Free daily tips, information and advice for small business
from personal experience starting-up, operating and expanding small businesses of my own.
If you don't use Facebook to promote your business, you should. Facebook can be valuable in helping you operate and expand.
Just to be clear--I don't work for Facebook, and I don't get anything from writing about Facebook. But Facebook is a useful addition to your marketing tool box, and everyone in small business deserves to know about it and use it.
First, a Facebook page or presence is easy to set up. Even if you are not computer-savvy, you can follow the simple directions and be up and running in about five minutes. Just go to Facebook.com and begin.
Second, a Facebook page puts a photo face on your business. Everyone snaps digital photos these days. And a photo is easily uploaded to your Facebook page. (I've covered this--and given many examples--in previous write-ups.)
Third, a Facebook page is easy to maintain. You don't have to hire an expert. You simply check in every day and add more photos and comments. Quick, easy, cheap.
Fourth, a Facebook page brings in new business. As people "like" the things you put up on your page, they pass them around. This gets your business in front of more eyeballs.
Keep in mind that a Facebook page (I like to think of it as a presence) is a living thing. It's not like a brochure, it's more like a scroll that unfolds day by day. It attracts attention because it is not static--it changes. And you make the changes yourself.
Make your input photos a living record of your business. If you are a baker, photograph every cake as you are making it. If you are a florist, photograph every flower arrangement as you're are creating it. Show before and after photos. If you sell eye glass frames, get up close and personal with your frames, with an eyeball peering through at the camera.
Don't try to be professional. Instead, aim for humor or craziness. These things attract attention. You're not taking photographs for display in a gallery. You're having fun.
Bakers and florists are not the only ones who can benefit from a Facebook presence. Auto repair shops can use a close up picture of a mechanic's hand fiddling with some part under the hood. Pest exterminators can take endless pictures of bugs. Even lawyers and accountants can take pictures of public street scenes--adding comments.
The purpose of these pictures is to inform and entertain. They are quick glimpses or slices of life--something to do with you and your business, but memorable.
I know some small businesses that post pictures almost daily on their Facebook page. It keeps people talking, it keeps you in their minds, it spreads the word.
And it's free.
You can promote your business in many ways. Almost all of them cost you money. But Facebook came along and offered to promote you for free. Amazing. Ain't America a wonderful place?