Facebook for Businesses

Not using Facebook for business yet? Wondering where to start?  Already on Facebook, but not sure if you’ve done everything right? Well look no further.  Bookmark this article.  It will be your comprehensive guide to using Facebook.

By the way, you’re not alone. There are still many business owners and marketers who don’t quite know where to start—they struggle to gain momentum and achieve measurable results from their efforts.

What You Need to Know About Facebook Pages

  • You need to have an account on Facebook in order to create a Facebook page.
  • Your Facebook page will be tied to your personal profile as the admin of your Facebook page; however, only you and Facebook know the connection exists.
  • You can have an unlimited number of Facebook pages.
  • You can have an unlimited number of fans (Facebook users who “Like” your page).
  • Facebook Pages are public—anyone can find and view your page whether they are logged into Facebook or not.
  • All content posted on your Facebook page gets indexed on Google.
  • You can target your posts by location and language.
  • You can add applications to your page, including your own custom content—video, rich text, graphics, opt-in box and more.
  • You can add additional admins (highly recommended).
  • All admins have equal rights to administer your page, including adding and removing other admins (choose with care!).
  • You can’t post content on your Facebook page from your personal profile (unless you use an @ tag from your profile and have your settings for that post set to Everyone).
  • Select your page title and category carefully as they cannot be changed once set.
  • Start here to create your Facebook page.

Study Other Facebook Pages

To get a sense of what’s possible for your own Facebook page, look at a variety of examples in your own industry and related industries. Here is Facebook’s own Directory of Pages; see also this fun site called Facebakers.

And, here is a great slidedeck with ten examples of business-to-business Facebook pages:

10 examples of B2B Facebook pages

Recommended 6-step approach to building your Facebook page

Objective

First, be clear on what your primary purpose is for your Facebook page. Examples include raising brand awareness, enhancing customer service, building your email list, driving traffic back to your blog, building community, etc. You may have multiple objectives, and that’s fine; be sure to prioritize your objectives. Mike Stelzner and the team at Social Media Examiner have a great editorial guide for their Facebook page; you can view an excerpt in this post.

Design

Once you’re clear on the objective(s) of your Facebook page, the design needs to reflect that. Say your primary objective is to build your email list. You’ll need to feature at least one opt-in box. For instructions on how to add custom content to your page, see this post. Go to Social Media Examiner’s Facebook Page to see a sample opt-in box.

Content

Ideally, you’ll have an editorial guide  which includes a plan for publishing a mix of updates, photos, videos, and links. For a sample content matrix, see this Google doc. Use a platform like HootSuite to pre-schedule your content. Depending on the nature of your business and your overall objective, for the most part, it’s best to publish a mix of your own content and what I call “OPC” (other people’s content). Sources of quality OPC include Guy Kawasaki‘s AllTopTechnoratiListorious (a directory of Twitter Lists), along with your favorite blogs (subscribe in Google Reader or via email). Plus, remember your own Facebook Friend Lists!

Promotion

Now you’ve built it and need to ensure “they come!” There are many ways to promote your Facebook page inside Facebook, outside Facebook and offline. See this post for ideas: 21 Creative Ways To Increase Your Facebook Fanbase.

Engagement

Now you’re starting to gain traction! But you’ll need to allocate resources to ensure your Facebook page is being monitored and moderated—if not always by you, then by your team. If one of your objectives is to enhance customer service, you’ll want tobe prompt in responding to fans’ comments and use a personal, approachable toneBestBuy does a great job of this. See these two posts for ideas on enhancing engagement: How to Better Engage Facebook Fan Page ‘Fans’ and 13 Ways to Move Your Facebook Fans to Action.

Conversion

I usually find the tipping point in social media is between 500-1,000 fans/followers/friends/email subscribers. You’ll start to see measurable results with this size group. You’ll be building trust and loyalty among your fanbase with consistently good content and reliable responses. Now you must have a strategy in place to convert your fanbase to paying clients or customers. Perhaps you’ll offer a special event (live or virtual), coupons, discounts and other incentives to give your fans a strong call to action. The bottom line is to let your fans know exactly what you want them to do. And pace your offers. If you’re hosting live/virtual events, be sure to also use the Facebook Events feature. See this post for ideas: 10 Tips for Creating Buzz With Facebook Events.

By the way, just as soon as you have your first 25 fans, be sure to register your own unique username (sometimes called a “vanity URL”) for your Facebook page a thttp://facebook.com/username.

That’s it! That’s all you need for now—(1) a profile with a strategy and settings you’re happy with, plus (2) the makings of a robust, active Facebook page.

I trust this has been of use if you’ve been a bit stuck on how to really gain traction with your Facebook optimization. Did I miss something? What else would you like to see covered here? Got ideas of your own for what’s working well on Facebook? Let us know in the comments below!

Original content from Social Media Examiner

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