Facebook is willing to lend a hand to small business marketers

The emphasis on social media for small business marketers has always been strong, but it is becoming more important than ever before now that more tools are emerging for local companies to take advantage of. With the emergence of new services such as Google+, older organizations are seeking to bolster their roles in the small marketing game.

Facebook, the behemoth of social networking, is now actively trying to reach out to private companies. Marketing on Facebook began as a way for companies to put themselves on the same level as friends and acquaintances, but in the past few years, it has become a full-fledged commercial enterprise. Here are some of the tools that Facebook is actively offering to companies that want to join the digital world of branding and awareness.

Social plug-ins
Some elements of digital marketing might seem confusing, but Facebook is trying to simplify it so that companies can easily take advantage of the dense network of people and organizations that meet on its servers. Social plug-ins are simple services that are easy to install on a company’s website. One example of this is the “like” button. Anyone who uses Facebook is aware that users can “like” a comment, video or photo and share it with others. The “like” button gives businesses the opportunity to have a button on their own website that, when clicked, automatically registers on Facebook itself and shares the content with other users.

Another social plug-in is the ability to “check in” at a certain place. When a company has a dedicated Facebook page that’s been registered at a certain address, users can “check in” there and let the rest of Facebook know where they are and what sort of establishment it is. This is also useful because users can also see who has “checked in” there recently and could even end up forming social ties thanks to a company or organization.

Facebook credits
The social networking site is now attempting to use its own form of currency, termed Facebook credits. This allows users to place an order via a credit card or PayPal account to purchase the credits, which can then be used to buy things from participating organizations. It is a streamlined process that is intended to deliver customers to businesses without the added step of having to leave Facebook.

Sponsored stories
When a friend or acquaintance makes mention of a product or line of products that a company on Facebook offers, a sponsored story will be shown. This is a good way for local businesses to capitalize on the close-knit network of users that Facebook has to offer. A check-in or comment about a business will be shown in a special sidebar for users to browse, which increases exposure.

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