Business Marketing and Facebook Pages
Earlier this month, Facebook significantly enhanced the “Pages” functionality for business marketing. If your business doesn’t yet have a Facebook business page, I highly recommend creating one. Social networking is by far one of the web’s top activities as predicted. And, according to comscore.com,
Social networking continued to gain momentum throughout 2010 with 9 out of every 10 U.S. Internet users now visiting a social networking site each month.
Also according to comscore.com, Facebook has taken the lead with respect to engagement,
Though Google Sites and Yahoo! Sites remain the most visited web properties in the U.S. with approximately 180 million visitors a month, Facebook is attracting an ever-increasing share of total time spent online. In the past year, Facebook has surpassed each of the top three largest web properties, capturing the #1 ranking by time spent.. (SOURCE: comScore 2010 US Digital Year in Review)
Since I’m frequently asked about Facebook marketing (almost everyday now), I thought I would share a few things concerning Facebook Pages and what they might mean for you and your business.
Understanding and Using Facebook Pages
How can you gain more from the time you spend on Facebook? First of all, you’ll notice the new look of the Facebook pages if you opt-in to the voluntary upgrade that is now available. You can upgrade anytime between now and March 10; the upgrade is automatic on all Facebook pages as of March 10. If you have an existing Facebook page for your business, you might notice a few bugs associated with the Facebook tab applications; assuming you are using this feature. If you are using a lot of apps, consider waiting a few days before you upgrade. Facebook will more than likely correct these issues quickly.
Posting Tips for your Facebook Page’s wall:
- Research suggests that the best time to post is mornings and weekends; apparently, there are more active users on Facebook during these times.
- In general, every other day is a good frequency for posting.
- Topics that include “Facebook” are more frequently shared than most other topics. People like to talk about Facebook on Facebook.
- Incorporating current events and popular news topics into your posts generally increases sharing of information while, at the same time, it engages more of your fans. Consider finding ways to integrate popular topics into your wall posts. For example, Lady Gaga during a Grammy show, etc. Although the content may not seem relevant at first glace, it can be tied into your industry with a little thought making the content relevant to those in your industry.
- Facebook is now using algorithms to rate the importance of content added to your wall. Page wall posts are no longer listed in chronological order. More emphasis is being placed on “inter-actions” with friends/fans. Therefore, it is more important than ever to focus on content that makes others want to respond, share, etc.
Facebook Page Changes | Summary
I. Photos Top of Page
Facebook pages now feature photos on the top of the page, just like the Facebook Profile redesigns. I’ve been encouraging our clients to use more photos on Facebook for some time now. And, you’ll likely notice all of the links we post include a photo. We do this by adding a photo to the page we are linking to prior to posting the link on Facebook (i.e., a blog post will always include a photo so it shows up on Facebook when we add the link/post to the Facebook wall). What does this mean for your brand? You can promote your brand easily by using photos – basically, frequently uploading photos will help others learn more about your company, products, etc.
II. Tabs Now Featured on Sidebar
Facebook tabs are now below your page photo (commonly referred to as your avatar image) on the top left of your Facebook Page. This means your “custom tabs” and “landing pages” created on Facebook won’t appear on the top of the page any longer so it is important to think about an appropriate name for the tabs given they are a little less visible to page visitors/fans.
III. Page Avatar Image Size | 180px by 540px (pixels)
Did you notice I have a rather large profile photo (or page avatar image)? You can as well. Click on the edit button over the image and upload one that is 180px by 540px (or smaller in length if you want the custom tab links to be higher on the page). Note: longer images move the page “tabs” menu further down on the Facebook Page (same goes for your profile photo/avatar).
IV. Page Category and Subcategory
Initially, when you setup your Facebook Page the category you selected was permanent. You can change that now and you can also select a subcategory; “Edit Page” then look for “Basic Information” and make your selections.
V. Multiple Facebook Page Admins
The Facebook Page admin can now be highlighted on the page and you can also add multiple page admins. This is helpful given people change jobs, you get help from third parties, etc. Depending on whom you want to promote, you may or may not want to highlight the admin’s personal profile on the page.
Custom Facebook Tabs and Tips:
- Setup and use the custom tabs feature on your Facebook Page.
- By changing the settings, you can use one of your custom tabs as a default “landing page” when people visit your company page.
- Consider using “Call’s to action” for the custom tab landing pages; newsletter subscriptions, company descriptions, special offers, etc. Learn how to use the custom tab feature or ask for help doing so.
- Note that “iframes” can now be used on Facebook pages. For example, you can now use standard HTML, java script and typical web content integration such as WordPress, etc. This is a significant change to Facebook. With this change, the page area provided by Facebook can now be used for branding your company more effectively.
- Google Analytics: With iframes, you can now use Google Analytics on your custom Facebook landing pages.
- In general, Facebook users like to stay on Facebook so try to drive traffic inside Facebook rather than routing all your links to non-Facebook sites (external website page such as yours). People are willing to spend time with your brand but they do like to stay on Facebook where they can see what their friends are doing, etc.
Facebook Fans and Followers
- Growing your fan-base is obviously important, but engaging your fans has always been and remains the name of the social networking game. Focus on giving back to your fans and encourage your fans to share content, opinions, etc. Again, the name of the game is engagement, which is turn results in more visibility on Facebook as well as stronger relationships with your customers and prospects.
- For growing fans, content is king. Publish content for the community, sharable content, memorable content, content of value that others are willing to push others toward. Surveys suggest that people become fans because they are invited by the brand or they saw an ad. The number two way, is via a friend that told them to become a fan to take advantage of a promotional offer.
- The average Facebook user has 130 or so friends. Provide content in a manner that is easily shared.
- Create an “insider feeling” of your brand. This allows others to be in the know and tell their friends about it.
- Include Like buttons, social widgets, fan widgets, etc. It is much easier to get someone to Like your FB page while on your website so add the “Like widget” to all of your website pages, blogs, etc.
- Business’ can interact with each other on Facebook pages. Create alliances with your business colleagues, friends and associates. Facebook is a community driven environment. Your community includes your colleagues and this is often overlooked by novice social media users.
How do you know if your customer base is on Facebook:
- Facebook allows you to target advertisements to certain demographics. Therefore, it is possible to evaluate your target market by evaluating possible Facebook ads. For example, Facebook provides the number of people that fit your target demographics when you are creating your ad. Enter your target market demographics and get a general idea (for free) about your audience on Facebook without even buying the ad.
- Is Facebook relevant to your target market? You can use Facebook ads to find out given the ads are easy to target to very specific audiences.
- Note that there are volume discounts for Facebook ads. The cost-per-click rates are lower as volume increases.
- You can also purchase ads that target the media outlets, individuals within companies and more.
- For geo-targeting and local ads, include the city name in the image of the ad. Doing so appears to increase click-through rates (CTR) of the ad and lowers your cost-per-click (CPC).
- For single location business, it might be better to use a “Place Page.” You can use offers and it includes mobile ad presence.
- Business with a few locations, possibly within a state, roll out a Facebook Place Page for each of your locations. And, you can add a deal for each location.
- If your brand has numerous locations, stick with a business page instead of tons of Place Pages, which can be costly to manage with respect to branding, etc.
Example Facebook Pages:
- The Red Bull page uses custom apps and unique content throughout their page and the content is in tune with the target audience – well played.
- Coca-Cola is on top of many best-of-the-best Facebook page lists; innovative and fun with interactive features.
- Mail Chimp: great site that has an embedded landing page – newsletter subscription form on Facebook tab.
- Volkswagen has an excellent Facebook page that makes good use of apps.
Stay tuned! Social networking will continue to evolve as it has in the past. What’s next? Subscribe here for email updates and we’ll keep you posted.