Before I continue on with suggestions for making your presence known on Facebook, let me tell you that I don’t believe that everyone SHOULD be on Facebook. You need to go where your market is, and where you feel comfortable. Facebook may not be the correct place for you to focus if you are, say, an undertaker. In that case you might be better off at MySpace, which is totally dead (haha!).
No, seriously… not everyone’s business is suited to Facebook. And that’s okay. But if you think your peeps are hanging out at the big FB, here are some resources to get you on the boards, so to speak:
1. Decide if you want a fan (“group”) page or a personal page. I am not convinced that group pages are all that much better than personal pages. For my scrapbooking business, I have one of each, and people seem to like connecting with me more on my personal page than on my Layout a Day group page, but that could be a function of my business and my industry. I also have trouble keeping multiple, same-colored balls in the air at the same time. For instance, do I post the same post on my personal page AND my group page, or just one or the other? Do I send scrappy friends to my group page and refuse to accept their requests on my personal page? It’s all so confusing!
One big benefit the group page has is that you are not limited to 5000 friends, or whatever the current limit is. So if you’re really, really popular, you might want to opt for the group page.
2. Be active. Tell people “Happy birthday,” ask questions, and post pertinent resources and information. If you create a page — personal or group — but don’t ever show up, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Better to focus on a few outlets than create a bunch you can’t maintain.
3. Get personal. Share a little bit of the secret sauce that makes you, you! Sure, you want to keep the focus on business, but don’t be afraid to include a link to your favorite TV show, or post a celebration status update when your alma mater wins big (Go Stanford!). NOTE: This does NOT give you license to post every time your kitty cat climbs onto your lap or meows. NO ONE CARES. SERIOUSLY. If you’re posting about your “fur babies” more than once a week, move on to something more universally interesting (unless you’re in the pet industry. Then I take it all back).
4. Check out some of tips from people you respect
5. Set limits. If you tend to get sucked into the black hole that is Facebook, give yourself 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night and let it go at that. Or use “dead” time, like when you’re standing in line at the dry cleaner.