Fact No. 1: There are 500 million active Facebook users. Marketing benefit: That's a lot of eyeballs! Fact No. 2: 50 percent of active users log on daily. Marketing benefit: Think about how many impressions or opportunities you get to connect with people. Fact No. 3: The average user has 130 friends. Marketing benefit: If you post something and a friend comments on it or shares it, then that means about 130 more people will see that activity.
Now here are four tips for marketing a freelance graphic design business or any small business via Facebook. Tip No. 1: Target with creative ads Facebook's advertising platform is targeted and less expensive than more traditional advertising, such as buying space in a local paper or magazine. It's also so much more targeted. You can target by location, age, status or profile information and more. The ads themselves tend to work better when they are more creative and less sales-like. Show users a profile picture and some information about yourself and have them click through to a fan page for your business. Freelancers should view advertising on Facebook not like a cold sales call, but as more of a way to connect with people and get them to join your network. Tip No. 2: Create a fan page Keep your personal profile page up for friends and family and start a fan page for your business. The fan page allows for the use of FBML customization on tabs (FBML is like HTML, but for Facebook). This means you can design the tabs anyway you'd like. Put your graphic design skills on display here and wow visitors with your fan page design. You can even have a welcome tab for friends who have not yet clicked the "Like" button. The welcome page should explain what fans can expect to find in your status updates, promotions and general fan page content. Try to incentivize visitors to like your page with promotional rates for fans or the opportunity to receive a free logo consultation. Tip No. 3: Fill your page with content A placeholder fan page with no real conversation on it will look dull and uninviting to new visitors. Share updates about what you're working on, what you've read in industry news, a cool design project you've worked on or a design that you saw on a colleague's blog. Establish expertise by posting little tips and pointers about graphic design. If you have a blog, use the networked blogs tool to link the content to your Facebook fan page feed. Most importantly talk to people! Social media really is like a big cocktail party where you need to respond to likes, comments and other people's posts. Tip No. 4: Integrate the fan page with other online assets Use the Facebook fan page as a hub to promote any other social media or online assets. For example, if you have a landing page where you can collect people's contact information for a free design consultation, then link to this landing from the Facebook fan page. For designers, it's also wise to feature links to your portfolio, resume, rates and service menu. You basically want to integrate your Fan page with any other online assets that can help you get new business and promote your design skills. Have any Facebook marketing tips or success stories? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.