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Facebook for Private Investigators: Market Your Firm in 9 Easy Steps

  • October 12, 2011
  • by PInow Staff

Facebook for private investigatorsNo matter your opinion about Facebook as a personal social networking tool, it’s unavoidably useful as marketing tool for private investigators. One out of every 14 people on the planet has a Facebook account, which means the odds of your clients and potential clients being Facebook users are stacked in your favor.

Need more reasons to consider setting up a Facebook page for your investigations firm? How about generating leads, keeping in contact with existing and prospective clients, and giving your firm greater online visibility so that people can find you more easily? Keep reading, and we’ll give you some ideas about how you can use Facebook to boost your business.

Step 1: Create a fan page for your investigations firm
Facebook offers you the option of creating a personal page for you or a fan page for your firm. To take full advantage of the platform’s marketing tools, you’ll want to create a fan page by going to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. This is your opportunity to create an intriguing page that showcases your firm’s personality and purpose. Be sure to keep your personal and business pages separate from one another, and only interact professionally when using your business page.

When filling out your profile, you can creatively personalize it and give people a reason to become your fan. Consider including:

1) Your investigation firm’s logo
2) Photo albums showing your staff at work, engaged in community activities or otherwise exemplifying the agency’s culture and personality
3) A professional-looking video explaining what makes your business great
4) Your website URL
5) A description of your firm and services

Step 2: Find your fanbase
Now that you have a Facebook Fan Page, who do you want to become fans of your firm? A good start is using Facebook’s search features to find former clients, former and current colleagues, potential clients and anyone else who you’d like to connect with online. Compiling a well-rounded group of fans over time will be the foundation for networking and generating leads.

If you know people who would be good Facebook “fans” but they don’t already have profiles, you can send them invitations to create a profile and become your fan. And as you meet potentially valuable contacts on the job or in everyday life, you can invite them to connect with you on Facebook.

Step 3: Let others know you like them
Facebook’s “Like” feature allows you to like the Facebook pages for law firms, other investigators and more. The benefit to you is that not only will these groups see that you have liked their page, but they may like yours in return. Having people like your page means that their fans also see that you are liked, which could encourage them to visit your page. Visit this Facebook page on how to add the Like Button for more information.

Step 4: Integrate with other marketing collateral
Now that you’re a Facebook user, it’s time to let people know. If you regularly hand out business cards, brochures, flyers or other marketing collateral, it’s easy to include: “Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/examplefirminvestigators.” If you have a private investigator website, you can add a link somewhere that invites people to become your fan on Facebook. You can also include a link to your Facebook page in your e-mail signature.

Step 5: Spread the news
The key to keeping people interested in being your Facebook fan is informing them and encouraging interactivity. If there’s an interesting news item that is relevant to the industry or your business, post the link on your wall. If your investigations firm is going to be represented at a community event, post information and send a Facebook invitation to your fans. If you notice that one of your fans has a birthday coming up, send them a quick note. These communications keep people interested and will encourage them to regularly visit your profile.

Encouraging interaction on your own Facebook page is only half of the equation. Pay attention to other pages within your industry and don’t be afraid to chime in on their discussions if you have something relevant to add. Contributing useful information on other pages can make other people more inclined to visit your own page and become your fans. Be sure to post information using your business Facebook page, as it helps to establish your firm’s online identity.

One last tip: to truly maximize your ability to spread news and information with social media, you can tie your Facebook and Twitter accounts together. Find out more about linking the two social networks together at the Twitter on Facebook page.

Step 6: Let the games begin
Having fun with your fan page is a great way to interact with fans and attract new ones. Facebook offers many easy-to-install apps that allow you to hold contests, surveys or quizzes, and you can even have fans vote on the winner. The prize that you give to the winner of a contest doesn’t have to be expensive - perhaps a gift card or a shirt with your company logo - but your prize out of this effort is that your Facebook fans have your firm in mind as they participate in these contests.

Step 7: Promote your blog
Writing a blog is another free marketing strategy, and you can use Facebook to promote your blog. For example, if you write a blog entry covering what people will need to know about GPS laws in California, you can post a link to that entry on your Facebook page.

To automate the process of promoting your blog on Facebook, many blog platforms let you set up an RSS feed that automatically posts your blog entries to Facebook.

Step 8: Keep it fresh
One of the most important keys to rewarding your Facebook fans is to keep your page fresh. By this, we mean making sure to continuously post new updates, write comments on others’ posts, hold contests, add new photos and more. Try to make each visit to your profile a new and interesting experience. One word of warning: The number one cause of losing fans is posting updates and other messages too often. In order to keep your fans, keep your posting to a reasonable amount (maybe once per day).

Step 9: Consider advertising on Facebook
If you have the budget for it, Facebook allows you to combine your fan page with highly targeted advertising. Somewhere around 750 million people worldwide are on Facebook, and the site allows you to advertise exclusively to the demographics who are most likely to require your services.

Conclusion
The companies that pay attention to new technology and devise innovative ways to use it are typically a step ahead of the competition. There are still many ways to use Facebook for marketing that haven’t even been considered yet, and that’s where the challenge is issued to you: establish your Facebook presence and then put your own innovative twist on it. You might even find that you have fun creating and testing different strategies.

Once you have created your Facebook page, feel free to interact with us and "like" the PInow Facebook page. We look forward to becoming your biggest fan and finding out more about more business!

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