10 Reasons To Use Facebook for Business

Business Handshake Series Social networking sites, especially Facebook, have significant implications for business owners, marketers, and entrepreneurs around the world. To keep your business current, you should at least be familiar with the latest social media marketing techniques and viral technologies, including Facebook and its array of powerful features.

Facebook recently crossed the 100 MILLION member mark. That’s no small number for sure. Yet, millions more will join this incredible platform in the coming months and years. And the vast majority will be seeking to use Facebook primarily for business purposes.

For many people new to Facebook, on first pass, the site can seem frivolous, time consuming, confusing and difficult to measure real *tangible* results. (I mean, who wants to have a sheep thrown at them, a vampire bite, cupcake or to be “sold” to other friends?! It’s a personal choice, but the ignore all button will quickly become your BFF!)

FastCompany.com dubbed me the “Pied Piper of Facebook.” So, to get you started, here’s my list of ten reasons you need to be active on Facebook!

[And, if you're already successfully participating on Facebook, feel free to forward this post to your friends and clients who are not yet convinced WHY they should be using Facebook for business reasons.]

  1. Meet your peers.Facebook is not just for college kids anymore. Members are typically older and more mature than on other sites, and there are more affluent and more educated white collar users.
  2. Find business contacts.With more than 100 million active users, and predicted to be 500 million by 2011, not only are your friends on Facebook, so are your prospects, your customers, your JV partners… and, of course, your competitors. You need to be on too.
  3. Instant gate opener.Facebook members are open to connecting. You can easily begin a dialog with highly successful—even famous—people who were previously otherwise unreachable.
  4. Build relationships.By engaging in conversations with your prospects and customers, you can better adapt your marketing and business services to meet their needs.
  5. Raise visibility.By consistently and congruently showing up, posting relevant information, and being a thought leader, you can increase visibility and credibility as the expert in your area.
  6. Develop your personal brand.The lines between business and personal have become blurred. You can reveal as much or as little about yourself as you wish, allowing you to personalize your brand.
  7. Target your niche.Users volunteer vast amounts of information about themselves that you can readily access. These kinds of demographics, psychographics, and technographics would previously have cost fortunes to access. Author, John Battelle, calls Facebook a “database of intentions.”
  8. Get rapid top Google placement.Create a Page for your business and share information with your fans. Pages (for business) and Profiles (for personal) are indexed for optimal search engine positioning. Facebook has a page rank of #5 according to Alexa.
  9. imagePlace targeted ads.With Facebook Social Ads, you can test out extremely targeted advertising for minimal cost.
  10. No cost marketing.Aside from paid ads, Facebook is totally free to use and with regular activity you’ll end up with more traffic, more subscribers, and more paying clients.

I trust you’ll be turned into a Facebook convert before long! Just be sure to create and implement a specific, integrated social marketing strategy… or you might suffer from Social Networking Overwhelm. ;) If you need support with your strategy, I’d be happy to help.

Do you agree with these top ten? Are there any business reasons missing? What would you add? What are your biggest reasons for using Facebook?

  • http://neatology.com Kelley

    You made my day with your the ignore all info. I clicked on the link and now all 96 requests for this and that are gone. Thanks!

    Kelley’s last blog post.. Your Daily 15 Minutes – Starting The Paperless Process

  • http://whyfacebook.com Mari Smith

    @Iyabo Aha, I’m following you back now on Twitter! It’s so good to tweet/meet you! :) Thank you SO much for your kind feedback. Your kind words made my day.

    @Kelley Whew!!! SO glad to hear that – with your organizational expertise, I’ll bet it’s a relief to have a clean FB requests page now! Way to go! ;)

  • http://www.thomasmangum.com Thomas Mangum

    this is perfect timing for people I know that aren’t on FB. Thanks again and again Mari….hmmm you ARE a rockstar!

  • http://www.virtualassist.net Andrea Kalli

    Oh, and you KNOW I’ll be forwarding this post to all the VAs I know! You offer straight-forward, no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is information. It’s one of the things I admire most about you.

    Andrea Kalli
    http://www.virtualassist.net

  • http://AskAmyAnything.com Amy Scott Grant

    I agree, this social networking thing is fun – and it can definitely be profitable – My husband had been a member for awhile, not really using it much except to find old classmates or friends. But then, when I joined, I immediately saw the potential to increase my business, and started learning to finesse it (you won’t see any blatant “advertising” on my Facebook site, but you will see plenty of relevant “opportunities” woven into my postings, profile, etc.

    My enthusiasm prompted my husband to consider using Facebook to promote his business (http://TotalFamilyFreedom.com) and within 2 days he profited $1000, just by tweaking a couple of things.

    Sweeeeet!

    I do have one point of contention in your article though — in your reason #10, you call it “No cost marketing”

    and while I would agree that there is no financial cost, there is certainly the time factor to consider. If you like Facebook (and I personally do), then the time factor isn’t really an issue because it’s fun. But like blogging, if it’s a chore that you’re only doing in order to score some sales, you’ll probably burn out pretty quickly.

    Food for thought.

    Thanks for the great article.

  • Iyabo

    Hello Mari, I have been following you on Twitter for some time and I finally came to your blog so you have at least one successful tweet relationship here.

    I am very impressed with your article for two reasons. I am fairly new to the social networking thing and internet marketing world and I find that most blogs are just sales pitches.

    Your entry is full, absolutely loaded with valuable information. It sells facebook and how to use facebook strategically. Just reading the whole article and the links is an education in and of itself. That is valuable.

    So, congratulations on being a genuine leader that shares and teaches her audience, thus empowering them. I will be keeping my eye on you.

    Thanks

    Iyabo Asani
    http://www.AuthenticChangeAgent.com

  • Knatchwa

    There are some valid points made in this post, worthy of sharing, some good points that could really make a difference.

  • http://www.VisionForSuccess.biz Ali

    I met you on Facebook and throughout all these months, you are an inspiration of constant learning and strategy with all of our marketing techniques. It’s been so beneficial, that I even have my local Chamber of Commerce involved into getting with the Facebook program, and thanks to you, I’ll be teaching the classes. Thanks so much Mari, for all you do. Your strategies are solid, fun, and convincing..and…they work!

    Best,

    Ali
    The Passionista Expert

  • Glen Crosier

    Hi Mari, Thanks for making life a lot simpler by reminding us exactly what we should be thinking about when it comes to using FB for business.

    There’s one more thing that I’d add and that’s “market research” which I guess expands on “target your niche”…My experience of this before becoming active on FB was surveying email lists and/or creating buyer personas or visualising your ideal prospect kind of exercises.

    When you’re interacting and building relationships with people you get a unique insight into people’s lives and the kind of problems that your expertise can help with. Actually being connected to people you can help as part of social interaction can allow you to pinpoint with some accuracy who you target audience really is…

    Once again my 10 cents :)

    Cheers
    Glen

    Glen Crosier’s last blog post.. WordPress Themes That Made Me Go “Wow” (Or… “Woo”)

  • http://iandavidchapman.com Ian David Chapman

    Another excellent post, I love that you include links to the pillar articles that you wrote months before and are now buried deep in your blogs archives.

    By networking with others who are in business you can broaden your horizons and learn strategies and techniques that you can apply in your own field. I have found Facebook to be a great place to learn and stay at the cutting edge. I can leverage the knowledge of other people and synthesise it to suit my own needs. Twitter is fantastic for looking over peoples shoulders and seeing what they are interested in and the blogs and websites that they visit

    Amy hit the nail on the head when she talked about time and the importance of enjoying yourself on Facebook. There is no way I would put in so much time if I wasn’t having fun too. When Facebook becomes a chore its time to outsource. I haven’t reached that point yet and I think those that delegate too much to their VA’s miss out on the depth that you reach through real personal interactions.

    I have learned a lot from you and your clear and articulate style of presenting information, by giving freely and helping others you strengthen your network and make it more powerful and responsive

    Ian David Chapman’s last blog post.. Are You In Danger of Getting Rubbed Out?

  • Cathy Goodwin

    Hi Mari,
    I agree! I’ve had new subscribers and participants in my “Cat Chats” teleseminar series -very gratifying.

    Cathy Goodwin’s last blog post.. Copywriting to answer the “so what” question

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  • http://575488trillion.com Walter Paul Bebirian

    Like any tool – and any artist utilizing the tool – practice and willingness to explore the use of the tool is necessary – and that is the real key to making the facebook arena work for yourself -

    for me facebook is a multitude of tools that I am just beginning to leatn to utilize both for my own business as well as for my art and as well to hlep clinets and friends as well -

    thank you!

    Walter

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  • http://poetslodge.com Pete moring

    Mari, I’ve always avoided Facebook because of the ‘teenage’ thing. but you’ve got me thinking twice about it now.
    this blog of yours seems to have ALL the info I’ll need to get up and running without too much confusion. (Something us older ones seem to suffer from).

    ‘Happy Tweeting’ by the way.

    Pete.

  • Successful Web Women

    Dear Mari
    this is a very valuable blog post. I love your blog and follow it closely.
    Thank you
    Yani

  • Patsy Stewart

    Mari, I just read this post again and it reminds me of how social media has changed the way we do business. We got our first prospect today from Twitter. Could end up being a really nice job! Thanks for sharing your valuable knowledge with us!

    Patsy Stewart’s last blog post.. Facebook for Recruiting… What’s working

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  • http://www.beauty-salon-marketing.co.uk/ Jon

    Thanks Mari, that’s a very useful summary. In fact, I liked it so much I wrote about it on our blog (which is about helping beauty salon owners to improve their marketing)! :)

    Cheers, Jon

    Jon’s last blog post.. Internet Salon Marketing – 10 reasons to use Facebook

  • http://www.lifetracks.org Nanci Hartland

    As usual, Mari, you are right on, with exciting ideas and facts that are do-able. I love reading your twitter on your travels… Hugs to you Leave Happy, Healthy and Reverent Lifetracks.
    Nanci Hartland, CEO, Founder
    http://www.lifetracks.org

  • http://www.BetterHealthCenter.com Linda Basta

    Hi Mari.Please delete the last comment i madw. Wasn’t able to edit it. I joined faceBook & Twitter with you. hoping to get to know you better.
    Linda

  • Paul Harvey

    I have been struggling to understand the benefits of FB and other social networking site.I still do not get the collection of friends where there is no connection. It feel like stamp collecting.How can you possible have a a friend relationship with 1000 people plus. I have come here as a Marketing coach look at how FB can serve me and my clients I am still undecided. Yet it is fun and addictive.

    Paul Harvey’s last blog post.. Face Book

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  • http://www.sayingspage.com Bob

    lol. Nice facts. Just like what I am looking for.