In this document we’ll cover questions coming in such as: how do I get on Facebook, get Facebook layouts for companies, or create Facebook business pages plus we’ll address why Facebook for business can help your marketing.
There are no doubt a huge number of people who search business Facebook pages that match their interests, similar industries as well as other related peripheral searches. It’s not a true search engine yet for seeking specific items or services to purchase like some articles in the past warned. This may come later but for now you will mostly use Facebook in business to help with branding and staying in front of client’s minds so that when it does come time to buy.
Outside of search on Facebook, having customers or potential clients follow you on Facebook (when users click LIKE on your Facebook page) your business page posts will be placed in their news feed. Think of it in similar fashion to email marketing but with shorter messages and ones that don’t sit in an inbox but can be pushed down in the feed so far by the time they read it that it loses it’s visibility altogether. More on this later.
First we’ll talk about setting up your business on Facebook. Layouts for Facebook are not like the childish layouts of MySpace. It’s also not as simple. The complexity, however, allow you to create Facebook apps and fan pages (as the business pages are called) to help you promote products, your business or even just yourself.
Let’s start with the basics of getting on Facebook for a business. I’ll assume most of you have a Facebook account. Over 800 million people have active accounts and use it regularly (based on information they released to start the work on their IPO). Whether you have an account or not you can click http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php where you are asked to select the type of business you are trying to setup. This is a short list and can be changed later to better fit your specific company. The basic differences are that some offer listings with maps to your store, links, etc. while others like groups will allow more interaction between users as a whole.
The first next step is the initial and basic questions which will be on a link to the left when users visit your Facebook and business page (I cover more of the links there too later). Your business page on Facebook can include links to your website, your logo as your main image (180 pixels wide) or create a tall banner to include more information, just as long as it is not wider than the 180px). Remember all of this can be changed at any time in the future.
Once your basic information is up on your info Facebook page for your business, you’ll want to see if you can lock in an easy to remember user friendly Facebook URL. If you run a business with a popular name or generic name, it might be hard to get the perfect URL without numbers, dashes or something extra to differentiate it from the others. The business on Facebook who first chooses it will get it. In some cases it’s the first who gets 100-150 fans to follow you business page.
Next, obviously you’ll think you want to start posting status updates on your new Facebook business page. Don’t get too zealous here. No one is following you yet so don’t waste too much time here. Just add about 5-6 quick posts to add content to the page. Try to also use the same keywords you’d use to attract users on search engines since these pages are searched and spidered via search engines.
Include images, links to your site and even YouTube videos if that makes since for your business type on Facebook. Remember that they end result for now is to get users to see enough of a reason to LIKE your page. One great way to do this is to create a special Facebook landing page for your business page called a Welcome page. This is now harder than it was about a year ago though so you might need to know advanced skills online or a professional to help you (we’d be happy to help here).
The advanced Facebook page for a business takes advantage of iframes. You’ll need a secure website using SSL. Any page you can use to populate about a 550 pixel wide space on your Facebook business page. Use this to show a simple “flyer” like graphic or a full fledged “mini website” for Facebook where links, buttons, code and apps work and run for your business page on Facebook fans can interact without having to leave Facebook at all.
This welcome page is also an opportunity to tell new users why they should follow your fan page on Facebook. Offer free give-a-ways for followers, specials you only post on your Facebook fan page and even news and new releases or other information. It’s all about communication and possibly even two-way interaction with customers. Engage them by asking questions, polls, running contests and more. Remember to keep it fun if you can or at the least make it informative, intriguing and most of all make your business page on Facebook social. That’s the point of Facebook after all.
Don’t overly sell your followers is another great and last point. Companies who over promote and sell on their Facebook business page get old and you’ll find people removing you and un-following your page.
Good luck, have fun and if you have questions, post them here or ask us via our contact us page.