How to Use Facebook as a Prospecting Tool

May 17, 2011 9:04 PM  By

Merchants are getting the hang of using Facebook as a way to engage their fans. But now the social media site can be used as an efficient prospecting tool, according to Susan Hanshaw, founder/CEO of ecommerce consultancy Inner Architect.

Speaking last week at the CognitiveData Summit (formerly the Lenser Summit) in Chicago, Hanshaw said changes Facebook made to its platform in April have made it possible for merchants to network on Facebook with consumers outside their own Facebook pages.

“Business pages can now talk to other business pages,” Hanshaw said. “It gives them a rich opportunity to visit others merchants that attract the same target customers and engage with their fans.”

How can you do this? An administrator of a Facebook page can click “Use Facebook as a Page” in the upper right-hand column and switch their identity to any of the businesses they are admins for.

Once you’re using Facebook as a page, you can go to your competitor’s pages and join the conversation and prospect for fans of your own. Hanshaw recommends going into conversations started by your rival and “liking” its followers’ comments.

By doing that, you’ll pique your competitor’s fan’s curiosity, and that fan may decide to “like” you back—and perhaps become a customer, Hanshaw said.

How do you know your Facebook prospecting efforts are working? You can measure it by the number of daily new likes your page is getting, the number of unique daily Facebook page views and the number of daily total Facebook page views, Hanshaw said.