Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Put A Face On Your Company Through Facebook

As a Yellow Book 360 Media Specialist. I am often times asked how to best use Facebook for advertising a business. So I have taken some time today to supply some answers . . .

You can’t use Facebook for your business the same way you use it for your personal life – you need a clear social strategy in place before you’ll see results. This isn’t hard to do, and can easily be achieved in 10 minute sessions a few times per week. Automate your status updates, then visit your Facebook page to prod discussions and answer questions.
Here are some of the most common questions my clients ask me about Facebook marketing:

What are a few Facebook marketing tips?

Engage with your audience. You’d be surprised a small amount of time has on the number of fans on your Facebook page. Taking a few minutes a day to interact with the people on your page will make you see huge results from Facebook. Another tip is to use photos on your Facebook page. The new design displays photos prominently. Most businesses don’t feature photos. Upload a few today!

What’s a basic Facebook marketing plan?

Here’s a 3 step overview to Facebook:
First, send people to your Facebook page. No one will like your page unless they know you have one.
Next, use automated social media tools to schedule content and status updates.
The third step is to jump in and engage. Make your page a fun and lively experience by encouraging fans to interact on your page.

Does Facebook offer business accounts? Can I create a business profile on Facebook?

You’ll need a personal profile in order to create a page for your business. “Pages” are the Facebook equivalent of Facebook business accounts.

What’s the difference between a Facebook page and a Facebook profile?

Facebook profiles are for personal use and you are only allowed one profile per user. You can always recognize a profile page if you see the “friend” option. Only personal profiles have friends. Facebook pages on the other hand were designed to be used for businesses and you can create as many pages as you like. You’ll know your on a Facebook page if you see a “like” button.

How can I see who is looking at my Facebook page?

Facebook offers in-depth user data about your page, called Insights. You can access this by going to “edit page” in the top right corner, then clicking on “Insights” on the menu on the left-hand side. Insights includes information on the gender, age and location of who is looking at your page, as well as which types of status updates are the most popular.

What’s unique about Facebook when compared to other marketing channels?

Unlike traditional marketing, where you can only hope that a small percentage of people you are trying to reach will pay attention to your message, on Facebook, they’re already paying attention.
You’re not popping up a billboard on the highway in the hope that you will capture someone’s interest as they drive by. Everyone who Likes your page is raising their hand and expressing their interest in learning more about your business. Your customers are already on Facebook, so why not plant your business where they already are?

How many friends can I have on Facebook?

Facebook allows you to have no more than 5,000 friends. Once you reach 5,000 you’ll simply be unable to accept new friend request. However, Facebook pages allow an unlimited number of “likes”. This is one of the many reasons you want to use a page and not a personal profile to promote your small business on Facebook.

How do I get a custom URL on Facebook?

Custom URLs also known as “vanity URLs” are made available once 25 people like your Facebook page. This allows you to create an easy to remember facebook URL such as Facebook.com/GetTheDash instead of the long numerical URLs that are initially assigned to pages. You can find this option by clicking on “Edit Page” in the top right corner of your Facebook page, then choose your username in the “Basic Information” section.

How can I send a message to everyone who likes my Facebook page?

The “Send an Update” option can be found in the “Resources” section once you click “Edit Page” in the top right corner of your Facebook page.
Unfortunately, this is isn’t quite as good as it sounds: the way Facebook currently has this set up means updates are buried for users. An update sent from here doesn’t go to the Facebook messages area at the top of your profile. Instead it goes to the “Other” section under Messages, which most users will never click on or even see. Facebook might change this in the future, so the ability to send out a message to everybody who likes your page is a great marketing tool. It just isn’t prominent enough at the moment and you can’t count on a lot of people seeing your update.

How can I create a custom landing page for my Facebook page?

My favorite free app for creating custom landing pages is called Static HTML Plus and you can find it at bit.ly/zeropage. This is a great app because it’s completely free, has no ads or branding from the app, and even allows you to create distinct content for fans and non-fans. That means you can create one of those cool “click like to get our exclusive content” landing pages for free. You can insert any HTML into your custom landing tab including videos, images, or opt-in forms.

How do I post on Facebook as my company’s page instead of my personal profile?

Facebook allows you to switch between your personal profile and your page. To make the switch, go to Account in the top right-hand corner and click on Use Facebook as Page. In the pop up window, click Switch to (your page’s name). That’s it! You’re now using Facebook as your page and can leave comments on your own or other pages.