Top 10 Ways to Use Facebook to Promote your Business for Free

It’s just a simple fact: Facebook is a pay-to-play marketing platform today. But in spite of all the griping and groaning marketers did when it first became clear that free Facebook marketing was a thing of the past, they’re all still using Facebook to market. Why is that? Because even as a paid platform, Facebook produces an extremely high marketing ROI. In other words – it’s totally worth it.

We here at Marketing Zen have managed hundreds of paid Facebook campaigns for our clients, so we have firsthand experience of the ROI that’s possible using this particular marketing method.  

That being said, there are still some powerful ways for businesses to leverage Facebook for free.

Don’t believe us? Here are 10 ways you can still use Facebook to promote your business for FREE!

1. Create a personal business presence using a fan page. One of the major strengths of social media marketing is its ability to create relationships between businesses and their audiences. The person-to-person interaction that can happen on social media makes consumers feel that they have encountered a brand in a meaningful way, and that they now have a special connection with that company. So imagine how much this feeling is intensified when that consumer is interacting not just with “the brand,” but with the person behind that brand!

Depending on your personal social media habits, you may or may not already have a personal Facebook account. If you do, and you prefer to keep your personal profile private, Facebook will allow you to create a page for your public, professional persona, as well. Otherwise, you can use your personal profile to interact with consumers. Gain a following by engaging with the people who frequent your brand’s page.

Here’s what our CEO, Shama Hyder’s, personal page looks like:

momentum

2. Maintain a robust brand presence. While it’s true that your company’s Facebook posts most likely won’t show up in your audience’s news feeds without paying to promote them, that doesn’t mean that you should stop posting them on your brand’s page. People today often use Facebook as a search engine to find out more about a company, whether that means basic info like contact information and hours of operation, or what customers have to say about them. A robust, active page that’s full of regular posts and lots of audience engagement is a great way to showcase the fact that your customers aren’t just satisfied – they’re enthusiastic!

Here’s our own company page:

marketing-made-zen

3. Join Facebook groups. While most people think of LinkedIn first when they think online networking, Facebook groups actually offer a similar opportunity for professionals. There are any number of Facebook groups dedicated to various industries, professions, and interests. You can use your personal account to join groups of colleagues, as well as groups where your target audience is likely to be found. 

The more you contribute to the conversations taking place in these groups, the more your name will become recognized – and synonymous with industry leadership and expertise. The only thing to watch out for here is never to come across as salesy in your discussions – the quickest way to turn off this potential stream of leads and connections is to start promoting your business instead of offering genuine advice and thoughts.

You can customize your search for groups based on various keywords – and Facebook also makes suggestions, based on your profile. Here are some groups Facebook has to offer in the field of “Leadership:”

group

4. Create your own group. Can’t find a Facebook group that really fits what you’re looking for? Create your own! You can add members, publish articles, carry on discussions, and probably meet quite a few prospects. The fact that you own the group and control the conversations automatically grants you industry leadership status in the eyes of your members, which can only help when they realize they need the product or service you provide.

5. List your events. Hosting a webinar or speaking somewhere? Create an event page and invite friends and people in the groups you’re in. You can even see how many RSVP and get feedback from attendees.

Here’s an event where Shama will be speaking:

anokhi-media

6. Syndicate your blog. If you know that you won’t remember or be able to find the time to share your company’s blog posts on your Facebook page or profile each week, you can automate the task. There are many different online tools you can use to do this, from simple plugins for WordPress to suites of digital marketing software, that will automatically post each new blog post to your Facebook page for you. More Exposure = More Traffic = More Leads.

7. Ask your network to share blog posts. Speaking of posting your company’s blog posts on your personal page or profile, you should also ask your team of employees and partners, your current customers, and even your personal friends and family to share your company’s posts on their personal Facebook profiles, as well. This is called cross-pollination, and it’s one of the Five Principles of Momentum discussed at length in Shama’s new book, Momentum: How To Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age. According to Shama:

“Cross-pollination means incorporating every single resource your company has into your marketing strategy, allowing each to inform your use of the others. With each one of these typically untapped resources contributing to the mix, you create something new and powerful from the synergy, and your marketing momentum grows dramatically as a result.”

By tapping into the reach that personal profiles can still achieve with their posts, you can get your content out to new audiences – for free!

8. Reach out! Are you a fan or admirer of someone’s work? Reach out to them on Facebook! Many people check their Facebook messages more regularly than their email. They are also more likely to respond to Facebook messages. Don’t feel comfortable sending out a message to someone you don’t know? No worries! Leave them a “I enjoy your work!” blurb on their wall. When posting on different pages make sure you post as your business and not your personal account.

9. Stream live video with Facebook Live. The intimacy and immediacy of live video creates the sense for your viewers that they are getting a behind-the-scenes peek at the real you – as well as enticing them to stick around to watch much longer than they would a regular video, because of the unpredictability of live video. Check out our blog post on Why Facebook Live Will Be Hotter Than YouTube for Your Businessfor all the details!

10. Create a community. Perhaps Facebook’s greatest benefit is that it allows you to create a community. It provides you a group of people who are constantly connected to you, and are open to hearing your message. Engage with people authentically, whether that means writing on their walls, responding to their comments on your own, conversing in groups, or introducing people to each other. Before you know it, you’ll have created a community of friends who look favorably on you and your business – and all for free.

As you can see, Facebook marketing may be pay-to-play these days, but it’s also still about making connections, developing relationships, and sharing your wisdom with others. You just have to know the right strategies in order to be able to continue to do so for free.

 

 

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  • http://apps.facebook.com/businesstwo/ Mike Zeuthen

    This is the best way to promote your business on Facebook. Then use Facebook ads to advertise your business to your target audience.

    http://apps.facebook.com/businesstwo/

    Business 3.0.

  • http://www.mobasoft.com Michael Bailey

    Great list, and you are right, it does go well with my Social Networking Whitepaper.

    I have some other thoughts as well which I need to get out of my head – I think putting them out here for others is a great thing to do.

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  • linkerjpatrick

    Great tips. I have give a link to this post on my own blog for the benefit of my own clients. It’s great to see that some are recognizing social networks as being valuable and far from frivolous.

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  • Shama

    Hi Patrick,

    Thanks for the track-back and the compliments! Please let me know if there is anything else in terms of marketing and Facebook that would interest you.

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  • http://loudmoney.com/ jimmy reese

    These are some great ideas.

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  • http://pull-ometry.com Julie Anne

    This is the best explanation for marketing on Facebook I’ve read. You convinced me!

    Gonna add a link to this post on my blog, too. Everyone should know how to do this.

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  • http://www.safemlmleads.com Bob

    I’d like to know if this is still a good idea joining facebook in 2008. Well written article that I will be happy to share with my readers.

  • Shama

    Hi Bob,

    It definitely is! Facebook is still a very hot networking spot.

    Another great one (specific for sales professionals or serious networkers) is http://www.MyN10.com. They launch in 2 weeks so I suggest you join now while the annual fee is 50% off.

  • Hanif Rehman

    Hi Sharma,

    I’ve been using FB for quite some time and dont exactly agree with your point on Groups. For a group to be effective there needs to be some form of control rather than spamming the whole discussion board with offers of business and how successful their method was in making a million in just 3 months. If you look at some of the popular groups you will see that they are infested with such ads of little or no business value, hence I would use few groups and only those that are not going to spam me like crazy on business offers.

    Speak soon,

    Kind regards,

    Hanif Rehman

    P.S. Love your profile pic, will add you as a friend.

  • Shama Hyder

    Hi Hanif,

    In terms of groups, you are right. There are some that are filled with spam. But the nice thing is that Facebook is huge.

    For every group that is in chaos, there is another that is managed well. Find what works for you!

    Thanks for your comments on the blog.

    -Shama

  • http://www.thetravelbug.org Rachel Gawith

    Will pop right aloing to facebook now and start my ‘marketing campaign’ using it.

    Rachel
    http://www.thetravelbug.org

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  • funny t shirts

    Nice post about using Facebook. I can see where some of these ideas could really help me out. I am going to put some more time into it soon. Thanks

    http://www.wizeguyztees.com

  • Jeff Newman – Daily Bible Verse

    Thanks for this post. I have found great success using Facebook. I started a group called Jesus Is Number #1. I am amazed at how many people have joined it. Thanks Facebook for helping spread the Word.

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  • http://www.gregspero.com Greg

    These are all very logical obvious things…and I’ve never seen any of them actually work for a any company on more than a microscopic-scale. Any examples of exactly what will make the above notes effective?

  • Shama

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks for commenting!

    One, I am very happy to hear that these sound like logical obvious things to you. A lot of people are very new to Facebook.

    Two,yes-many examples. I will be sure to share some case studies!

  • http://blog.successdynamic.com Jaunesk

    Haven’t sign up Facebook yet. Timely advice.

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  • Under 30 Years Old

    Are you serious? This isn’t “how to use Facebook to promote your business,” this is “HOW TO USE FACEBOOK.”

    I hope the target audience for this post is over 40 and has no idea what “social networking” means.

  • Shama

    Hi Under 30-

    Yes, this article is aimed towards people who are relatively new to social media and social networking.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  • http://whowantslove.com/blog/relationship-dating-in-2009/ WhoWantsLove

    Thanks Shama, I am ready to launch my love baby and let the world know!

  • arshad

    interesting article.i am launching a discount gadget shop can you advice on a facebook statergy to drive traffic to my site .Your example is good for blogs and articles and advice etc

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  • http://www.verdienegeld.at Andreas

    Working on my profile right now – very good checklist!

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  • http://www.escentedcandle.com Don Stevens

    Thanks for sharing this. I will share it also, would it be okay to print this for co-workers who are in the dark? I’ll still have your name and URL?

  • Shama Hyder

    Hi Don-

    Yes, feel free to share this with co-workers.

    Thanks!

    – Shama

  • Chale Espinosa

    How valuable is it to have a website linked to FB and blog.

    Thank you

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  • Tom

    Thank you so much for this information.

    I just came up with 10 ideas, like seriously 10 ideas.

    -Tom
    _NYLaughs

  • http://www.saibharadwaj.com/blog Sai Bharadwaj

    You look great!

  • http://www.topdogmarketinggroup.com Cincinnnati & Columbus, OH Marketing

    Great info, Shama. Businesses today also have a huge competitive advantage if they leverage social media not only as a way to promote themselves but as a means to listen to what people are saying about them and their industry. Then, they can inject themselves into the middle of collective conversations and immediately make an impact with numerous people at one time. Social media has huge potential in many ways, and a smart business will learn how to use all those ways to its advantage, whether on its own or through the help of an expert.

  • Nicolette Coetzee

    Thanks Shama! Your info are always clear and to the point. Oh yes, and on another note – your Online marketing plan has become my marketing bible.

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  • Sergey

    Great advice and tips. I have created a page for my company about a month ago, but the success has been limited. I did invite most of my friends to become fans of the page several times, but only a few of them actually did. Even then, no one really interacts with the page, hence, there is no mentioning in people’s newsfeeds. Do you have any further suggestions, apart from the paid options, of how to increase the number of fans and further engage them. Here’s a link to the page on facebook if you have a chance to have a look: facebook.com/pages/Project-Resource-Limited/361875956261?v=box_3#!/pages/Project-Resource-Limited/361875956261
    Thank you!

  • Vijay

    Its very informative & useful. I almost got the stuff what I was searchinf for.
    Thanks a lot…..:)

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  • http://myjavafit.blogspot.com greg proud

    Excellent information, will start implementing your ideas.
    Thanks,
    Greg Proud
    myjavafit

  • http://www.advancedhypnotherapy.com.au Barry

    Thanks for the great info in your post. I have never considered facebook as a marketing tool until now.

    Cheers

  • http://www.editormichael.com Michael LaRocca

    This is an excellent list. It contains nine things I’ve stumbled into over the past year or two, which is good for my confidence. It also contains one item I’d never heard of before, the open marketplace, so I’ve got a new project. Thanks!

  • http://www.cdnmobilesolutions.com Mobile Application Development Company

    It’s great to find your article. You have list out the to promote business in simpler way and in efficient manner.

    I have an account in face book but as not surf and navigated more, was looking for article like this. Please share your ideas on how to use social networking sites effectively.

  • http://www.miret.com Ruben

    Hi Shama, thanks for the tips on the article. I will try to put them in action. Hopefully it will help to promote my Trichology Hair Analysis System better.

  • http://www.personalfoldersoftware.com Shakti Saran

    Hi Shama and http://www.marketingzen.com, Thank You for sharing! You might also get value from http://www.facebook-fb.com to Submit and List Facebook Page URL, Products, Services, City, State, Country of Business and to Explore and Find Facebook Page URL of Business. Kindly share it with your friends! Best! Shakti Saran

  • Kendra

    Howdy! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thank you!

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