Social media is the new frontier in marketing and customer support. It offers unprecedented ways to reach new customers and enrich existing customer relationships. Here are some tips specifically on using Facebook for business:

Offer a special deal to Facebook fans.
Show your appreciation to people who “Like” your page by offering a coupon or special deal. When people “Like” your page it shows up on their wall and all their friends can see it.

Post behind-the-scenes content.
Social media fans like to be considered insiders. Post behind-the-scenes photos, or comments about the business and staff they wouldn’t see through your normal marketing.

Invite clients to post content.
Your Facebook fans are probably your best and most loyal customers. Let them post photos of your product in use, or success stories of how your product/service helped them. Let them be cheerleaders for your product.

Offer industry news.
Don’t just post about your products. Post information about you industry that will be of value to your clients. You don’t have to say good things about your competitors, just about industry trends and news.

Drive traffic to your website.
Always cross post your website news and blog posts on your Facebook page. Include the title and short teaser with a link back to your site.

Be shareable and likeable.
Be interesting and fun. Try to generate content that your fans will want to share, or “Like” or comment on. Shared content reaches an entirely new audience beyond your original fan base.

Link to your other content.
Make sure you link to your other content – your website, your youtube videos, your blog. People may discover you through Facebook and need to know what else is available.

Be ready to respond to issues.
Social media is social. It’s possible that a customer will bring up a complaint or service issue and post it on your page. Be ready to quickly and publicly respond to these. Most people don’t expect you to be perfect, but if you play in the social media area you have to be willing to respond to direct issues.

Capture social contacts for traditional marketing.
Use social media to build your traditional mailing lists. Add links to allow people to subscribe to your email list, or mailing list, or order a catalog.

Most Important: Be a consultant and friend, not a salesperson.
Social media is the wrong place for hard-sell pitches or annoyingly repetitive advertising promotion. People will quickly un-Like you if you spam them with advertising via social media. Be a friend, be an expert, be a consultant, but don’t flood your page with hard-sell promotions if you want to succeed.