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pc-loadletterUsing Facebook to help you grow your business and gain new customers and clients is a hot topic right now.  For those new to Facebook or even those who have been using it for a few months, it can all be a bit overwhelming.

When it comes to marketing using Facebook many small business owners and solopreneurs have trouble figuring out where to begin. Somewhere between the request to throw snowballs at someone and the invitation to save the whales it becomes easy to wonder what you are even doing on there in the first place.

Take a step back and remember the reasons why you heard it could be beneficial for your business in the first place.  Facebook has approximately 150 million users as of this writing and it’s on track to only grow more. That’s a huge audience and a great opportunity to find your target market within it.

Before you dismiss this social networking site because you don’t know exactly how to make it work for you, consider installing the following applications on your page.  If you have a profile up and running and have started building a list of friends, you can add these items to give your prospects a way to interact with you and learn more about what you have to offer.

1) Profile HTML:  This can be used in several ways, but if you use an auto responder service like AWeber for your online newsletter or e-zine, this application allows you to add an opt-in box right on your Facebook profile.  This is a fantastic way to build your list and stay in contact with potential clients and customers.  I found good step-by-step directions on how to set up Profile HTML and add it to your page.

2) Notes: This application allows you to add a blog post, article, or anything else you want to share with others as a “note.”  You can even bring your note to the attention of other Facebook users as this application allows you to “tag” others.  In doing so, your note then shows up in the news feed of these users. (Use this wisely—only if you are actually mentioning or referencing the person directly.) This means more visibility for you and what you have posted.

3) Video: If you are comfortable with this medium, video can be a powerful way to get your message in front of more people.  Small video cameras such as the Flip are relatively inexpensive and easy to use these days.  Your clips don’t have to be long or involved, even a short video of you giving a few tips related to your business can go a long way.  Video is especially appealing for its ability to add a very human element to your marketing.  People love seeing you as a real, live breathing person! 🙂  In this way it really contributes to that all-important know, like and trust factor.

4) Pages: You can create a page for your business–which is essentially its own profile.  The most important thing about this is that these pages are indexed in Google.  With Facebook being one of the most searched for terms daily, this means great search engine optimization (SEO) for your business’ presence on the site.

5) Networked Blogs (formerly Blog Networks): This application allows you to feed your blog posts right into your profile, invite others to be fans, list your blog in a topic-based directory, and more.  This means more exposure for your posts, more traffic to your blog and more subscribers!

If you end up trying any of these applications, let me know what you think of them and how they work for you.  Concentrate on adding one at a time and playing around with its functionality.  Then explore other applications and come to back and share what you have found and would recommend.

Photo credit: P.C. Loadletter

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