I wrote about Facebook pages for a couple of reasons. The first is I am using one in my offline business with interesting results and some clear takeaways. The biggest being that engagement is the key to success and that setting up a page is the easiest part. The second is that for all the articles written about Facebook pages many entrepreneurs still don’t understand them and even less understand how they can be valuable to their business or how they differ from a Facebook profile. Facebook itself has lots of information about its pages… unfortunately much of it is buried (aka not very easy to find).
I’m far from knowing all there is to know about FB pages. But I thought I’d share a bit about what I do know from the perspective of a different kind of business. So here goes. The following is part of an article I shared in my Copywriting Ezine.
1. Setting up your Facebook page is the easy part. It’s just the beginning.
2. For your page to be successful, you must build your fan base (or your “like” base). Send an email to all your Facebook friends and ask them to “like” your page. You can also use the “suggest” to friends link in the top left-hand side of your page. Tell them what they can expect… tips, how-tos, discounts, offers, etc. Ask them to suggest your page to their friends too.
3. A page is not the same as a Facebook profile.
Pages are for business, profiles are personal and can only have one owner. You can have both a personal profile and a page, but you should use a page for business rather than a profile. Fans don’t have to be your friends to like your page.
4. When you post to your page, you appear as your business name. When you post to your personal profile, you appear as yourself. This is a benefit for those who wish to keep their business and personal profiles separate.
5. Get your vanity URL. You only need 25 fans to get one. It makes your page easy to find in Facebook Search. It also comes up in Google searches. The native Facebook default URL is quite ugly. Getting a vanity URL is a no-brainer.
6. If you currently have thousands of “friends” on Facebook and want to move these over to your page, be prepared for a struggle and the elbow grease. People are unlikely to simply move over; you may need to “incent” them to do so. And keep reminding them that you now have a page and what good things they will receive as a fan of your page. Research says that most people who “like” a fan page do so to receive discounts and special offers as well as to show support.
7. Think beyond text updates. I started with text content, however, have started adding video, photos and links. Do a quick video, post it on YouTube and link it to Facebook. (I discovered that using the native Facebook video upload gets more interaction than simply linking from YouTube). Remember people love to see photos, so encourage fans to post theirs too.
8. Get interactive and find ways of engaging your fans or your page will remain static. I recently ran a free giveaway, offering two prizes to anyone who suggested my page to their friends and wrote on my page wall. My traffic increased as did the number of fans I also got insights about what to do differently next time. There are all sorts of Facebook applications to enable you to run contests for your fans. Try them and see what works. You can also
offer coupons redeemable when they make a purchase from you and offer “fans only” specials
9. If you have a blog post your blog posts to your page with the NetworkedBlogs application rather than linking to your blog post. Networked blogs will automatically pull your blog posts into your page or profile.
There are many other tips for using Facebook pages – I am trying a few at a time and seeing what works. While I don’t think FB should be the hub of your marketing, if you have a business it’s another way to get exposure for your business through engagement. Some businesses are more a fit than others…however with some effort most businesses can (and should) use it to engage with fans rather than sell to them. Facebook pages should be a part of – but not your entire – marketing mix.
How about you? Are you using a Facebook Page? If not, why not? What’s been your experience? Please share your experiences so that we all learn something.