So you’ve probably heard the hype about Facebook – it now has over 500 million users, 50% of which are active on the site every day. It’s the largest social network on the internet by a long way, and it doesn’t look like it will stop growing until it has covered the world.
World domination may not be Facebook’s goal, but making a very big business certainly is. At 26 years old, its founders are now the youngest people ever to make it onto Forbe’s Rich List. But they aren’t stopping there. They want Facebook to keep growing, and they’ve realised that if they want to do that, they need your business to be a part of Facebook too.
This year, Facebook opened up more of their site to business than ever before. They want your business to start promoting itself using Facebook, and they are doing lots of things to help you do it.
So what can you do with this great opportunity? Let’s have a look at the things you absolutely need to do to start marketing your business on Facebook right now.
Top 10 Things to Do to Market Your Business On Facebook
- Create a Facebook Page for Your Business
- Add a Professional Image
- Create a Custom Tab
- Start Posting to Your Wall
- Use Facebook to Promote Events
- Upload Photos and Videos
- Track Your Facebook Visits
- Get Some Fans
- Make Yourself Visible
- Advertise Everywhere
The very first thing you need to do is get yourself your very own page on Facebook. A Facebook Page is as close as you can get to a personal profile on Facebook. It gives you space for a logo/picture, some snippets of information about your business, a Facebook Wall, and space for Photos and Videos.
Most importantly though, a Facebook Page lets you make “friends” with other Facebook users. You do that by getting people to “Like” your page, something they can do simply by clicking on a button. Once they’ve “liked you”, they become a Fan. And Fans are special because you can communicate with them very easily.
A Facebook Page gives you space for a profile image, just like a normal user’s page. Your image is shown in a prominent position on the top left of your Page. A small cut-down square-shaped version is also used as an icon next to every post you make in your Fans’ feeds.
You can use your company’s logo for your Page’s image, but some companies take advantage of the space Facebook gives them to add an advertisement or two (see Pepsi’s or McDonald’s pages). Another alternative for a profile image is to make your Page stand out with a design made just for Facebook. If you try that though, just make sure you know what you are doing, or you could end up ruining your image.
Whatever you use for your profile image, make sure it looks professional.
If you need a company to take create a Facebook Page with for you, we offer very reasonable rates and will do a great job for you. Find out more here.
By creating a page, everybody gets the same basic Tabs – the Wall, Info, Notes, Videos, Photos, Events and Discussions. As there’s only limited space for Tabs across the top of a Page, some of those Tabs are hidden, only visible by clicking on an arrow on the right of the visible ones. You can add your own tabs, but those basic ones always stick around. You get to rearrange the Tabs too, but the Wall and the Info Tabs keep the first two positions. You cannot move them around.
As you’d expect, in an attempt to make their Pages stand out, most companies customise their Facebook Pages by adding custom Tabs. A custom Tab gives you space to add images and links like you would on a standard website. There are some limitations, and Facebook constantly change how they work, but with some skill, you can come up with something quite good.
A nice feature is that you can set which Tab should be visible when a new visitor first sees your page. You can (and probably should) set your custom Tab to be the first page a visitor sees, which will make it work like a Home Page on a website.
You don’t have to do it yourself though – we can make a great-looking custom Facebook Tab for you at a great price. Find out more here.
We’ve mentioned the Wall Tab a few times already, but what is it? It looks and works like a message board, giving you a place for you and your fans to post short messages, links, videos and photos.
Every message you post on your Wall will be sent to your Fans’ personal feeds. So if you’ve got something to say, something to advertise, or some special offer to get out there, you can do it as often as you like to all of your Fans, just by posting a message on your Wall.
One day you might just come across a page which looks professional and has lots of great information, but when you look at their Wall, you see they haven’t updated their Status for a long time. You could well assume that the business isn’t active any more, just because the information on their Page doesn’t look recent. That assumption might be completely wrong, but that’s how it will look.
So if there’s one thing you should take from this article, it’s that an inactive page is worse than no page at all. You absolutely have to update your page regularly, because your image can be ruined if you don’t.
Again, we know how difficult it is to keep on top of posting updates, so we offer a service to manage it all for you. We can give you an account manager who’ll make sure it gets done. Find out more here.
Your Event Tab can be used to advertise upcoming events you are holding. To use it, you just enter the event details – the name, a start and/or end date, and the venue. The Event then gets published in your feed. Your fans will see it just like a post on your Wall. You can update them with changes too at any time.
As well as real-world events, you can use the Events Tab for other things. Personally, we like to use it for competitions.
Facebook users just love sharing photos and videos. So if you’ve got something interesting to show, like photos from a recent event, or exciting new products, you can upload them and share them with the world. The same goes for videos – upload them to your page and get extra exposure by letting your fans know you’ve got something interesting for them to watch.
To get the most out of your page, you need to know what your visitors like and what they don’t like, as well as how they respond to your Posts. In order to do that, you need to track your visitors.
Facebook has started to send out regular reports with information about your weekly visitors and fans. The report is rather light on content though, so you might want to add some kind of tracking code to your page as well. Facebook doesn’t really help with this, but if you have a custom Tab, you can find some code on the web which lets you integrate tracking with Google Analytics. Other tracking code is needed for different tracking tools, of course.
There are lots of ways to get fans, and some work faster than others. However, don’t be in a rush – Facebook isn’t going anywhere soon. Instead, treat getting Fans as a long-term project, and try as many different ways to attract them as you can.
Here are some ideas which we particularly like:
- Add links to your Page from your own website. Facebook provides the code for you to do this, so your website company should easily be able to do it for you. (Or let us know, and we’ll do it.) Facebook also provides code for people to become a Fan of your Facebook Page by clicking a Like button on your own website.
- Ask your customers to become Fans. If they are happy with your service, they will usually be glad to. And if you offer some kind of promotion to your Facebook Fans, they will be even more motivated to do it.
- Use Facebook Ads. Like Google’s Adwords, Facebook has programs for pay-per-click and a pay-per-view advertising, but also has a great feature for choosing your target audience by demographics. This is a great way to get just the right kind of prospects to your page.
There are certain things you can do to make your page more visible to people looking for you on Facebook. For example, you can help yourself become more visible through Facebook Search, and you can make it easier for customers to find you with a custom domain name.
The Facebook search box currently only works for words within your Page’s name, so here’s a tip – if you want people to be able to find you by your type of business and location, use that in your Page’s name. For example, if you are making a Page for your restaurant in London, add the words Restaurant and London to your Page’s name.
Domain names on Facebook are known as Vanity URLs. Once you have more than 25 fans you can register a URL with Facebook and it’s yours to keep. We have www.facebook.com/2ndimpression so that our customers can easily find us by name. You are only allowed one URL, and you aren’t supposed to sell or trade them. So make sure you choose the right one because your Page will be stuck with it.
Last but not at all least, make sure you advertise your Facebook Page everywhere. One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make with their website is not cross-marketing. The same goes for Facebook Pages. Once you realise the advantages of being able to communicate with your customers through Facebook, that should become a marketing goal. You need to do everything you can to achieve that goal, and that includes everything else you do as part of your overall marketing strategy.
Here are some of our favourite ideas for advertising your Facebook Page:
- Put your Facebook Page’s Vanity URL on your business cards.
- Have signs in prominent places to ask your customers to Like your Page on Facebook. They can even do that with a mobile phone (using an SMS Text), so having a sign in your reception or lift could be a great idea.
- Use your current website to add badges or Like buttons.
- Add your Facebook URL to your other Social Networks, e.g. LinkedIn and Twitter.
Facebook Pages for Business present a fantastic opportunity for you to use the largest social network on the internet as part of your overall marketing strategy. There’s a lot to do to get started, and a lot to do to keep it going, but it will definitely be worth the effort.
If you feel that you want to get started marketing your business on Facebook, but are not sure you’ll be able to handle it all, let us take care of it for you. We will make sure the work is done properly, professionally and proficiently, and do it all for you. To find out more about our Facebook for business services, click here.