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    Guest Author: Maria Elena Duron

    B2B Outreach

    There are numerous social networks available, each with its unique format and audience for your brand to take advantage of. Facebook is amongst the most popular due to its worldwide network, making it an ideal starting location to market your brand.

    While it’s easy to sign up and start a page for your brand, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to generate a quality network. To use Facebook effectively, there are a few techniques that need to be implemented.

    Back to Basics – Four Ways to Use Facebook Effectively

    1. Open a business page rather than a personal account

    It is wise to utilize a business page rather than a personal profile. This allows you to be “shared”, do more promotional activities, and make use of analytical tools. So, begin your brand page design by starting with a business profile rather than a personal profile. Be sure that you take advantage of the tools Facebook already offers. Use the analytics to study how well you are reaching the audience and tune your content, approach, and timing accordingly.

    2. Post targeted, original content

    Original material is the gateway to capturing the attention of the audience. While sharing popular trends is going to be the goal, it doesn’t mean that you can’t share them in your unique way. Take something popular and turn it into your unique posting. This will make it shareable by your viewers and result in more activity. The question you have to answer is: What do you offer the audience that they can’t get anywhere else?

    3. Update your page with interesting changes regularly

    Because the online world regularly changes, consider changing themes regularly. Keep your brand’s social image new and refreshed consistently. This has the added plus that it helps boost your exposure on newsfeeds. Update your profile imagery and information regularly. Consider the fact that Facebook’s Timeline now offers some new features over the previous version. Examples are a different screenshot and page feed, but the cover photo is one of the biggest changes. Make sure that your cover photo is appropriate and relevant and, like your profile photo, presents a professional image.

    This brings up the importance of staying in the newsfeed with your comments and sharing. Having regular material to post is generally a good place to start and keeps you “in the public eye”. At the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm your network or litter their newsfeeds.

    4. Intrigue your audience with a compelling ‘Call to Action

    The fact is that the best way to remain on the feed is to begin a conversation. Rather than simply posting material, drive your audience with a call to action. Ask a question; ask for their input, or even utilize a competition (e.g. share this link if you…) to generate activity. Of course, it’s up to you to keep the conversation going. You have to be sure that you are always ready to mediate and answer questions or ask new ones.

    This is perhaps the best method since the new Timeline format promotes “likes” and “comments” that have been made throughout the user’s network. When they interact with you, it will be made available for your friends to see, making it an ideal third-party endorsement.

    The social world provides plenty of opportunities to initiate word-of-mouth marketing through sharing. As long as you can present an image and material that entices your audience (and their friends) to share your brand, you’ll be able to optimize your results and make the most of your social endeavors.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Marketing and Social Media

    About the Author:

    Maria Elena Duron is the CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.coma word-of-mouth marketing firm. She helps create conversation, connection, credibility, community, and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is co-founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one of the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.