Orbell Communications

Communicating Your Message

Guest author: Patrick Nelson – How to Make Money on Facebook

Posted by jorbell on December 11, 2008

Patrick Nelson runs a digital marketing agency based in Nottinghamshire called UnderDesign. In this entry he writes how you can earn money through the social networking site, Facebook.

(see Guest Author section for biography)

Many of us already understand to some degree the importance of using social media as a key element of your business marketing; it’s great for search engine marketing, making your website highly findable and getting in front of your potential market. Facebook is, arguably the most successful social networking website to date, but can it be used to promote your business, increase awareness of what you do and, in short, make you more money?

I believe it can and the purpose of this article is to demonstrate exactly how.

As usual, every link in this article will open in a new window so feel free to click on anything you see, this will still be here when you’re done.

Over 100 million active users and estimated to be worth more than $15 billion, Facebook describes itself as a “social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. People use Facebook to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet.”

Using that social utility is certainly the focus of this article but it’s worth pointing out that the most important word here is social. As with any network, it’s by being a part of the community that you’ll get the greatest rewards for your efforts. Forget to have the best interests of that community at the heart of all your actions and your actions will be ineffective at best. Act without ethics and you won’t be commended for your work, you’ll be condemned.

Not unlike Ecademy, Facebook is actually made up of thousands of smaller networks; schools, colleges, universities, families, cities, companies, charities and, yes, even product and service providers. First things first, if you want to get the most out of Facebook, you should be looking to join as many of these networks as you can find that you can identify with.

Facebook pages vs. profiles

Obviously, in order to do this, you need to have a Facebook profile and this is probably a good time to point out that your Facebook account should represent you as a person. Facebook’s Terms of Use state that you are only allowed to have one account and that you must use your real name. So, to represent your business successfully on Facebook, you should also set up a Facebook Page. A Facebook Page is completely different to your profile.

Here’s an example of a Facebook Page (yes, it’s mine, but come on, whose Page would I use for an example?!):

www.facebook.com/pages/Nottingham/UnderDesign-Ltd/35688389982

Most people haven’t yet realised the power of Facebook Pages. Like blog pages on Ecademy, Facebook Pages are indexed and the URL can contain your keywords (if you’re clever with the title of your Page). Plus, unlike your profile (which can only have 5000 friends), a Page can have unlimited ‘fans’.

To create your own Facebook Page, go to www.facebook.com/pages/#/pages/create.php. Don’t worry, this link will open in a new window – Ecademy will still be open here so you can carry on reading this blog.

Once you have your Facebook Page up and running, you want to be looking for fans to add to your Page. Try and select fans who match the description of your ideal client, fans who are in your marketplace, who are potential referrers or potential customers. Also aim for fans who are experts in your field or who are your peers. When you’ve built your fan-base up to a significant number, you want to be as visible as possible.

Get visible

Just like Ecademy, the best way to get visibility is by being active in the community on a regular basis, so your network and your contacts see you regularly. And again, as with Ecademy, the difference that will make the difference is constantly adding value to the community, being open and honest, transparent and congruent in your presence.

Import your blog into Facebook

You can set up the Notes application in Facebook so that you can import your business blog into your Page. You can only import one blog, so choose wisely. I use an external blog that I’ve written myself that automatically updates about 220 other websites with every blog post that I write, but you can also use your Ecademy blog feed. Just go to Blogs in the top menu and then My Blogs in the left hand menu. Scroll right to the bottom of your list of blog posts and you’ll see a symbol that looks like this: . Click on that and then copy the address that appears in the address bar at the top of your browser.

Now go to your Facebook Page and find the Notes application (you may need to install it, but if you’re stuck, post a comment here and either I or someone else will help you, I’m sure). Click the edit button on the Notes toolbar and then, on the page that appears, select Edit import settings from the mini-block that appears to the right of your Notes.

Now click Import a Blog. In the Web URL box, paste the address from Ecademy, tick the box underneath to assert that you have the right to permit Facebook to reproduce the content and that the content is legal and then click the Start Importing button.

That’s it! Your primary blog will now be imported into Facebook and every new post you make will appear on your Facebook page.

Get into groups

Facebook Groups are a great way to reach a wide audience. Group owners can message as many as 5000 members at any one time. Having a group on Facebook is, again, similar to having a group here on Ecademy – members have given their permission to hear from you but, like Ecademy, you must stay on topic. Therefore keep your messages short and relevant and don’t send too many – at most once a day.

Other stuff

There are other areas on Facebook that you should pay attention to regularly, such as your Status Update, Posted Items – which you can use for providing useful links, Comments and Videos.

Like so many networks, you can spend so much time on them that you don’t seem to have much time left for working. People sometimes message me commenting on the amount of time I seem to spend on Ecademy – I get the same comments on other networks too. This isn’t actually that difficult to achieve – it’s about (as with so many things) working smart rather than hard. I have a valuable tool that I use with Facebook, Ecademy, LinkedIn and the other 200-plus websites that I regularly appear on and provide content to.

Working smart, not hard

The blog that I recently created and have started to use (www.patricknelson.co.uk) as well as all the other websites that my team and I run are all automatically hooked into the news websites, the social networks, the social bookmarking tools and all the other websites, directories and communities that I belong to. Every time I post something on my blog, or on the UnderDesign website, it is automatically posted to as many of these other websites as possible (all those that allow automatic or cross-posting). This way I can generate literally thousands of links to a blog post or an article without raising a finger.

There are plenty of other blogs and blogging tools out there that offer similar functionality. I recommend that you sign up for one of these and set it up so that you can multi-post with every piece of content that you commit to the web. If you want more information, drop me a line.

Also consider delegating or outsourcing certain tasks – I currently delegate tasks like requesting and accepting contact requests (or friend requests on Facebook), managing emails and moderating my groups and forums.

Bottom line is that Facebook is a powerful tool that you can use to generate more traffic to your website and more sales and enquiries to your business. Try some of the things that I’ve mentioned above, but remember, like Ecademy, it’s a community so keep it real, be human and don’t spam people. Start conversations, form relationships and develop your network.

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One Response to “Guest author: Patrick Nelson – How to Make Money on Facebook”

  1. […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onGuest author: Patrick Nelson – How to Make Money on Facebook …Here’s a quick excerptMany of us already understand to some degree the importance of using social media as a key element of your business marketing; it’s great for search engine marketing, making your website highly findable and getting in front of your … […]

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