEO strategy with Facebook. As an example, if your customers are searching for a term such as “kids’ clothes”, there is not much you can do to ensure your Facebook page ranks more highly than those of your competitors. You need to remember that Google does not index your wall posts, so including keywords in those posts will not enable you to appear higher in Google’s rankings than your competitors. The most that you can hope to achieve is to get a Google ranking for your brand name. Remember that Facebook is working for its own benefit, and not yours, and its ranking policy is determined accordingly. The lesson is: Facebook is not your business website, so do not treat it as such.

3. There may be restrictions

You may still be of the opinion that it is a good idea to use Facebook as your main online marketing site. However, you need to think about the content you want to display. Facebook has terms of use for its business pages, and these may not necessarily accord with the objectives of your business. Remember, too, that Facebook administrators can decide at any time that your page violates those terms of use, and shut down your page. If this happens, you will lose all of your marketing efforts.

Your online fans are also regulated by the Facebook terms of use. This means that your relationship with them is governed by Facebook, and not by you, and you have no control over that relationship. You need to decide for yourself how this affects your company, and its ability to grow customer relationships. The lesson is: Facebook is not your business website, so do not treat it as such.

Best Way to Use Facebook

Despite these drawbacks, there are still clear benefits to using Facebook. It can have an effective role in your marketing strategy, so long as you have already focused upon building a strong online presence in the form of a company website that you have full control over. This website must not be an added extra: it is what your customers expect to find when they are looking for a company in your business area. They will want a site that shows quality products, as well as content that takes their needs into account. A well designed Facebook page should supplement, not replace, this.

Use Facebook as a way of driving more traffic to your site, and of building brand awareness. Make use of photo albums and the cover image to display your logo and branding, and build in fun and entertaining content to attract people’s attention. Make sure you include links back to your company website.

There are a few extra tips you need to follow

• Your Facebook page should not focus solely upon your company. Try to post two or three times a day, including relevant material about the industry as a whole to make it interesting to your followers. Use feedback from your fans to improve your content.
• Do not put links to your website in every post. You are using Facebook to interact with your customers, and you need to build up a rapport with them. Just put in links every so often, so that people can find them when they want them.
• Make your posts directly, and not through an automated service. They are more likely to be included in a news feed that way.
• Make sure that you follow the Facebook best practice guidelines. This will help you to use the site for the maximum benefit to your business.

Facebook is a great way of communicating with your customers. You should use it wisely, but not rely upon it as your main online presence. Just remember that Facebook is not your business website, so do not treat it as such.