In a previous post we talked about some of the ways you can grow your business online without spending money. Today, we’re going to cover how to setup a Facebook page and how to use the page to grow your business.
What Facebook Business Pages Are All About
Unlike your personal Facebook profile, your business will not make “friends” through Facebook. Rather, your business will gather “Likes.” Depending on how you setup your Facebook business page, you can create an open forum or you can exert complete control over what is published to your Facebook business page.
These are the essential elements of a Facebook business page:
- The wall where you post updates and where fans can post comments (if you enable this feature).
- The info section where you post contact information and a brief description of your business.
- The photos and videos sections where you share information and promote your business.
- The reviews area presents an opportunity for your fans to comment on your business.
- The notes section can be used for relevant discussions or to feature your blog posts.
In addition to what’s listed here, Facebook also allows for custom applications, custom tab designs, and advertising. We recommend these additional features to businesses that are serious about branding their Facebook presence and/or advanced Facebook users who have demonstrated a return. We’ll talk more about these topics in future posts.
How a Facebook Business Page Will Help You
If you don’t have a website yet, your facebook business page can serve as your temporary online place of business where customers and prospects can find important and helpful information about your company. You can upload photo albums which can serve as a portfolio of your work, offer hours or contact details, relate events that are happening around your business and engage your customers. By doing so, they will “like” your page so that your posts show on their news feed.
Once you have more than 25 fans, you can (and should) create a custom Facebook Domain. The instructions for doing so are here: http://www.facebook.com/username/. Take care to choose your custom URL carefully – it cannot be changed. Ours is www.facebook.com/synergemarketing.web.design.
Online reputation management – In a search engine query for your business name, a Facebook business page (along with your other online social network profiles) will come up high on the list. It’s important to dominate the search results for your business to keep any negative publicity or companies with similar names out of the lime light.
Community building – Your community is made up of happy customers, dedicated partners, employees, friends, and others who appreciate what you do. A Facebook business page allows you to build loyalty within that community.
Search engine optimization (SEO) – To improve the search engine ranking of your website, you need links pointing to your website. While Facebook links are considered “no follow” links—links that the search engines claim not to notice—many SEO experts argue that there are some SEO benefits to linking from your business page.
How to Get Started with Facebook Business Pages
Once you have a personal Facebook profile, you can follow the step-by-step instructions here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. The process should take no more than 30 minutes.
You can set up your profile with photos, videos, events, discussions and reviews through the settings tab. Either allow people to post comments, images and videos or restrict their access as you see fit. We encourage our clients to engage with visitors and allow posts. Since you control your business page, you can always delete unfavorable posts .
One important thing to remember about posting on your facebook business page (as opposed to adding content to your website) is that this IS social media. So keep it social. Your language and messaging should be conversational. Certainly it can be as professional and credible as fits your organization but keep away from promotional or technical speak. If your posts are strictly self-serving, they will be viewed negatively. Consider how the information you provide helps people that are visiting you. It’s not about what they can do for you (YET), its about what you can offer them(so they “spread the word”). The Web public is a savvy group. Don’t underestimate them.