Facebook was the first really big behemoth of online social marketing. It’s been around for over five years. Intended as a purely fun, social “network” on college campuses, it has evolved into an effective marketing channel.
So, if you haven’t started using it yet, get on with it! Consider your wrist slapped, your shoulders shaken and your eyes (hopefully) opened!
Kudos to those who have dived in, ignorant and willing to explore. If you are one of those, I applaud you and ask you to please answer the following questions and make appropriate adjustments so you can benefit from your early adoption of Facebook as a marketing tool:
1. Are you using the correct page type? Personal or Business… or Both?
There are two types of Facebook pages – a) personal profile pages and b) business pages. They look very much alike. You can tell the difference because personal pages collect “Friends” and business pages collect “Likes.”
Many businesses are using a personal profile page to try to do business and become confused when none of the directions they find online are operable. Seek help if you are unsure what type of page you are currently using, and ask questions to get a correct type of business page set up. There are multiple types, providing slightly different options, limitations, and advantages.
Strategy tip: By the way (BTW), you can have an unlimited number of Facebook business pages! That’s right, one for each: product, service, event, contest, etc.
A Facebook business page is a necessity, not an option. Using a personal profile for business purposes is not only bad form in the marketplace, it is actually a violation of the Facebook terms of service.
2. Do you know what your Facebook Username/Id is and why it’s Important to Know?
One of the main benefits to using Facebook is that you can promote your Facebook entities in your printed materials as well as your online materials.
When we sit down at our computer to type in a web address from a business card, flyer or other ad materials, we actually speak the phrase to ourselves.
For example, this is what I say silently to read my business page address: “facebook-dot-com-foward-slash-Barbara-Ann-Otoole.” That makes it quick to type in. This is what that looks like on my business card or in any printed materials I use:
Now, when I use this in my email signature, post it online on my website, or other entity, I use it with a hyperlink:
Now, glance at those two addresses and take note of how easy they are to remember, to type, to use. Do you think more people will connect with you when you make it easy for them?
If I didn’t have a username/ID, I would have to include this in print marketing materials:
facebook.com/pages/BarbaraAnnOtoole/202819419776726?ref=ts&fref=ts ( or something close)
Your Facebook username/ID is managed under “Account Settings.”
3. Are you Using Cover and Profile Images to Your Advantage?
Facebook is definitely a visual medium, isn’t it? And yet, many businesses are not using the valuable real estate that comes with their business “timeline” page.
The first image people will see is the “cover” image on your business page or “timeline.” The smaller, inserted image is referred to as a “profile” image. There are specific size requirements available for each. Facebook does allow you to “adjust” sizing and positioning of a cover or profile once they are uploaded. So you could select a photo from your phone, for example, and maneuver it to make it work.
The smaller “profile” image represents your business as your comments and engagement trickle down through other peoples’ newsfeeds. This profile image works well as a logo or “icon” that becomes easily identifiable with your business, your product, services, contest, events, etc. (See strategy tip referenced in number 1 above)
Facebook has set specific criteria for cover images, which include not using the cover for calls to action, specific business info, and advertising claims, etc. Seek the help of a professional if you are unsure what to include in your cover image. (Or search on Facebook or Google for more info)
4. Have you Completely Filled Out Basic Information on Your Business Page?
This question is self-explanatory, but it is a good idea to review the information periodically and update it. Make sure everything is exactly what you want people to see and use to contact you.
Don’t forget to include your website address in your description! Use the full address with the “http://” so it will hyperlink.
You may not realize it, but not too long ago Facebook made a global change to everyone’s email addresses. It inserted a Facebook email address. You can change it back to what you started out with, but you do have to make that change manually.
5. Do You Know Your Way Around Facebook?
The “milestone” for me in using Facebook came when I learned to navigate a business page. My greatest frustration had always been that Facebook was configured differently every time I logged in. It seemed as if I had to “start over” every time I signed on.
Facebook is still evolving and changing. Here are two very basic functionalities that you must know:
a.) When you are logged in to your page, and you are looking at your timeline(cover and profile image, etc.) look at the very top blue menu bar and you can tell if you are sitting on one of your business pages or your personal profile. The tiny picture and name at the very top will identify it for you.
It’s important to know where you are because when you set about the work of commenting and liking other pages, you must now how your actions are being “read” by other pages. If you comment as you personally you won’t have the same impact as when you comment as your business.
b.) Click on the “Facebook” logo on the upper left hand side and you will find your page newsfeed. The newsfeed is very important because it lets you see, at a glance, all the activity of your “Friends,” if you’re logged in as your personal profile, or all the activity of your “Likes,” the businesses, events, products, services, etc. (see strategy tip referenced in number 1 above), if you’re logged in as your business page.
That’s a lot of information and these are just the very basics! Get these questions answered satisfactorily and you’ll be ready for all the articles out there that want to tell you how to position, engage, and yes, sell, from Facebook!