You probably heard of Facebook as a social bookmarking site, but did you know you could also start a business there? In fact, it is ideal. Think about that for a minute. Literally millions of users come to the site every day, and each of those users belongs to various groups and networks. They also use different side applications. With this type of social bookmarking site, they share their lives and interests with you, so that you can turn around and provide a service that will help benefit them.
Social bookmarking or networking absolutely requires that ethics be followed when you use the site to give your business exposure. First, you need to make sure that your actions do not violate any terms of service. If they do, change your approach so that you are not violating terms of service. This is your responsibility.
No matter what you want to accomplish, of course, make sure that you are not spamming anyone. You are not going to be successful this way and will just be an annoyance for people. In addition, you are probably going to be kicked off, which is exactly what you do not want.
However, if you use Facebook ethically and follow its terms of service, you should not have any difficulties.
Philosophy of Facebook in a Nutshell
To use Facebook properly to promote your business, you need to build your own community around your product, service, or profile. It is not going to work to simply slap together a bunch of links or a sales pitch, because people are going to go away in droves. Instead, what you want to do is to open your brand or company up and let people really see it; they want to have a good time there.
As an example, if your site is based around fantasy football, focus your profile on how much you love the game. You might also start a group utilizing -fantasy football- as its focus. Post your link to your fantasy football service in the group, and if someones interested, he or she is going to click on it.
If people learn to trust you and your voice, and they understand that you are on the site to get to know them, they will respond and will decide to use your service or buy your product.
If you want to further enhance your participation there, make a group more attractive, and encourage participation, you can add or create serious applications, hold meetings, post a poll, etc., and let group members discuss things amongst themselves so that they feel like they have a vested used in what is happening.
Facebook Can Give Your Service or Product Exposure
Most likely, what you are going to want to do is to use Facebook to get more exposure for your service or product. Use your site so that people become familiar with you and with what you are selling. One of the most important aspects of this is to use the site to help you -brand- yourself. Even if your product is a little bit mainstream and dull to the general population (such as if you run a bookeeping site or do something else with regard to finances), you need to do what you can to make sure that you have made your site (and your product or service) interesting to potential customers who will then want to go have a look.
Facebook works when you keep people interested and engaged in what you have to offer. You can do this with groups, applications, or by attracting customers who may be interested in you, based upon what you have in your profile.
If you want your online business to succeed with Facebook, think community. People want to belong, and this is true anywhere. It is a basic part of human nature to want to belong. Therefore, if you want your business to be successful, you cant sell your community a product. Instead, make your community understand that you want to belong, that you want to create something where people can go and participate in which are often.
People like new ideas, and want to know about them. They also want to find people who share similar interests with them. They want to establish a connection with others and form friendships on the site. If you use the site for business purposes, keep this in the forefront of your mind, because it is going to be what makes your business successful and will set it apart from others.
Using Facebook for Your Business
How, then, can you use Facebook for your business? There are several things you can do with your account, any of which could make you successful. If you decide to run a business from your Facebook account, choose activities that will dovetail with the goals you want to set.
Here are some things you can do with your account:
– You can beta-test product there to see that will sell. Use feedback from friends on the site to make needed changes to the product so that it will actually sell.
– Use the groups, applications, networks and general site trends to figure out some new ideas for yourself.
– You can use your profile to get clients, if your business is something that needs to regularly attract new clients (such as if you have a housecleaning business or something similar).
– Promote your service or business.
– Test a product on a niche to make sure that it will sell well in that particular niche, and make changes if you can.
– Create a customer and user base
These are just some examples of what you can do to use Facebook to enhance or start your business.
Take a look at some companies that are currently using Facebook to promote their products or services. You will see that if they are successful, each is doing a few basic things. Use each of these ideas even as you keep the idea of building a community in the forefront of your consciousness.
Of course, you can use Facebook to do affiliate marketing. What is affiliate marketing? You sell products other people have created and get a certain percentage of sales and commissions.
However, if you use Facebook to do affiliate marketing, you cannot post an affiliate link directly in your profile. Instead, put affiliate links in your blog and then put the link to your blog in the profile itself.
Facebook Is Expanding
Facebook is one of the fastest growing social networking and Web 2.0 sites out there. Primarily, it began as a site for college students, but it’s grown into an amazing Web 2.0 phenomenon.
Unlike some social bookmarking sites, Facebook actually encourages the idea that people can use their sites to build businesses. Developers and founders of Facebook primarily want to provide a positive user experience for everyone in the site, including business owners.
However, if you want to use the site in this way, you need to take a few precautions. You need to follow Web 2.0 and social bookmarkings rules, or you wont be successful.