The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Facebook

Business Facebook PageWhy have a Facebook page? Does your business really need to be on Facebook? Isn’t it just a passing craze?

Passing craze or not, it’s time your business embraced the Facebook revolution. Things change. Personal computers have been around for less than half a century. iPhones first appeared less than ten years ago.

Technology is developing faster and faster. So maybe it’s time you caught up.

Having a personal Facebook account isn’t enough. And if you can create a personal account, you can set up a business page. All you need to do is go here and follow the step-by-step guide.

Still need some convincing? We’ve put together the 12 best reasons your business should launch a Facebook page.

Having a Facebook Page gives your business the opportunity to:

1. Talk to Half the Internet

Worldwide 2.4 billion people are connected to the Internet. Half of these – 1.2 billion – have Facebook accounts.

Let’s bring these stats closer to home. More than 40% of Americans use Facebook everyday, and nearly a quarter of US residents (22%) check their Facebook acounts more than once a day.

Facebook is bringing the world together. Don’t you think your business should be part of it?

2. Be Where the People Go

Want to find customers for your product? Don’t expect them to turn up at your door. You’ll be waiting a long time. Instead, head to where they’re already hanging out.

The average Facebook users spends 8.3 hours per month on the network. After Google and YouTube, it’s the most popular website in the world.

3. Be Relatable

The old world of marketing is crumbling. Back in the day, marketing was a one-way street. You put out advertisements for your product; customers bought your product.

With social media, that’s all changed. Your customers want a relationship with your brand. They expect to be able to talk to you. Marketing is about conversation.

A Facebook page humanizes your business. It allows customers and fans to talk to you like a human being. What’s more, your Facebook page allows you to develop a personality and a voice for your brand.

4. Build Trust

Establishing a relationship with your customers helps build trust. When your customers enjoy talking to you, they’ll want to be part of your business story by buying your products.

On top of that, the more Facebook fans you have, the greater your level of social proof. When potential customers see you’ve got a thriving fan-base, they’re more likely to trust you because they see that others trust you, too.

5. Makes Content Marketing Simple

Wonder why your company blog is a ghost town? You’ve heard content marketing is the next big thing, but you’ve yet to see any results from it.

That’s probably because you’re not sharing the content you’ve created.

Don’t keep it to yourself! Get it out there. Facebook is the perfect place to share your content with people who’ll appreciate it. And your Facebook page is the ideal platform from which to do that.

6. Learn About Your Customers

Want to know which new products your customers would like to see in your store? Or maybe you want insight into your customers’ likes and dislikes, so you can better serve them with your products or services.

A Facebook page is a bit like a virtual focus group. Every interaction with your fans is tracked and recorded through Facebook Insights. Over time, you’ll see patterns emerge of what your fans like best. You’ll discover what’s hot and what’s not.

You can also talk to your fans to get their opinions. Ask questions. They’ll be happy to let you know what they think.

All this provides valuable insights you can use when developing your business strategy.

7. Build a Community

Word-of-mouth is the most powerful marketing tool. It always has been, and it’s one of the few things that hasn’t changed in the social media revolution.

By interacting with your customers on Facebook, you’ll build a community of loyal fans who will act as brand advocates. They’ll share your updates with their Facebook friends, spreading the word about your brand.

8. Boost Your SEO

One excuse for avoiding social media is the idea that SEO is what really matters.

We agree, SEO is essential. But if you really care about SEO, then you need to be on Facebook.

Google crawls your Facebook page and indexes links you’ve shared. Google also notices how many fans are interacting with your content.

The more your fans are engaging with your brand, the bigger the boost to your SEO.

9. Stay Top-of-Mind for Your Customers

When customers like your Facebook page, they’ll receive updates from your business when you post to Facebook.

This is a subtle way of growing your brand awareness. Fans who see your brand name every week on Facebook will choose you over a competitor when they need your products or services, simply because you’re the brand they’ve seen on Facebook over and over again.

This is especially important for customers who have purchased from you in the past. Remember, it’s easier to win repeat custom than to get a first time customer to make a purchase.

10. Stick to Facebook’s Rules

I know a few people who use their personal Facebook profile for conducting business. If you’ve got a Facebook profile, you probably do, too.

The trouble is, these people are playing with fire. Using personal accounts for business purposes is against Facebook’s terms of use. If you do it, you risk getting kicked off the network.

Having a Facebook page is the way to go. Our final two reasons for having a Page will show you why.

11. Be Easier to Connect With

It’s much easier for fans to “like” your Facebook page than to add you as a Facebook friend. That’s because:

  • Liking a page is low-risk. They can always unlike you in the future. Adding someone as a friend is a bigger commitment.
  • If they add you as a friend, you can see all their personal photos and updates. Most people don’t want businesses prying into their personal life.
  • People expect to interact with businesses through pages, not through profiles.

12. Leave Comments as Your Brand

When you have a Facebook page, you can visit other pages on Facebook and leave comments as your brand. This is an excellent tool for business networking.

If you already have a Facebook page for your business, what are your reasons for having it? What have you found are the biggest advantages?

This is a guest post by Matt Schexnayder of SpareFoot.

2013 was a big year for social media, although what year hasn’t been since Facebook and Twitter burst on the scene? Despite the constant growth, 2013 was certainly the most active in terms of what changed and the amount of use each network received.

To take a closer look at all the data, SpareFoot gathered information from numerous different sources to find the most interesting stats from each of the most widely used social platforms.

The biggest headline came from the picture-sharing app Snapchat, who declined offers of up to $4 billion (yes, billion with a “b”) from both Google and Facebook, which is especially interesting because by the end of last year 15% of all minutes spent online are spent on Facebook. We don’t have the numbers on how many minutes total were spent online, but we can assume it was in the billions, if not trillions, so 15% of that is a lot of time on one site.

Some other mind-blowing facts we came across were:

  • Last year there were 35 million #selfies posted on Instagram
  • Google+ is now averaging 25,000 new users everyday
  • Vine videos are 4x more likely to be seen than regular branded videos (sorry YouTube)

These, among other interesting stats can be found in the following infographic. If your company has not started using these outlets in your marketing efforts, it may be time to start changing your strategy.

Social Media Statistics 2013

Matt Schexnayder is SEO specialist for SpareFoot.

Social Media Power User

We’ve been on an incredible journey, delving into the minds of the world’s most influential social media power users. We wanted to share what we found – so here are the top 25 tips we discovered.

Take notes – this is some of the most useful and powerful information out there. And let us know which tip you like best in the comments.

Sean Gardner

Sean GardnerWith close to 600,000 followers, Sean Gardner is rated Forbes’s #1 Social Media Influencer. He’s an all-around lovely guy (as you’ll see from the tips below) and does a lot of work for good causes. You can follow Sean on Twitter here.

1. Awesome Content Is Often Hidden Treasure

“Great, high-performing content can also be found everywhere – even on the accounts of a social network’s majority: typically folks with 2500 followers or less.”

Sean Gardner, 5 Things It’s OK to Do in Social Media in 2014 (or any year). More here

2. Remember to Say Thank You

“A life of gratitude is a great foundation for personal enrichment, and a social media strategy anchored by gratitude is a recipe for digital success. So I never forget how speaking appearances, invites to events, or opportunities to blog for major platforms have come my way. A simple expression of thanks can definitely connect you with the right people. The ripple effect is undeniable. Yes, from personal experience, I can tell you that gratitude can also be a powerful networking tool.”

Sean Gardner, Is Gratitude One of Your Social Media Best Practices?.

3. Blaze Your Own Trail

“There is no one set of principles, or magic formula that fits everyone. So test, test, and keep testing the approaches and methods that you’re comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to adopt what helps and empowers you, and discard what doesn’t. It’s your path… so blaze a trail!”

Sean Gardner, 5 Things It’s OK to Do in Social Media in 2014 (or any year).

4. Share (BIG) Pictures

“Tweets with images are getting considerably more clicks, which is what any article needs. Social media studies confirm that bigger images get shared more than smaller ones. And since these big pictures will stick out on your timeline, the adjoined blogposts will likely get great residual traffic from any new followers/visitors.”

Sean Gardner, 3 Smart Ways To Use Twitter’s New Visual Change.

5. Be Happy for the Success of Others

“Whenever I speak at conferences, I get asked about what it takes to do well in the social space. My answer is the same: generosity. But it’s not enough to simply be a giver; you have to surround yourself with them. Seriously. Always look forward to making their acquaintance. Those who are genuinely happy for others’ success, and those who believe (and demonstrate) that character and integrity are what you do one hundred percent of the time.”

Sean Gardner, Want Success in Social Media? Give What You Want to Receive.

Ann Tran

Ann TranTravel writer and social media consultant Ann Tran has over 350,000 followers. She’s #1 in Forbes list of the Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers, and the Huffington Post has named her one of the 16 people on Twitter who inspire the world. You can follow Ann on Twitter here.

1. Make Everything You Share Count

“When posting a quote, a link, or a photo, be a little judicious and make each tweet, post and re-sharing count. There is so much out there, how will you make your voice stand out? What is your view?”

Ann Tran, Social Media Sharing: When Is It Too Much?.

2. Use Twitter’s Favorite Button (for bookmarking)

“I favorited ‘congratulations’ Tweets when I saw them on my reply page—mainly because I couldn’t keep up with sending thank-you Tweets.

“But when I did have a chance, the favorite feature allowed me to find the person’s Twitter page so I could view their Tweets. That way I could share something from their account as a way to acknowledge gratitude or say hello.”

Ann Tran, Why I Use Twitter’s Favorite Button And Twitpic.

3. When Re-Tweeting, Go Traditional (Copy-and-Paste)

“If the individual had re-tweeted me ten times by copy-and-pasting, I certainly would have not missed their re-tweets. I don’t believe it would have been buried in the re-tweet and mention stream.”

Ann Tran, The Re-Tweet: Don’t Take The Easy Road.

4. Re-Tweet Someone New Everyday

“Find someone new to re-tweet each day and introduce them to your Twitter world.”

Ann Tran, Why I Use Twitter’s Favorite Button And Twitpic.

5. Take Time to Unplug

“I unplug through connecting with nature. My love of nature gets me outdoors quite a bit. My daily nature walks help me clear my head and renew myself, so I can give my very best during work.”

Ann Tran, Unplug To Renew Your Social Media Spirit.

Jessica Northey

Jessica NortheyJessica Northey is the social media darling in the world of country music. She’s ranked #3 in the Forbes Top 50 List of Social Media Influencers, which is why Tech News has named her one of Twitter’s most badass women. You can follow Jessica on Twitter here.

1. Have Fun!

“I use Twitter for fun and to discover new and interesting people, places, and things… When it comes to following back, I don’t have a lot of rules of engagement. I honestly follow people I think are interesting and that I am genuinely interested in.”

Jessica Northey, Social Media Insights.

2. Don’t Be Too Professional

“The more homemade your video looks, the better it works.”

Jessica Northey, Social Media Insights.

3. Lay Down Your Ego (and Talk to People!)

“YOU are NOT that important. It is very important in the beginning when you are new to follow people back and respond to them when they talk to you. Not communicating with fans/followers is a spoiled chance to take someone from being engaged to being invested in your brand.”

Jessica Northey, Building a Social Media Army.

4. Getting Attention Needn’t Be Hard

“Positive attention is a great reward. I enjoy the simple things online, like when someone retweets, reposts or shares something I wrote, or comments are left on my blog posts, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.”

Jessica Northey, What Your Dog Can Teach YOU About Social Media.

5. Create Good Habits

“Habits, good or bad, make you who you are. The key is controlling them. If you know how to change your habits, then even a small effort CAN create big changes.”

Jessica Northey, You Are What You Repeatedly Do.

Mari Smith

Mari SmithScottish-Canadian Mari Smith is widely regarded as the world’s leading expert on Facebook marketing. She’s also #4 in the world on the Forbes list of the Top 50 Social Media Influencers. Mari has over 120,000 Facebook fans, and you can join their ranks here.

1. Take Control of Your News Feed with Interest Lists

“Once you create — or subscribe to — your favorite Interest Lists, you can add them to your Favorites at the top left side of your home page. And, voila! These become your own personal bookmarks, visible on both desktop and mobile, through which you can now browse the EXACT content you wish.”

Mari Smith, How To Take Back Control Of Your Facebook News Feed.

2. Eat (and Share) Facebook Candy

“You might be familiar with the expression “Facebook candy.” This is the type of content that Facebook users get very excited about and immediately want to share with all of their friends. This is almost always an image, which tends to get a higher EdgeRank (more news feed visibility). And often, the images contain inspirational or motivational quotes along with an eye-catching photo.”

Mari Smith, 5 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Engagement.

3. Monitor Your Unsubscribes

“By monitoring your Unsubscribes (Hides) and Unlikes against what content you are posting each day and how much engagement (post comments and Likes) you’re creating, you’ll be better equipped to fine-tune variables such as the topics you post about, the type of content you post (photo, video, link, status update) and the time of day you post. Over time, you’ll identify your own sweet spot for maximum engagement.”

Mari Smith, How to Measure Your Facebook Engagement.

4. Use Facebook for Professional Networking

“For professional networking purposes, proactively seek new friends who may be influential people in your industry and related industries, prospects, media contacts, people you admire, potential collaborators, and so forth. Just be mindful to not overdo the outgoing friend requests in any one session. Facebook views this as potentially spam behavior and you run the risk of your account being deactivated. Twenty requests at a time is a safe number.”

Mari Smith, Facebook 101 for Business: Your Complete Guide.

5. Don’t Rely on Your Friends to Promote Your Business

“There’s a great myth that once you create a Facebook fan page for your business, the first thing you should do to get fans is invite ALL your friends from your personal profile using the “Suggest to Friends” feature. Unfortunately, this strategy may not be that effective and can, in fact, often backfire. I have seen many industry gurus complain that when they decline a fan page request, it’s frustrating to continue to be asked again and again.”

Mari Smith, 21 Creative Ways To Increase Your Facebook Fanbase.

Aaron Lee

Aaron LeeWith over half-a-million Twitter followers, Malaysian Aaron Lee is a social media force to be reckoned with. Forbes ranks him the fifth most influential social media expert in the world. You can find Aaron on Twitter here.

1. Add a Personal Touch

“It’s the simple personal touches and little things that makes a big difference. Sure technology has made it easier for us to do business online, but never let it forget we’re after all… human.”

Aaron Lee, It’s Not Just Business, It’s Personal.

2. Schedule Your Updates

“One question I get a lot from business owners is, ‘How do you find the time to manage Twitter?’ Although I would say that it has to do with my passion for connecting, sharing and engaging with others, I would not be able to manage Twitter without optimizing my time. Buffer helps me do just that.”

Aaron Lee, How Aaron Lee Got 400k Followers on Twitter.

3. Use Twitter Lists

“Twitter lists help me to keep track with what is happening around the world, connect with bloggers and thought leaders in my industry, help me to monitor competitors and many more.”

Aaron Lee, How to: Build a Twitter Following with Twitter Lists.

4. Have Daily Targets

” Start by joining twitter chats, guest posting, engaging with people, networking with at least five new people a day, commenting on blogs (comment on mine too), share other people’s post, compliment someone and really mean it.”

Aaron Lee, You’re not Seth Godin, so get working.

5. Be Patient

“It doesn’t take a day to grow an apple tree, it takes a few years with care and patience to grow it before you can reap its rewards. That’s the way business works too.”

Aaron Lee, What a dog rescue taught me about business.