Posted by: midpen | June 25, 2010

Getting Started Using Facebook for Business

Digital media Expert Rachel Melia

Rachel Melia to speak at MPPA in September 2010

…our Speaker for Tuesday  September 21, 2010 will be digital media expert Rachel Melia. She will be talking about this topic, so don’t miss it. Reserve your space early by clicking here.  Here is an article written by Melia, for those of you who want an advanced taste of the topic.

Is social media part of your business strategy? A recent study by Access Markets International reports nearly 70% of US small businesses use social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blogs.  If you haven’t jumped in yet, you are at a competitive disadvantage.  At around 500 million active users (60% larger than the entire US population), Facebook has the largest audience of the social media destinations and is a great place to do business.

There are a few ways you can use Facebook for business, so let’s look at the options.  First, you can use your personal profile.  Facebook makes it easy to set up lists within your list of friends, so you can set up a list for business and post information to this list.

Or, you can set up a Group or business Page.  Pages have become much more popular than Groups.  The benefits of a Page include: posts show up on the Walls of people that Like your page, posts appear with a business image versus an individual’s personal profile picture, and Pages show up in search engine results.  You may want a Group if you want to limit membership to a select group (anyone can Like a Page).

For the majority of businesses, a Page is the way to go.  Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Develop objectives.  Is your goal to establish yourself as a thought leader within your field, increase leads, build community, sell product, provide customer support? It is important to create objectives so your strategies map back to business objectives.
  2. Choose the Page name and set up the vanity URL.  The vanity URL makes it easy for people to find your Page.  When you have at least 25 fans you can set this up.  For example, your vanity URL would be something like www.facebook.com/businessname.  Be very careful about choosing your vanity URL as this cannot be changed.
  3. Pick an image for the Wall.  This image will show up on the top left of the Page and the entire image, or a portion, will be used for the thumbnail when you post.  For ease, you can select a square image.  The thumbnail uses a square image, so if you choose a square image, your thumbnail can be your entire image.  Or, you can select an image up to 180×540 (but make sure there is a square portion that will be suitable for your thumbnail).  Mari smith facebook page
  4. Develop a content strategy.  A good rule of thumb is to post once a day.  If you have more or less to share, you can post more or less frequently.  The most important thing is to post content that is valuable to your subscribers.  Mix up the posts.  Posts can include links to blog posts, relevant articles, tips, special offers, new products or services, events, pictures, videos, etc.  Mix it up and get creative.
  5. Promote your Page.  Users generally don’t find Pages from searches. Instead they learn about Pages from sites and other promotions.  The best initial way to promote your Page is to use Facebook’s tool and suggest your friends Like the page.  Some other ways to promote your Page include adding a Facebook icon on your website and blog, adding an URL (or link) on all marketing materials – business cards, email signatures, email and newsletters, presentations, direct mail, and adding your Page link to your LinkedIn profile.  Advertising on Facebook can be very effective as Facebook offers highly targeted ads at often low rates.
  6. Increase interaction.  For your page to go viral you need people to comment and Like your posts, and write on your wall.  Interaction is also important because you want to appear on the “Top News” tab versus the “Most Recent” tab, and Facebook favors Pages with higher interaction.  Tips include posting highly relevant content, phrasing posts to entice interaction, and including images.
  7. Develop a conversion strategy.  If a primary goal is to increase Likes, you can add a Welcome tab where visitors land that tells them about the page and asks them to Like.  Other conversion tactics might include adding an email sign up form and promoting live events. More advanced tactics might include providing a store front and running a contest. Social Media Examiner screen shot

Facebook really is a game changer for small businesses.  It offers free access to a huge population of active internet users.  Many small businesses are benefiting.  So why are you waiting? Jump in!

About the Author of this Post:

Rachel Melia is a marketing consultant specializing in digital marketing – online advertising, social media marketing, and mobile advertising.  Her services include Facebook Quick-Start and Tune-Up packages, as well as ongoing management of Facebook Pages.  Email rmelia@gmail.com with questions or visit www.rachelmelia.com for more information.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: