How do Small Businesses Make Facebook Work for Them?
People just can’t stop thinking of it: how do you exploit Facebook to the greatest benefit going viral or something for your business? You’ve seen it done on every business website you’ve been to: each one has a few (or many)social networking tools represented on the sides, and you are supposed to follow them on Twitter or friend them on Facebook. Facebook offers special business memberships, that are not the same as individual ones. In fact, some small businesses completely give the website route a pass and depend on Facebook for a web presence. It looks good, and you can have your Facebook website simply redirect visitors to a proper e-commerce site like eBay or Amazon.
Businesses don’t always go down the Facebook route just to have a web presence though; you could be there for customer support, for better word-of-mouth, or to start a forum about something important your product represents, like environmental responsibility, for example. A new bakery that wants to get enough hip young customers in the door would have to do nothing more than to look up on Facebook all the people who live in a 5 mile radius around the bakery, searching by Zip code, age and income group on Facebook, and send out Facebook messages to all of them. Who could have dreamed that a small business would be able to automate mailing lists like this, even a few years ago? Facebook’s advanced search options allow you to narrow it down to almost any kind of defining characteristic: marital status, people interested in specific sports, people who love certain actors or certain streams of public interest subjects, almost anything. Facebook asks us to fill out detailed profiles when we sign up;when we do, anyone can search for us by our listed preferences.
The social networking community really does work like one; advertisements on them usually not people much better results than advertisements put out on general-interest websites. Facebook is like this magic neighborhood,huge and intimate at the same time, where everyone walks around with a name tag – like in that episode of Seinfeld.