Facebook is the most popular social media network for a reason. It has the most members and is always changing and keeping up with or creating trends.

We know that most on Facebook, check in constantly throughout the day and are always hungry for updates, news and information. Its addictive. We all know this. This is nothing new. But having said that, there are still plenty of small business owners not on the platform and not using social media at all. If this describes you and you’re looking to try free Facebook marketing ideas to promote your small business – below we discuss three ways to do just this.

Whether you run a local hair salon or a bookstore, the ideas below can be implemented by anyone and anywhere. Keep mind, you need a personal account in order to create a business fan page – once you have your personal page created you can then create as many fan pages as you like. Have one created already? If so, see our ideas below on ways to promote your small business on Facebook.

  1. Facebook Giveaways – creating a giveaway is a great way to get your business name out there and get traffic both to your retail location if you have one and to your site or blog. The main takeaways for a good Facebook giveaway is to have a great awesome prize and also to market the giveaway event itself. Your prize should be valuable in the eyes of your market; think iPad. Many say they have had good success with the giveaway of iPads. Once you have come up with a good prize idea; think of the ways you plan to promote your giveaway. If you have a retail location, you can promote offline via flyers, window signs, word of mouth, etc. and if you plan to promote online; you can try email marketing where you email your list of customers and let them know of your awesome upcoming giveaway. This works best if you have a responsive email list. If you don’t have an email list, then try promoting directly on Facebook itself. Again this works best if you have an active and responsive Facebook presence. If you do, plan your giveaway weeks in advance, come up with a good prize idea and then promote away.
  1. Facebook Groups – there are lots of different groups now on Facebook, including for business and for promotion. Whatever niche you’re in, there most likely is a group for it. Whether you run a mortgage company, are an insurance agent or maybe run a small but thriving coffee shop – you can bet there’s a Facebook group for you. Some allow promotion, others do not, we suggest to read the rules and guidelines for each group before joining and see which are a good fit for you. Most of the groups welcome introductions, this would be the ideal time to let others know of your small business and might be the only time where you can do so. But on the other hand, if you join a networking group then this type of group lends itself naturally to business socializing. This is when you can network with others and create business relationships; partnering up with related niches is best. If you’re a realtor a good match for you is an appraiser; an attorney, home insurance agent, etc. Network, network, network today with a relevant, established and popular Facebook group.
  1. Fan Page Fridays – as the name suggests, this is for promoting yourself on Fridays. Every week on Facebook, there are dedicated pages from a variety of groups and or individuals who create these “fan page Fridays”. Through these weekly events, you can get referrals to your fan page, your site or blog or maybe even to your offline location; if you promote likewise. Have in mind your specific goal when joining these Friday events; and you stand a better chance of reaching your desired metrics. Some of these fan page Fridays are extremely popular and can help you get the word out about your local business. Give this idea a try and feel free to come back here and let us know how it went.

Whether you’ve been in business for one year or ten; Facebook is a great way to reach local consumers and if you choose one of the ideas above, a low cost or even free way to reach them. There are many free Facebook marketing ideas on the web, these are but a few to get you thinking of what to try. It cost you nothing to create a personal account if you don’t have one or to create a business fan page if you haven’t already; and start using Facebook as a promotional tool for your small business. Want to reach your local market? You can via strategic marketing and promotional ideas like discussed above.

Let us know how it goes for you; please share your feedback in the comments section.

Missy Diaz writes on behalf of Wealth Kept – a financial education site aimed at helping others learn about various personal finance topics. When Missy is not busy writing for Wealth Kept, you can find her at the local library writing for other clients – as she’s a prolific writer and guest blogger who’s been online since 2008.

Missy Diaz

Missy Diaz

Missy Diaz also writes for Exhibit Deal Displays where she discusses various trade show related topics. She’s a tech and lifestyle blogger and a freelance guest blog writer - you can follow her on Twitter for more of her web content.