By Jerry Nettuno, Schedulicity

You got your business on Facebook; now what? Don’t waste this free opportunity for marketing, promotions, selling, scheduling and more. Check out today’s guest blog from Schedulicity, the online scheduling tool for small businesses.

While the vast majority of people use Facebook for personal reasons, it is important to create a business page for professional purposes. Some things for small business owners and professionals to consider:

  1. Don’t wait to begin using social media tools such as Facebook, blogs, Twitter and/or online tools. Professionals should create their personal brand from the moment they consider starting a business. Having a solid online presence will allow your to:

  • Gain access to an audience that will read and comment on your social media content
  • Begin collecting and storing hundreds of email addresses for email marketing purposes
  • Listen to what’s happening professionally in communities
  • Monitor competitor pages along with industry pages to stay abreast of current trends.

2. Be cautious when choosing the name of a professional Facebook page. Once a page has more than 30 fans, the name cannot be changed. Use an adaptable name, like ‘stylist,’ ‘hair pro,’ ‘financial services professional,’ etc. Avoid any names that are transitory in nature.

3. Keep your personal page and business page very separate. A professional Facebook business page will tell a prospective client that you’re a pro and can act like one.

4. Spotlight others on your Facebook business page. Give credit to employees and clients. Consider it good karma! These people will in turn ‘like’ your page and share glowing reviews – a powerful resource when attracting new clients.

5. Let potential and/or new employers know you’re socially connected. Many businesses, big and small, know that they need a social media presence but they’re unsure how to get started. By already having that experience, you will have an advantage not only for your professional skills, but your social media skills, as well. Being an integral part of any business’ social media presence will ensure a lasting place within that business and a successful career.

6. Engage your audience; make it sticky. Create an ‘interest list’ with all the different topics that may interest your target audience. Topics a business may want to consider are:

  • Talk about a tradeshow events you’ll be attending (before, during and after)
  • Share lots of real-time photos on your FB business page.
  • Review something (tech tools you use, shows you watch, your new accounting software, anything that might interest your target audience)
  • Share videos (funny, informative, educational) about.com is a great resource for videos
  • Act on impulses and share that info on your FB page
  • Search for interesting topics on Twitter and share them with your fans
  • Share business tips of the day or the week
  • Think two months down the road and prepare special topics based on upcoming holidays
  • Showcase your community (i.e. let a local artist hang art in your business and take lots of photos or offer price-reduced services to all police, fire and emergency service professionals in your town)

7. Use social media as a platform to market yourself! Use a professional Facebook page as an easy, attractive medium for communicating with potential and current clients.

Jerry Nettuno is the Founder, CEO and Chairman of Schedulicity, the leading online appointment scheduling solution for small businesses. Schedulicity pioneered a widget for appointment-dependent businesses to leverage Facebook, Twitter or their own business website as a business-building tool. This integration of the widget allows clients to book directly with a service provider 24/7, without the hassles of scheduling over the phone. No more missed appointments.