This article is part of week-long series of social media stories, which you can read by clicking here .
Facebook swelled to more than 500 million users by the end of 2010 , and some of them have created pages to promote their businesses and interact with customers.
Some business pages are flourishing while others lie dormant or are ineffective. And a select few have risen from their own ashes to find success.
“Using Facebook for business doesn't necessarily always translate into a direct response sale or lead, and it's definitely not a silver bullet,” said Chris Diede, director of digital at DGWB Advertising and Communications. “However, in many cases it can be a key component of your company's marketing and communications initiatives , as well as customer-relationship management and customer service.”
Once a business builds a Facebook business page, Diede recommends that it follow five steps. He said he and DGWB followed them to revitalize a Facebook presence for their client Thermador, a luxury kitchen-appliance brand, and it now has 6,150 percent more Facebook fans than it did before DGWB took the reins about a year ago. The five steps:
1. Assign an employee to manage the page
2. Determine a social media procedure and messaging structure
- “We first established our protocol for managing the page with not only the marketing and PR teams but also customer service,” Diede said of the Thermador site. “Since we had already gone through the exercise of understanding our customers' core values, we had a good grasp of what type of messaging platform we would be using. We understood that our Facebook strategy for Thermador was only one piece of the overall marketing plan and that our messaging and creative approach had to seamlessly integrate with the rest of our efforts. That translated to the look of the page, the content of the tabs and the types of daily posts that we manage.”
3. Create compelling and interesting content that isn't always about you
4. Engage and interact with fans
- “Creating a customer-service plan was important because we knew that we would not only have potential new customers visiting the page but also existing consumers, some of whom might have customer service needs,” Diede said.
5. Publicize the page
- “We knew that in order to gain fans we had to tell people about our Facebook page,” Diede said. “We did and continue to do this in a number of ways, including advertising on Facebook, running contests, e-mail blasts and integrating the Facebook URL into marketing materials.”
To create a Facebook page for your business, click here.
With so many people on Facebook, "businesses should be considering how its use fits into most human-interaction endeavors they undertake,” Diede told BusinessNewsDaily.
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