by Aliza Sherman
Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.
Do you have a Facebook account for yourself but aren't sure how to put your company or organization on Facebook? Or do you not want a personal Facebook account but want one for your business or nonprofit?
I've had a personal Facebook account for a relatively short time but have found it to be a useful tool for professional networking. Facebook does not allow you to create a personal account for a company or organization, however. In order to put your business or group on Facebook, you have to create a Facebook Page, at least according to Facebook's rules.
About Facebook Pages
Facebook Pages are the free way you can create a presence on Facebook for any non-human entity for marketing and informational purposes. Some of the examples of the types of entities that can have a Facebook Page include restaurants, stores, parks, attractions, artists, musicians, politicians, and nonprofit organizations.
The main elements of a Facebook Page are
- Basic information such as location and hours of business, if relevant;
- A mini-feed of activity on the page
- A list of fans featuring each person's avatar
- Photos, and you can set controls so only you or you and your company's fans can upload photos
- Videos, and you can also set controls for who can upload videos
- The wall where people can post messages
- A discussion board where you can start and join conversations.
- Notes where you can post additional content to be linked from the Page
You can also set up a Facebook Group for certain types of Pages such as restaurants or bands. Think of Groups as clubs where you can have members. Most are non-commercial in nature and based around shared interests so usually don't work for companies.
When someone becomes a fan of your Page, a message shows up in their personal news feed so all of their Facebook friends see the action listed in their mini news feeds and have the option of clicking over to your Page to learn more or to become a fan as well.
As the administrator of the page, you have the ability to edit any portion of the page and turn features on and off. You can also assign admin privileges to other Facebook members who are fans of the Page. Administrators can also send a message to all fans which is a handy broadcast feature but one that should not be overused. I've personally removed myself as a fan from several company pages because they sent messages to my Facebook inbox too frequently.
Creating a Social Ad on Facebook
Having a Facebook Page should only be one part of an overall social media strategy. Facebook offers a potentially wide audience but you can also target a more niche audience. To drive traffic to your Facebook Page, you can opt to pay for a Facebook social ad. I love this feature because you can really hone in on your target audience. Just click on the "Promote Your Page with an Ad" link and begin narrowing down your search of Facebook members who you would like to see your ad. These ads appear on the home pages and profile pages of each member as they are viewing their Facebook account.
How targeted can you get? I've had ads directed at men and women between 30 and 65 based in Alaska for one client. For another, I had the ad display for only women between 35 and 75 in Anchorage, Alaska. As you get more specific with your target demos, you can watch Facebook calculate the number of people you will reach based on your criteria. Even if the numbers go down to the hundreds, you are still getting your ad in front of a very specific group.
You do have to pay for a Facebook ad but can set a limit on the amount you want to pay -- based on clickthrough -- and the duration of your ad. I tend to set my limit to a week or two and under $100 per ad. Even at $50, you can reach a lot of the right people with a Facebook ad.
While you can create a Facebook ad to drive traffic to your Facebook Page, you can also have the ad go to any website. Personally, I think that if you are advertising on Facebook to people using Facebook, you should first capture them as fans on your Facebook Page and then drive them over to your website or blog. Having fans on your Facebook Page is a powerful marketing asset.
Using Facebook Effectively
I've already mentioned that you should never abuse your Facebook fans by overloading them with too many messages. Some other tips for effectively using Facebook to market include:
- Keep adding multimedia to your page. One way to keep your page fresh and interesting is to have many photo albums for visitors to peruse or relevant videos to watch.
- Start a conversation thread. Get the chatter going among your fans by coming up with compelling topics of discussion and encouraging input.
- Post regularly to the wall. Use your page wall to post regular updates including links to blog posts or articles that are on-topic and potentially of interest to your fans.
- Add notes. While notes don't seem to stand out on a Facebook Page, they can accumulate and serve as a useful archive of information.
Bottom Line: Facebook Pages are much more limited than personal accounts in terms of interactivity, and when it comes to design and branding they are primitive compared to MySpace pages. Still, having a presence on Facebook is easy to create and maintain, and it's free. With social media marketing, you need to go where the people are. And the people are on Facebook.
That's all we have time for today. Visit the show’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for The Digital Marketer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message by calling 206-339-6279.
The Digital Marketer's Quick and Dirty Tips for Building Your Business With Web Tools is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com.
Tune in for another business boost from The Digital Marketer, the host who's not afraid to go under the Internet's hood & get a little dirty!
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/
Facebook Pages - http://www.facebook.com/business/?pages
Facebook Groups - http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2361831622&b
MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/