Social media isn’t just some fad used by teenagers and twenty-somethings. It’s not only a place to share pictures of your favorite dish, your status about your spouse, or where you can get the best deal on the latest war video game. Social media is a virtual powerhouse in the business world as well, and as it continues to grow, you must find a way to harness its potential and utilize it to give your organization an advantage. Where should you begin on your journey to social media proficiency? The answer is easy: Facebook.

The first thing to realize is that we are now living in an attention-based economy which is challenging traditional methods of advertising, including television and radio ads. A 2013 consumer study by Nielsen found that 84% of people trust the recommendations of family and friends, and 68% trust the opinions of seemingly knowledgeable strangers online. There is nowhere else that you can find a massive audience that openly shares information with one another on a constant basis.

First things first, when it comes to the giants of social media, no one comes close to the size and scope of Facebook. Facebook allows for features that no other social media outlet provides; the ability to post not only status updates, but hyperlinks, notes, pictures, and even long diatribes if desired. The very first thing you should do after you register for a personal account is to put together a Facebook Page specifically for your business. These are slightly different from a normal Facebook profile page. Instead of trying to establish connections with your audience by “friending” one another, you are trying to get people to “like” your Page. Once someone likes your Page, they will receive your posts in their “newsfeed” and will have the ability to share them with others.

Now that you have your own Facebook business Page, it is not only imperative that you start thinking about content, but that you try to establish a healthy amount of likes out of the gate. You can even get your employees to like your page. Once they have liked your Page, they can now comment on your posts, or even post on your company timeline themselves.

Even before you make your first post introducing yourself to the digital social marketplace, it is a good idea to go through Facebook and like non-competitive businesses’ Pages that are in the same industry. This is an unobtrusive method to get other potential partners and leads to visit your Page and even interact with the content you post. The next step is incorporating content into your Page that is compelling and represents the very best of your business. You want this content to be the very best of the best, especially in your initial setup. The last thing you want is to spend a lot of time creating a Facebook presence only for others to scoff at it once they visit.

Consistency goes a long way when sharing content with others, so it is beneficial to have a schedule to post material. If you have a company blog that posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you should make it a point to post the hyperlinks on Facebook as well. Be proactive by posting comments and engaging others on similar Facebook Pages and groups in order to drive traffic to your Page and help establish your presence in the social media world.

By following these basic steps, your maiden voyage into the world of social media for business can be smooth sailing as you learn the tips and tricks that allow you to navigate the toughest digital waters. Social media is not an easy animal to tame, but dipping your digital toes into Facebook waters is the very first step.

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