Using Facebook to Generate Word-of-Mouth Marketing

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Word-of-mouth marketing used to be about one happy customer recommending a business or product to a friend. In the age of social media, a single happy customer can reach thousands of other potential customers, so how can you increase your chances of that happening?

It’s not enough to just have a Facebook page, for example; you have to know how to use it. Maryalene LaPonsie at Small Business Computing notes that 40 percent of Facebook users who become fans of a page do so to take advantage of a discount or promotion, so offer a healthy discount on a popular product or service to get people in the door.

Contests are another way to win new fans and engage your followers. If you own a furniture company, for example, ask fans to submit photos of their most pathetic couch or chair, with the winner receiving a gift card toward a replacement. If you run a contest, be sure to review Facebook rules and host your promotion through a third-party app.

A recent development on Facebook lets you select which of your fans see your status updates, so take advantage of this feature to send out targeted messages to fans based upon their age, location and interests, among other things.

A passive Facebook presence won’t get you very far, but a little effort can make your Facebook page a popular destination, and in turn generate sales.

Adapted from Facebook Basics for Small Business at Small Business Computing.