Targeted social media marketingFacebook is no longer just a channel for chatting with friends and family. It’s grown up in the last couple of years with the introduction of Business Pages to become a powerful tool for networking and generating new business leads.

Facebook Business Pages offers a full application of interfaces that really allow you to make the most of marketing your business, which is very different to the more obvious social media channels like LinkedIn and Twitter.

Here’s how what started off as a college chatroom can now help expand the reach of your business:

1. Attract New Business instantly.

We all know it’s possible to add links into your business page directing people to your blog, or services pages, but you can also attract new business instantly by placing CTA’s directly underneath your timeline.

Facebook for Business

Get people to sign up to your newsletter, add competitions or perhaps a special offer to grab attention. Even if they don’t go any further than land on your page, they can instantly react to what you want them to do.

2. Share valuable information to gain authority.

Use your timeline effectively not just for a quick status update. Add your latest blog articles, upload ‘how-to’ videos that are giving valuable information for free, giving a reason for people to come back to your page again and again. Post relevant industry related news which acts as a useful resource for business owners. This is particularly good if you specialise in a niche. Then once you’ve got quite a few ‘Likes’ you could start to pose interesting or thought-provoking questions to increase the level of interaction happening on your page.

3. Offer an incentive to grow your mailing list.

Facebook is probably the hardest channel for B2B lead generation. But if you give something away for free, you’re more likely to get people ‘Liking’ your page, and if that information proves highly valuable, that will grow the organic interaction that takes place. By providing a reason for people to give you their email address, you’ll massively improve your email acquisition rate.

4. Use pins & stars for attracting attention.

When you’ve added content to your timeline, utilise the pins and stars to give it more visibility. Pins allow you to set an update to the top of your timeline (for up to 7 days) and stars expand the update so that it takes up more of your timeline space, drawing eyes to that offer or announcement.

5. And finally, networking.  

It’s certainly not the most widely used channel for networking, but where Facebook excels is its location-based functionality. If you’re attending an event somewhere, promote your presence by updating your Facebook status with the location of where you are. This alerts your Facebook followers that you’re at a specific event which they may also be attending, and offers you an opportunity to meet up, something that isn’t common place with Facebook connections.

As with any social media outlet, the idea behind it is to be ‘social’. You can get rid of the formal business-like mindset and portray the real ‘you’ even when representing your business. Look at Facebook as a complementary marketing tool, alongside the more obvious LinkedIn and forum activity, and use the applications and tools available to enhance your business reach.

Do you use Facebook for business purposes? How do you use the tools available on Facebook to generate new leads?