Using Facebook at work - for work!

The use of Facebook for and by business is increasing. How can Facebook help us connect with our users?

Facebook has 500 million 'active users' and its own box-office-hit bio-pic.   With such an apparently large potential audience, no wonder that organisations are looking for ways in which to use Facebook as part of their marketing and user engagement strategies.   

But can organisations use Facebook as a substitute for 'traditional' marketing? reports that the answer is probably 'not yet'.  They report that research conducted by DBB shows that the way to get people to ‘like' your brand is ask them, and to consider making special offers to encourage them to do so.    This means that your Facebook presence should simply be one strand of your social media marketing plan which in itself is a part of your overall marketing strategy.

Before even setting up a Facebook page, you should ask whether you have the resources and the strategy in place to manage it properly.    You need to ensure that those responsible for your Facebook presence have the skills and time to keep it updated, to monitor traffic and to respond to comments and queries.   As David Lee King points out that you can't just create a Facebook page and then walk away.  You need to nuture it and populate it with relevant content on a regular basis.  As a guideline he feels you should update your status once or twice a day at least. 

Don't forget to add a 'like' button to your Facebook page, but don't think that this is a measure of your success.  It's easy for users to click like, but the challenge then is what to do with your Facebook fans once you have them on board.  The trick is to create interesting and hopefully interactive content that encourages ongoing engagement.   The British Library's Facebook page!/britishlibrary?v=wall   (which incidentally has a photograph of the building as its profile picture) is an example of a regularly updated page that encourages comments and interaction.  Note that The British Library has also customised its URL on this page. 

The Voices for the Library campaign's page has a welcome page!/pages/Voices-for-the-Library/140228572685281 that encourages a range of ways to follow and contribute to the campaign. 

If you feel you have a great example of an information service or provider using Facebook, please let us know.