5 July 2011

Using Facebook for Business – How to start

When you’re reading this article, you have already developed a social media strategy, found out who your target group is and who exactly you want to address. No? Well, before you start to promote your business on Facebook, find out whether it is the right place for you, define a goal for your social media strategy and know exactly what you want to achieve. If somebody asks you why you’re on Facebook, you should be able to answer confidently, not say “Well, isn’t that what everyone does?” Monitor the different social networks and find out whether you already have a certain reputation, to learn where your company stands online.

Profile, group or page?!

But now back to business! You have obviously decided that Facebook is the right place for you to promote your business. The first thing you want to do is create a Facebook Fanpage. Why not a profile or even a group? That is actually a good question sometimes. Let me quickly explain the main differences between a Fanpage, group and a profile. A profile, according to Facebook regulations, may only be created for a real person. You might think, well, I have a one-man business, so a profile page sounds like the right thing for me. The thing is; people will not like it. Becoming ‘friends’ with someone on Facebook gives you access to a lot of private information about that person, information they might not want to give to you, as a business. But when you create a Fanpage, your fans will still be able to see everything you post in their newsfeed and are able to interact with you and share your news, without needing to provide information about themselves to you – it’s an issue of privacy, that as businesses, we have to respect. Facebook has also changed the group feature quite a bit since it was first introduced. It is now designed to serve a rather small group of people and is therefore much more useful for actual study or work groups, rather than businesses.

Page

Pure Publishing Facebook Fanpage

Now you will most likely have created a Fanpage, which needs to be filled with information. Fill out the info tab and upload some cool pictures that your customers might like, and that give an idea of what you do. Notice how you can see the first 5 pictures right on the wall of your page? There you can showcase whatever you want, for the ‘Fan’ to see right away. But there are also other tabs you can make use of to best show what your business is all about: On the video tab you can add little clips about you, your employees or your company in general. Never underestimate the power of visuals. Photos are also a good way to show the user more about your business and to give them the opportunity to see beyond your logo and mission statement. You are trying to connect with humans, which works best if your brand seems human and likable itself.

Landing Page

Coca Cola Landing Page

If you feel confident that you have created a good page with nice pictures and relevant, interesting information, you can think about having a custom landing page. Often Fanpage owners decide to send users who haven’t ‘liked’ them yet, to this page designed especially to turn those visitors into fans. There are several types of landing pages with different goals and different opportunities. You can start a contest that people can enter after liking the page, showing off the possible prize on your landing page. You can also incorporate pictures and videos telling more about your brand, or merely ask the users to like your page if they like your products. This simple call-to-action is often enough to increase the number of fans.

Now you have you own Facebook fan page, have uploaded interesting content and hopefully promoted this change on your regular website as well, please don’t think your work is done. Maintaining a successful Facebook fan page is not free. It costs time; time to find the right content, to research interesting information, and to further find out what your fans want to know about you and expect from you.

Once your Fanpage is all set up, you’ve gone one step down the path of social media management. From here, it’s like a garden – you can plant, and make it all look pretty at the beginning, but if you don’t water and nurture it, it will die. Your social media efforts are the same – they need maintenance, and ‘water’ to survive, and, eventually, you’ll find that you get a lot out of just this small investment – time!

Have you started a Fanpage, or had trouble setting up your social media? Leave us a comment with your query, and we’ll try to help you on your way.

 

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