A few weeks ago I discussed some basic tips for promoting yourself on twitter. While twitter is an amazing website, it isn’t the only social media site out there. Your future clients and colleagues are everywhere. Why risk missing them by limiting yourself to one tool?
There are hundreds of social media sites out there, but let’s be honest, they aren’t all equal. Some of them are better designed for promoting your business, no matter what it is, than others. Some of them don’t have enough users to be worth your time. Facebook is free (sort of – we’ll get to that in a minute), great for sharing content, and with millions of users it is worth your time to use it for networking. Here are 5 tips to promote yourself on one of the most famous social media sites.
1. Create a Facebook page
While it might seem easier to share links to your website on your personal Facebook page, it has limited benefits. Sure, you’re letting friends and family know, and they’ll spread the word and help you find people, but what about after that initial wave? Grandma might tell her bingo buddies about your photography business every time one of their grandchildren gets engaged, but how long will they take her seriously? Grandma telling her friends about your amazing pictures isn’t as effective as showing everyone your amazing pictures yourself. Besides, you can’t keep adding dozens of strangers on Facebook just to promote yourself.
By creating a Facebook page you can upload images, links, prices, information, and more for both friends, family, and complete strangers to see. Sharing on your personal Facebook account isn’t a bad idea, probably better if you’re worried about Grandma posting embarrassingly supportive comments on a public page, but it shouldn’t be your only option.
2. Take advantage of photo albums
There are several freelance careers that rely on images. While there are several sites dedicated to image sharing, there’s no point in depriving your ever growing Facebook fans from seeing a selection of your products before they visit your website.
Instead of posting directly to your Facebook page, take advantage of Facebook’s photo albums. I suggest creating new albums for different categories to make it easier for your followers to find what they want no matter when you originally posted the image.
3. Be careful with hashtags
Unlike twitter, Facebook’s hashtags are a relatively new feature. They’ve been analyzed in their short existence, and the results are mixed. The dates of the research, personal vs business use, and, like twitter, how many hashtags, seems to play a role in how effective they are. My recommendation is play around with it and only use them if the benefit you. The basic rules for Facebook hashtags are similar to twitter hashtags, most importantly no more than two and make sure you chose the right words to connect your post to the right readers.
4. No character limit doesn’t mean write a novel
Remember how we discussed using too many hashtags on twitter? Since Facebook doesn’t have twitter’s 140 character limit, many people make the same mistakes on Facebook that they make on twitter x20. So overusing hashtags goes from 4 or 5 times on twitter to sometimes an entire paragraph on Facebook. We’ve all seen it, and I don’t need to explain how annoying it is to read. Please don’t do this to your followers.
Your text on Facebook isn’t just limited to abusing hashtags. You could write multiple paragraphs using proper English and still drive fans away. Many people, myself included, check social media fairly regularly on lunch breaks or while waiting in line or in a lobby. Do you have time to read a one page essay in that short amount of time? Neither does your followers. So only give the important and enticing details on social media. If you want to share more details before your potential clients actually purchase something, leave them on your actual website.
5. Don’t spend money until you’re ready
Facebook is free, but gives you the option on your Facebook page to promote your posts and gain new likes for a daily fee. While this can cost as little as $5 a day, I wouldn’t recommend it until you have a substantial amount of content/products on your website and a good amount of followers on your own.
The money you give Facebook will allow it to suggest your page to people who would be interested in it via their Facebook profiles. You know those little ads on the right of your newsfeed? That’s what you’re paying to be. While you will reach new people, valuable customers will be turned off by lack of options on your site. Instead, invite your friends and family to like your page and spread it via digital word of mouth while you’re building up your inventory to impress complete strangers.
Having a Facebook page has become so normal that people will search for a Facebook link on your website as a way for them to stay up to date on your blog/product/service. Don’t miss this chance to remind people of what you can do and why they want to pay for it. Facebook is a simple, free, and full of potential clients. Just because your personal Facebook newsfeed is full of baby pictures and a constant reminder that you went through those weird high school phases like everyone else doesn’t mean that it can’t help your business grow.
Fieber, Marco. Thumbs Up – Like. 18 Sept. 2011. Online image. Flickr. 6 Oct. 2014. https://flic.kr/p/ayepXW