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Using Facebook for Successful Internet Marketing
What are others doing on Facebook? Does it work? And how much time does it really take to make your fan page successful?

I started using Facebook about six years ago, back when it was only open to college students with a college school email address that was verified by Facebook before you could even create your profile. I created a profile and kept in touch with my high school friends and college friends,  however not everyone was on Facebook.  Now, six years later, Facebook has turned into the most used social networking platform with approximately 450 to 500 million users, 50% of which log on to Facebook in any given day!

Success with Facebook
Dominic Benecasa, organizer for the Daytona Blues Festival, has seen tremendous popularity with his fan page.  With 1,273 people who "like this" and counting, the Daytona Blues Festival fan page is growing every day. "I get about 60 to 140 email notifications a day through Facebook," says Benecasa. He started the fan page as he was developing the website and spent hours each day suggesting the fan page to other friends, family, friends of friends, and other blues music group members.

"I've had big business people say they want to meet the marketing person in charge of the event because they have heard so much about it. It's just me on my computer each night typing emails and going on Facebook. We've kept our advertising costs very low and are promoting this event primarily through the Internet."  Benecasa is a classic example of how to use social media and the Internet for marketing and networking. It might be free but it takes a lot of time and dedication.

So how can you create a Facebook Fan Page and make it successful for your business? After spending time managing many different businesses fan pages and setting up social media for clients, I've found that the best results are seen by people who spend time creating networks within their industry with people who they would like to do business with or already are doing business with.

Facebook makes your current clients get to know you better and your potential clients see who you are on a more personal level. Anything other than that is just SPAM and will be ignored by everyone you contact or try to reach. I "unfriend" people who send me messages all the time for the latest club night they are promoting, the latest event, or anything I am not interested in that they are advertising to me.  To prevent yourself from being "unfriended" or having your hard work ignored, follow this Facebook Internet marketing advice;

1. Start with your friends.
To begin, start by interacting with the people you know. Connect with old friends and find out what they are doing, and tell them what you are doing. Follow this with an invite to "like" your Facebook fan page for your business. The invite is from you so be sure that you have contacted or been in touch with this person at least once in the previous month.

2. Reach out to mutual friends to grow your network.
Look at your friends profiles and see who they are friends with. Have you met any of these people before? Worked with them? Try to become friends with anyone you may already know through mutual friends and make new connections with friends who you would like to get to know.  Dominic Benecasa spent approximately 4 hours a day on Facebook gaining personal friends for his profile, fans for his Blues Festival fan page, and making connections with other people who love blues music.

3. Reach out to other group members, fans, and organizations.
Find groups and other fan pages that are in related industries. Benecasa did this with the Daytona Blues Festival fan page, he spent hours each night looking at related fan pages for other blues festivals and blues organizations, sending invites to those fans and group members to "like" the Daytona Blues Festival and messages inviting them to the festival to enjoy the music.

4. Post often, but only when you have something good to say.

Everyone knows someone who abuses their right to use Facebook. They use it as SPAM and as a result you have an inbox full of messages from this person who you ignore or end up "unfriending" because the messages are obnoxious and you are not trying to look at advertising, you are trying to connect with people in Facebook.

5. Upload pics regularly.
Everyone likes to see pictures. Take them and post to your profile regularly. What should you take pictures of? Anything relating to your industry or work, or your business. People love seeing pictures of other people and places.

6. Tie it in with your website marketing.
Add your profile badge or an icon linking to your fan page from your business website. This is the best way to link your fan page and website. Be sure to create new content on your website and link to that in your status updates. It is a good idea to introduce a topic in your status update and then follow it with a link to read more, the full story should be on a landing page in your website where friends can see more info about your company easily.

7. Be sincere. Spend time interacting with your friends.

You have to spend time reading your news feed and seeing what others are doing. What are they saying? Comment as often as appropriate and spend time seeing what your friends and connections are doing. Chances are, someone may be in need of your business's services or products and you can find good leads this way.  Facebook is not about SPAM and trying to advertise your message, it's about networking with other people and expanding your social network so that you have more people to do business with that you know and trust.
Categories: Social Media

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