Because a Facebook presence is increasing key to connecting with current and potential customers, I’ve set up a new blog in 2011 called Using Facebook for Business Marketing.
Facebook often changes its features, and new applications are created by third parties to facilitate your efforts to connect with and engage customers. On this blog, I aim to create a resource — giving advice, pointing you to new links, and describing new functionality. Please stop by and contribute your experience with Facebook marketing and promotions.
If you start to use Facebook to network and informally promote your business to your target markets, you will soon run into Facebook site rules designed to limit overt promotions. I know because I was not aware of limits on identical messages and I’ve had my hand slapped. So I give you copy from Facebook on these limits and advice from three Facebook experts, to smooth your path.
Spam Regs from Facebook’s Help Section:
To protect our users from spam and other unsolicited commercial messages, Facebook has imposed stringent guidelines that flag when a user repeatedly sends or posts the same message- even if you were simply trying to organize a group or event.
Facebook has several recommended alternatives that can ensure these situations don’t arise again.
If you were trying to organize an event and were sending out all of the information in messages, we suggest you create a Facebook Event. To create an event, please click on the “Events” link in the left column of any Facebook page. From here, click on the “Create an Event” link at the top of the page. You can then fill in all the necessary information for the event and invite all your friends using the invite feature within the event. You can also utilize the “Message All” feature, which allows you to message all guests that have RSVP’d ‘yes’ to the event.
If you were trying to promote your group by posting a link to join it in a message, on a wall, or in a discussion board, this can be construed as spam. We suggest making your friends administrators of this group so that they can invite their friends using the Invite functionality built into the group. You can do this by clicking on “Edit Group Members” and then on “make admin” next to the users’ names. Each admin can invite his/her own friends to the group.
Facebook’s Recommendations for Promoting your Business or Organization:
You can create a Facebook Page.
Facebook Pages give brands and businesses an opportunity to create a presence on Facebook. Brands and businesses can customize their Facebook Page to maximize user interaction and interest. A Facebook Page will allow brands and businesses to deepen connections with users and give the ability to maximize viral promotion through Social Ads. To create a Page, please visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php or simply click on the ‘Create a page for your business’ link at the bottom of any Page.
You can create Social Ads.
Social Ads leverage the power and viral nature of Facebook News Feed by serving relevant stories when users’ friends take actions with a Facebook Page or Application. In addition to providing a more relevant advertising experience for users, Social Ads help brands and businesses maximize reach to a greater percentage of the Facebook audience. To learn more about Social Ads and start creating your campaign, please visit http://www.facebook.com/ads/create/index.php? Advertising Link
You can post Marketplace Listings.
To post an item, simply click Marketplace on the left of any Facebook page. You will then have the option to either “List What You Have” or “List What You Want”. After making your choice, you will be guided through the listing creation process. You will have the opportunity to choose where your listing is posted as well as set the privacy options for your posting.
Nick Jag, in his Facebook Marketing Limits, gives 8 very specific tips to avoid hitting the limits. He warns that “Now it seems, for all sorts of different promotion amounts, Facebook will actually straight up disable your account.”
Mari Smith, sometimes called the Pied Piper of Facebook, talks about how to avoid Facebook account deactivation. She gives reasons why your account might be deactivated, and steps to avoid that problem.
Social media marketing expert Heather Mansfield has a Facebook page to help small businesses navigate Facebook. She thinks Facebook is overrated as a marketing tool:
You have to promote your page mostly off Facebook…on your website, in your email newsletter, etc. which explains Facebook’s surge in traffic, right? Everyone and their cat and dog sending emails to friends, family and colleagues asking them to “fan” their page.
You can “Share” a Page with your friends on Facebook – and that will get you a few new fans – but if you want hundreds or thousands of fans you have to heavily promote your page off Facebook… and even then it could take a year or more to even reach 1,000 fans.
I know…everyone loves Facebook, but as a marketing tool I just think is so overrated. Great for personal connections and networking, but it was not designed to be a marketing tool. Personally, I think the best value of a Facebook Page for business is that it improves your search engine results.
What’s your experience with marketing in Facebook? Please share it in a comment.
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