Social Networking Tools For Business

Facebook for Your Business?

When and When Not to Use Facebook for Your Business

Too many business have blindly followed others into social networking white water. If you have no plan or experience then doing this is simply a waste of time while a well planned ‘social use strategy’ will often yield good results.

Let’s take a quick look at both.

A Well Planned Strategy

Toyota launched an advertising campaign where parents would pass down their trusty well used Camry to their son or daughter while the youngest siblings witnessing the tradition begins to day dream of the day when his big brother or sister would pass down the car to them. The message being conveyed is that a Toyota lasts and lasts.
At the end of the commercial the voice over says visit us on Facebook and tell us your Camry story.

Toyota’s ad agency used Facebook to engage consumers on a personal level. This is a very effective use of Facebook.

Other examples of successful, socially engaging campaigns might include;
Wine shops announcing wine tasting’s
Non-profits raising community awareness for causes or themes
Political campaign sounding boards for issues
and the list goes on and on.

After the recent tornado outbreaks a small community in Alabama used Facebook to post personal items found after the storm. This is a good use of Facebook.

The Key Word here is Social

The most effective use of Facebook is to engage users on a social level. The deeper or more personal the connection you make stimulates the most conversation. Note that this conversation can be heated, negative, positive, knee-jerk and lively so be prepared.

Planning is the key.

Think of it this way. If you are planning on taking a vacation you will know;

a. Where you are going
b. When you will leave
c. How you will get there.
d. Where you will stay.
e. What you will do once you are there.
f. How much money you will spend.
h. And finally when you will leave.

Don’t set up a Facebook page just because every one else has one, rather develop a basic strategy of how you will use Facebook and how it fits into your marketing strategy. If you still feel the compelling urge to create a Facebook page, then create a personal page and learn the basics.

To Like Me or Not to Like Me

I shudder and cringe when a client asks me to put a Facebook like button on their homepage.

What image are you trying to convey about your company?
Should a cancer medical practice have a ‘Like’ button on their homepage?
No.
Should a pizza parlor have a ‘Like’ button on their homepage?
Sure.

In my humble opinion the Facebook ‘Like’ button interface does not lend any professional sensibility to a business homepage. And from a search engine perspective I do not want Google detecting a Facebook link on my homepage. Call me super superstitious, but that’s just me.

Besides nothing looks worse than having a like button showing 6 people like you on your business website homepage. This is like having a Blog with your most recent posting dated Dec 2008. Blogs and social network pages take lots of work. This means dedicating time to manage your pages on a daily basis.

As you continue to build and mange your online presence on the Web, try to remember to simple rules;

Google is for searching. Facebook is for socializing.

More related articles:
Google vs Facebook, how Google could dominate Facebook

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