What is Facebook Marketing?

Are you confused about Facebook marketing? Don’t know what it is, exactly, or how to use Facebook for business? Welcome to the club of most marketers.

Facebook for businesses is an entirely different game than the typical Facebook profile, but that doesn’t mean that it’s just another way to advertise. Most marketers misuse it as just that. They only post their newest offers, as though it were a big classified ad section.

That’s not the point of Facebook, marketing or otherwise. Facebook is about being social. If you’re not giving information that your visitors find interesting, why would they return to the page? Just to be marketed to? I don’t think so. You have to offer valuable content, and you can’t really charge for it.

Let’s say you are a retail sporting goods store owner. You could offer some information, or a downloadable PDF, about how to buy running shoes. Not a blatant advertisement for your products, but a true, detailed guide for how to chose a running shoe.

This will cause people to come back to your page and consider you a trusted source.

Facebook is for “pull” advertising, not “push.” This means you can’t aggressively market. You have to offer something valuable, at no cost, first. People have to want to interact with you.

Facebook is is taking over the internet at the time of this writing. That is mostly because most personal Facebook accounts are places where friends and acquaintances can interact and more-or-less gossip.

But that is not what a Facebook business account is about. Facebook for business is different from Facebook personal accounts. For one thing, business accounts cannot send and receive “friend” requests. Instead, people can “like” your Facebook business page, which doesn’t require approval from you, so it is easier to get “likes” than get “friended.” (It requires less commitment on the “likers” part.)

Facebook business accounts are harder to set up (since the advent of a new kind of coding for them began in March, 2011). They should not be treated like personal profiles. Many business people don’t understand the difference, and shoot themselves in the foot by creating their own personal profile for business use.

For a little clarity, Facebook generally refers to personal accounts as just that- “personal accounts,” or “profiles.” On the other hand, a “Page” generally refers to a business account. This can be confusing, because most people call their personal account their “Facebook page,” as in, “Do you have a Facebook page?” (Which should technically be, “Do you have a Facebook profile?” To make it even more confusing, “Pages” used to be called “Fan Pages” (which made more sense to most people, including me.) I don’t know why they changed it to simply “Pages.”

There is also something called a “group” page,which is not the same as a “group” on your personal page, and is not the same as a business page.Group pages are mostly used for short-term campaigns, like getting people involved in cause such as relief efforts.

Facebook Profiles, Pages and Groups are free (at the time of this writing, although who knows…)

To make things even more complex, there are Facebook Ads. This is a way to advertise on Facebook using “Pay Per Click” (PPC) or “Pay Per Impression.” To advertise on Facebook, you don’t need any kind of the above accounts (although they can help). Facebook advertising is not free, unlike Pages, Groups or Profiles.

Is this getting confusing? If you do not thoroughly understand the difference, you shouldn’t be doing your own Facebook marketing until you do. Or you should hire a professional.

For Facebook’s own take on the issue, visit https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=12850

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