Nearly two-thirds of all adult internet users are on Facebook, and the user base represents all age groups and education levels. No other social media channel provides access to such a broad audience, and alternative energy companies should take advantage of the opportunity to reach these extremely connected readers.

As you plan your next moves, consider these Facebook strategies for marketing alternative energy.

1. Understand Your Market

Before you begin a Facebook campaign, take the time to understand what your market knows–and thinks it knows–about alternative energy. Some groups are very knowledgeable about the subject while others believe that alternative energy for the home is a far-fetched idea. Learn about specific pain points for your customers including high utility bills and a desire to be more environmentally responsible. It is helpful to understand and be able to explain any local, state, and national programs that will help reduce the cost of adding alternative energy sources. Also, find out about any local “go green” initiatives that you may be able to partner up with to build fans and followers faster.

2. Teach, Don’t Sell

When consumers are considering products to buy–especially big-ticket items–they like to do a considerable amount of research on the web first. For alternative energy providers, there is often a large gap in the consumer’s understanding of how these products work, and this gap can be a huge barrier to a sale. Instead of thinking about Facebook as a place to push products, use it to disseminate information. This will help draw in those people that think alternative energy is for environmentalists or the super rich, and give your entire audience more confidence that your products are right for every type of household.

3. Start Conversations

Along with providing information, you can use Facebook as a community roundtable where people can ask and answer questions regarding alternative energy. Encourage your followers to ask questions about installation, daily usage, limitations, and costs and be sure to have someone available to answer questions quickly and efficiently. The goal of these conversations is also to educate consumers, giving them the confidence they need to choose alternative energy.

4. Think Shareable

You may automatically gain a few fans and followers who are enthusiastic about alternative energy. They may already have the information they need, and many will already have functioning systems in their homes. This group of consumers can become your brand advocates and evangelists because they believe in your cause and want to help the world be a little greener. To gain their assistance, however, the content you post must be worthy of their shares, likes, and comments.

Make sure every post has a great headline, a few informative details, a great photo, and a link to more information so when it is shared, the next tier of readers is drawn right in.

People Choose Helpful Companies

If you focus on helping people get the information they need, Facebook can be an ideal tool for gathering people who are enthusiastic about alternative energy and want to promote your cause. It is also perfect for going the distance with consumers who are going to take a long time and need plenty of information before they convert. You will never need to make a direct pitch; your group of followers will be thankful for your help in arriving at a decision and reach out to you when they are ready to buy.