Three Simple and Powerful Ways to Use Facebook to Grow a Following

Facebook, Inc.Image via Wikipedia

How many of you are not on Facebook? Consider the following statistics from the Facebook Stats page:

Company Figures:

  • More than 400 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • More than 35 million users update their status each day
  • More than 60 million status updates posted each day
  • More than 3 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
  • More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
  • More than 3.5 million events created each month
  • More than 3 million active Pages on Facebook
  • More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
  • More than 20 million people become fans of Pages each day
  • Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans

Average User Figures:

  • Average user has 130 friends on the site
  • Average user sends 8 friend requests per month
  • Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook
  • Average user clicks the Like button on 9 pieces of content each month
  • Average user writes 25 comments on Facebook content each month
  • Average user becomes a fan of 4 Pages each month
  • Average user is invited to 3 events per month
  • Average user is a member of 13 groups

That's a lot of eyeballs and opportunity to capture attention for
your products and services IF you know how to use Facebook effectively
to grow a following and market to your targeted audience.

Facebook is about creating relationships by sharing helpful hints,
links, videos, and photos while being yourself during the course of
casual conversation. It's not about hard selling and peddling your
wares to people who haven't asked to be attacked with your marketing
messages.

Here are some easy ways to generate some good will and create an
environment where people learn about your expertise, become interested
in learning more about you, and click on your contributions to learn
more about your products and services. You don't sell anything and
people become sold on you.

Set up a Facebook Profile. With 400 million people actively
using the service, there are bound to be some folks on the network who
share your interests and who are great matches for your target
audience. Once you've set up a profile, populate it with your picture,
your links, your interests, etc. and then search for some groups that
are of interest to you where other like-minded individuals are also
members. Use your profile to give others a sense of what you do and who
you are in a way that is interesting and intriguing enough that they
will want to connect with you. This way, when you make updates to your
profile (status, pictures, links, and more), your friends can see this
activity in their own profiles and share it with their friends or
interact with you and further enhance a positive relationship.

Contribute but don't sell. You've got to get involved and
contribute to conversations by making friends and commenting on their
updates in addition to commenting in discussions and groups. As you
post links and create relationships with others, their friends will see
your interactions and other interested individuals will want to become
your friend. "Friends" on Facebook can be as casual and simple as
people who see your profile and think that you're neat or as important
and endearing as family members or life-long friends who use Facebook
to stay connected to you and what you're up to. All of the friends you
make on Facebook should be supportive of what you're doing and not just
people who are trying to gain as many friends as possible in the
fastest time. Focus your friend activity on people who may become
customers or supporters within your market and not just associates who
have nothing to do with your business.

Establish a fan Page for your business. In the same way that
individuals on Facebook have profile pages, a business that you run can
have a Page. Your Page is linked to your profile page and acts as an
entirely separate place to showcase your business and provide updates
about your products and services. This place is more of a sales &
marketing location and people who like your Page become fans. When they
become fans, a message is broadcast across their network of friends
that they have become a fan of your Page and others may become
interested and decide to join the Page creating another broadcast
message and so on. As you post updates about your business on the Page,
just like updates on your profile, individuals may comment or share
these updates with their networks and create a viral effect.

With the average number of friends (130) and Pages (4) each Facebook
user interacts with daily and monthly, you can see there are tremendous
opportunities to enhance your online presence with Facebook. Even if
you're already on Facebook, hopefully this short article highlights
some of the ways you can become an even better user by taking
advantage of Facebook features to their fullest extent.

Feel free to use my profile page and fan Page as examples of effective Facebook marketing:

Iceman Baldy Facebook Profile

The Hustletown Chronicle Fan Page

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