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Basic advice for businesses on using Facebook to connect with customers

Posted by Scott Kirsner  April 25, 2011 09:21 AM

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This week's Globe column endeavored to collect advice from Boston-area businesses and marketing consultants about what companies can do to create an effective presence on Facebook. I spoke to people from the Museum of Fine Arts, the Charles Hotel, Circle Furniture, LoveTheCool, Boloco, and Holland-Mark, among others.

From the column:

Does your business have a likability problem?

More than a half-billion people worldwide use Facebook, and while the social network was initially about staying in touch with college pals and making sure your old flames weren’t dating someone more attractive than you, it is evolving into something else: a way for companies to communicate with current and prospective customers.

Just as you can “friend’’ someone on Facebook, you can “like’’ a business. And being liked by enough Facebook users can have a powerful impact, helping build awareness without spending anything on marketing.

“Every demographic is moving onto Facebook, so every business should have a Facebook page,’’ says Michelle McCormack, founder of Boston-based digital strategy firm LoveTheCool.

And here are a few other blog posts that collect useful advice:

- The Facebook Marketing Minimum Protocol, from Mike Troiano at Holland-Mark

- The 8 Success Criteria for Facebook Page Marketing, a slide presentation from Altimeter Group analyst Jeremiah Owyang

- How to Add the Facebook 'Like' Button to Web Pages, from Duct Tape Marketing

- Designing a Facebook Fan Page, from Smashing Magazine

- 5 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Fan Page, from Social Media Examiner

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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