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Well, this is a tricky one. I believe that if used correctly, Facebook can definitely help your marketing efforts. It is, however really important to understand how people use Facebook and how you must use facebook as a business.

The Basics:
Facebook is a social network. So fundamentally people use it to network with friends and family. Very few people want to be sold to in this space and will find any form of selling or marketing invasive.
They will, however engage with you if you respect their privacy.
How to go about it then:
Firstly, businesses should and can only use “PAGES” for their Facebook efforts. Many businesses use GROUPS or PERSONAL PROFILES to market on Facebook. This is against Facebook terms and conditions and also very limiting and invasive. Groups, as an example send an email every time someone posts anything in that group. We all find it extremely annoying when we get 50 emails from facebook. People will leave the group as quickly as they join it.
Pages allow you more flexibility and branding space. You must rather create a Page for your business
Secondly, you must understand that you cannot use your page to sell to people. Your purpose on Facebook should be to build relationships. This can be done by doing the following:
• Engage – get a dialog with customers and potential customers. Feedback, comments etc
• Entertain – Post things that you would find relevant, but also entertaining
• Inform – Use it as a Public relations tool rather than a sales tool
When customers or friends “Like“ your page, they will receive updates on their wall every time something gets updated on your page. If your posts and updates are not in line with the above, they will eventually get tired of you and “unlike “your business.
5 Tips for social Media:
What I’m about to share may be against what you’ve thought social media is all about. I invite you to put your judgements to the side until after you’ve experienced all 5 ideas below for yourself.
1. Start writing the way you talk. When you have a great idea, how do you express it to others verbally? Write the same way.
2. Stop writing about your company and your products/services. Over promoting your business is the number one mistake people make with social media posting. Instead, start thinking about what buyer problems you can solve and share insightful topics that will appeal to them.
3. Start writing on purpose. What’s the purpose for your blog? Your Facebook page? For Tweeting? What are you trying to accomplish. Figure this out first and creating content becomes easier.
4. Stop spending more time on the content than you do the titles. Creating great titles is the most important part of creating great content. Start spending 80% of your content creation time thinking and writing your headline. Then spend the other 20% actually writing the rest.
5. Start being original. Instead of quoting other people, start quoting yourself. Instead of referencing great research, start doing and writing about your own research.
It’s only 5 things to think about. Yet it can take you 5 days, 5 months or even 5 years to master them.
Andre Strauss, Digital Strategies – Tisco Media
www.tiscomedia.co.za – andre@tiscomedia.co.za

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