Understanding how to use Facebook for Business

A new infographic from the folks at Mashable shows that “social commerce sales are expected to bring in $30 billion each year by 2015, with half of web sales to occur directly through social media.”

Furthermore, the infographic shows that Facebook fans are 79 percent more likely than a non-fan to purchase a product, and 74% of fans are more likely to recommend a company they’ve liked on Facebook. It also claims that Facebook is known to drive 26 percent of the referral traffic.

The numbers make it obvious that social media needs to be a significant part of your marketing mix. Here are three things to keep in mind when looking to utilize Facebook for business:

Understand Fan-Acquisition
Unfortunately many business owners fall victim to ego-drive tactics like buying fans. Over the last few years, we’ve visited a handful of events and conference and a consistent theme is a request from small businesses looking for ways to get new fans.

There are tons of businesses selling fans for $199 or even as low as $99.58. I’d link to them but I don’t want them to have that satisfaction. This approach is worse than it seems – by buying fake fans, you actually lower your EdgeRank score thus lowering the odds of your content ever being seen.

Instead of buying fans on a mass scale, be targeted and run ads catered to a specific audience. That’s how you can gather potential leads who just so happened to also actually “like” you.

Embrace Fan Conversion
If we could teach marketers using Facebook anything, it would be to understand that fans are not baseball cards. You need to stop going to meetings and discussing how many fans you’ve generated this month and start talking about how many of those fans turned into sales.

Strive to convert
Look for ways that you can drive more visits to your purchasing funnel or into your lead development system. Take a cue from organizations who share deals specifically to their Facebook fans with limited time promo-codes. Anything you can do to monetize your network is the key to generating meaningful results.

Utilize Ongoing Storytelling
Whether you’re looking to build a following on Twitter or build a network on Facebook, storytelling is the difference between those brands who thrive and those who simply survive. You need to tell a story to your fans on an ongoing basis that shares with them not only the essence of what your brand represents but also your key value proposition. You need to use social media to tell a story that allows you to develop a sense of authority and leadership in your industry. If you can do this through social media you will be able to build deeper relationships with your audience and drive real results.

Here is the infographic from Mashable showcasing the power of Facebook on social media:

Mashable Facebook Infographic