Today, just having a website is simply not enough. Maintaining a Facebook presence is vital in order to have a successful online marketing strategy. Facebook fan pages allow businesses to connect with potential customers, past customers, and referral partners. A successful fan page will generate leads, and allow you to share valuable content with your contacts. Customizing your Facebook fan page is fairly straightforward. Here are a few ways to make your fan page unique and attractive.
1. Personalize Your Vanity URL: This will help your page look more professional and identifiable to your audience while also making it easier to share with others. For example: use your company name.
2. Customize Your Welcome Page: Use iFrames and create a custom tab on your page, which will allow you to feature specific images and promotions. Use the welcome page to greet your viewers, and encourage them to “Like” your fan page.
3. Use A Creative Visual: This can be your logo or something more creative that will provide information about your business. Design something that will catch the eye of your audience, and entice them to explore the rest of the page.
4. Take Advantage of Post Targeting: Facebook now offers a tool that allows you to target certain audiences with different posts. Use this tool to customize posts for fans with different languages, certain locations, and specific needs. This will customize your fan page and result in increased engagement.
5. Run Facebook Promotions: By running promotions on your fan page you will attract new fans and drive increased traffic to your page. Use contests, user-generated content promotions, and coupons to attract a larger audience and engage with your existing audience.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here: www.Facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
Many businesses are attracted to Facebook for the sheer volume of users it attracts, yet these same businesses often don’t know how to reach those same people. It takes a tremendous amount of effort and precise planning for any company to get to a satisfying level of social-media engagement. If you can’t afford to spend loads of money on your social-media marketing campaigns, don’t fret: the companies that are most sought after are ones that make a great game plan and follow through with it. The following tips will help to improve your engagement rate on Facebook:
1) Strive to be genuine – As a business owner, you want to portray the most positive image of your company as possible. Upload pictures of daily activities, company outings, community service projects etc. By sticking to your brand and showcasing what you have worked for, you show the public that you are legitimate, trustworthy, and approachable.
2) Timing is crucial – Timing is perhaps one of the most vital key aspects of your Facebook campaign. By timing your posts at the right time of day, you create a window of opportunity for your content to reach the most people. Research your audience to determine the best times to reach them, and even try experimenting by posting at different times of the day and week to see when you get the most attention.
3) Get to know your audience – Engage your audience to ask them for feedback and advice, and be willing to do the same for them. Finding out more about your audience will help you gain insight into what you are doing right, and what you need to work on.
4) Make them laugh – Humor seems to fit Facebook quite nicely. Being able to make your audience laugh by posting clever content or videos ensures that they will remember you. Don’t overuse humor to the point of annoyance, but choose your moments and make them count.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here: www.Facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
Whether you are new to Facebook or just looking to be more successful in your marketing attempts, it is important to start off strong. Creating a Facebook page for your business is very smart, and promoting your page will be the most important element after creating your account. Below are some helpful tips to generate likes and shares on Facebook:
1) Engage in Small Talk – Talking with clients or prospective clients will build trust, especially if you talk candidly about products and services. Small talk will also allow you to get feedback on how to improve your business, while maintaining a pleasant and personal approach.
2) Time Your Posts – Research has proven time and time again that posting quality information at the right time of day will generate more likes and shares than randomly posting throughout the day. Typically mid-day to late afternoon is the highest traffic time on Facebook, but you may want to experiment a bit to see what works best for your users.
3) Link Your Website – Creating your Facebook page and getting it going right is a positive step, but your website is your true home on the internet. Social-media trends will come and go, and you want to outlast them all. Having a professional and engaging website is key to this. Link to your website via your Facebook page to help funnel traffic.
4) Offer Promotions – Getting creative and offering promotions through Facebook will make you extremely popular. Offering unique and engaging promotions, even small ones, will generate a bump in your traffic and keep users coming back for more.
5) Request Feedback – Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or feedback from your clients; after all, they are the ones keeping your business running. Be professional in your efforts to approach and ask questions, and in turn, be willing to give advice to those who seek it.
If you’re using Facebook and we’re not yet connected, you can find us here: Facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
A large variety of social-media networks have launched and are now considered an essential key to successful online marketing. If you are just starting out, or struggling while the economy makes a recovery, you may be short of the extra funds needed to pay a full time social-media manager. Below are a few ways to tackle multiple social-media networks while staying active, saving money and time.
One-Click Wonder: A great way to save time is by saving all of your daily social-media networks in your browser’s bookmark file. This will allow you to make one simple click and be ready to post your information on the site, saving you trouble and time. However, Twitter does not work as well using bookmarking, so it’s recommended that you use TweetDeck, a tool that will allow you to post to multiple accounts with one click. You can save this tool in your browser bookmark folder, as well.
Go Mobile: You want to be sure to stay active across all the various social-media sites through which you are marketing. Since this can be very time consuming, consider downloading your chosen social-media platforms to your mobile device. This means that not only can you avoid being glued to your PC in order to keep track of new followers and friends, you can also stay socially active with them while being proactive in other areas of your business.
Post Interesting Information: By providing your readers with compelling and relevant information, it is more likely that they will revisit the post and recommend that others view it. This makes your job easier and less time-consuming, and reduces the need to stress the post repeatedly in an attempt to make sure the maximum amount of people are being introduced to your information. However, if it is a time-sensitive post, sometimes it can be useful to post the same information multiple times. Therefore, it is an excellent idea to make small changes to repetitive posts, so readers are not overwhelmed or annoyed.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here: Facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
These days it seems that, be it personal or professional, everybody has a Facebook account. Facebook grew quickly and still continues to thrive, and one of the best things about Facebook is that it is very business oriented and can be very beneficial to your company. That being said, just creating a Facebook page is not enough; it is necessary to actively promote your page while using some key tools that are proven to work. This will spark interest in your business. Many companies make simple mistakes on Facebook, and these mistakes can cost them valuable customers, often without the company even realizing. Below are some tips to help you successfully promote your Facebook page.
1.) Post quality and quantity- Never just post randomly on your Facebook page. Each and every post should be well thought out to gain the reader’s attention. A good post is one that will likely get shared by another person, giving your post more views and boosting your overall popularity. Always be a credible source and stick to your brand; consistency is key when posting frequently. Also be sure to always check for grammatical errors, which will help you maintain a professional appearance.
2.) Broadcast your Facebook page- You should be promoting your Facebook page on your website with a link that is both visible and even enticing. If you have a physical location, you should post the link to your Facebook page in key visible areas, and you may even want to consider handing out cards or brochures with the web address printed on them. The basic rule is, whenever advertising would benefit from having your business web address (such as brochures, flyers, commercials, etc.), you should include the Facebook address as well.
3.) Remain active and consistent- Letting your Facebook page sit idly will ensure that it is quickly ignored and forgotten. Strive to have the best and most active Facebook around to keep your audience engaged. After all, literally millions of people can be reached through this wonderful social-media site.
4.) Don’t be a pest- You cannot force your fans to stay with you. Spamming posts, tagging fans in photos, and posting offers on their walls are all ways that appear desperate to the modern Facebook user. You risk losing trust and being ignored. Instead, be enticing as a business and get fans to come to you. Of course you should always respond to a fan’s communication, just keep in mind what is good business etiquette and what is not when dealing with fans and potential or existing customers.
If you’re using Facebook and we’re not yet connected, you can find us here: Facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
Facebook has the potential to build long-lasting and strong relationships between you and your clients; however, being a successful marketer on Facebook takes more than just posting and hoping it gets attention. Using Facebook to market your brand can be extremely time consuming and involved, but the end result can be immensely rewarding for your company. Below are some tips to create a Facebook page to engage and retain followers.
1.) Content - When posting on Facebook, it is crucial to know your audience and what they like. By knowing your audience, you can generate content specifically geared towards them, greatly increasing the chances that the content will be liked and shared. A good starting point is humorous or inspirational posts, which usually do well with most audiences. The biggest benefit of sharing is extending the reach of your content exponentially. Remember that even if someone doesn’t read your posts, they may read those same posts if shared by a friend.
2.) Discussion - Customer service is an integral part of staying successful in any business, and Facebook’s visibility and reach has made it one of the most useful customer service platforms. Encouraging comments and feedback from your followers is a valuable way to start discussions, and to keep your followers invested in what is going on at your company. When you engage your audience, they will engage you, as well.
3.) Facebook Check-In – Facebook Check-In is a great tool that allows customers to say they are physically at your business. This can help to encourage others to do the same. Check-In also provides direct feedback about products and services, as customers discuss their experience at the location, and creates a sense of physical presence in an online format.
4.) Promotion - Facebook is great for promoting both your business and website, but don’t forget that you need to promote your Facebook page, as well. A direct link on your website is a must, but you can also use your other social media sites, or even a mention on a podcast to help drive users to your Facebook page. The more publicity you get for your Facebook page, the more overall attention you will ultimately receive. Those with larger budgets should also consider advertising the Facebook page on traditional media as well, such as radio and television.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here
Facebook can improve your company’s visibility in a multitude of ways as many business owners now know. However, not knowing how to generate traffic and popularity on your Facebook page will undoubtedly lead to mediocre results. Knowing your audience is an integral part of being successful inside the Facebook world. Below are three tips that will help you get on your way to understanding your audience better.
1.) Know Your Demographic- One of the key elements of a successful Facebook page is knowing how to attract fans who will benefit from your services or information you share. This is the audience you want to “Like” your page and stay tuned-in to what you have to say or offer. Under the Admin Panel, Facebook has enabled you to build an audience with the Invite Friends tool. Using this new asset will help trigger a response from a more specific audience. Paying a service for more “Likes” will only likely muddle your brand rather than strengthen it.
2.) Go Over Your Insights- Realizing what is being viewed on your page is vital to setting up future posts for success. Under the Admin Panel, you can look at the Overview to see your insights- what is being viewed most and by whom. Knowing these details will help you fine-tune when and what you post to ensure maximum views and traffic.
3.) What Does Your Audience Enjoy?- Knowing your audience is one step in the battle, yet truly understanding them is different. Facebook offers a graph search which allows you to search items and see the impact they have on viewers. Doing this will help you create posts that are specific to your demographic. In turn, your Facebook page will thrive even more than ever.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here: Facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
Many companies are striving to acquire more “Likes” for their Facebook
business pages and may have difficulty finding success. The more “Likes”
your page gets the better the odds that your page will be seen and
visited by your targeted audience while optimizing your exposure to
prospective clients in your extended network. Below are 5 helpful ways
you can increase your Facebook “Likes”, grow your fan base, and build a
powerful social-media marketing strategy.
1. Incorporate The “Like” Button On Your Company’s Website- This will
help your online visitors easily find your Facebook page and, in turn,
increase the chances of them “Liking” your company’s Facebook page.
2. Utilize Your Email Signature- Add an icon in your email signature
that will alert contacts to your Facebook page when they receive an
email from you. This is a simple and effective way to share your
business page with established and prospective clients.
3. Offer Incentives- Running promotions is an excellent way to gain more
“Likes” on your page. For example, those who “Like” your page will be
entered into a raffle or contest. This is a proven method to build your
4. Stay Engaged And Interact – Give your fans a way to express their
opinions. Be sure to reply to posts made by your fans and stay active on
your page so people will see your company as a reliable source. Use the Facebook “poll” feature as a way to get users to engage and
submit their opinions, and to show that you really are interested in
hearing what they think.
5. Add A Link To Your Facebook Page On Your Blog- Blogs are becoming
more and more popular among businesses as a quick way to keep clients
informed and up-to-date on industry news and company events. A daily
blog presence also serves to build your reputation as an expert in your
network. Additionally, blogs can help drive visitors to your Facebook
page and your company website.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page: here
Facebook can be a fairly simple network to navigate through when promoting your business. Though, there are a few common mistakes business owners make. When you launch a Facebook marketing plan, planning ahead to develop a strategy is crucial to your success. Consistency is key. Listed below are the 4 most common Facebook mistakes made by marketers today:
Mistake #1. Losing Steam: Many businesses who create a new Facebook page in order to promote their company are enthusiastic and optimistic when the page is first launched, but as time passes, they tend to place less importance on the page, and in return, lose steady traffic and potential customers. In this case “build it and they will come” does not quite ring true. You should utilize Facebook every single day as part of your marketing strategy. Posting 1-5 times daily is generally regarded to be the optimal amount to keep your audience interested and your page active. Keep in mind, however, that over-posting could be equally as damaging (see below). Users should also update cover pictures, timeline banners and information often to keep the page up-to-date and fresh. Remember that this is a very linear process, and expecting immediate gratification will only set you up for disappointment. With a strong effort, you should begin to see significant traffic and development around the 90 day mark.
Mistake #2. Posting Too Often/Shameless Self-Promotion: Make sure your content is interesting, engaging, and interactive. Hold contests here and there. This may be counter-intuitive, but constant self promotion will get you nowhere fast. Naturally you are there to expand your business community and build your brand; that is best achieved through interesting, engaging and interactive posts, peppered with a little personal promotion. Hold contests here and there. If your audience is seeing the same posts all day every day, your “Likes” and traffic will surely suffer for it. Make sure to spread out your posts, and try to include some images. Keep in mind, you don’t just want them to come, you want them to come back.
Mistake #3. Not Responding To Users: You must respond to every single post made on your Facebook page. Many companies do not bother to take the time to read what their audience is saying. Correspondence from your audience is vitally important to your business, and by responding to posts and messages, you are relaying the message that you care about their opinions. This will encourage your audience to continue to be active on your page.
Mistake #4. Constant Re-Branding: When you are building your brand you want to make sure that it is recognizable to your audience. If you constantly switch your logo, colors or format for each social media platform you use, you will only create brand confusion. Businesses should be sure that all of their network brands such as color schemes, photos, fonts, background variations and wording all match so it will be clear to the consumer or visitor that all the platforms are connected to the same company.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
Integrating a Facebook fan page into your marketing campaign can be incredibly beneficial in building your brand while attracting more traffic to your website. Facebook fan pages were specifically designed for businesses and model-individuals to share information, build their brands, and gain “fans”. Below are 4 ways you can utilize Facebook fan pages to get the most from the feature and help your Facebook marketing strategy.
1.) Keep It Fresh: By adding new information daily you are keeping your fans interested and providing them with reasons to visit your page frequently. You can also take advantage of widgets to link your Twitter feed, Flickr account or YouTube channel directly to your Facebook page to automatically post photos and videos.
2.) Interact with your fans and visitors: It is always a smart decision to interact with your audience, but you may have to make the first move. Posting questions or polls are easy ways to get your audience involved. You should post a variety of open and closed questions in hopes of reaching a larger audience.
3.) Promotional Contest: Adding contests to your Facebook page is an excellent way to add value to your page while offering an incentive. Offer your fans something they can’t get anywhere else, and they will continue to visit your page to see what else you may have to offer.
4.) Measure Your Success: Facebook Fan Pages offer a vital feature called Facebook Insights. This tool allows you to measure your page’s growth and interaction. Insights provides you with information such as the amount of “Likes” you are receiving and how much time your audience is spending on your page. By checking your measurements, you can see what tactics may or may not be working for your audience and then act accordingly.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here
Facebook has quickly become one of the best ways to promote a business, as it is the leading social-media marketing tool available. Facebook provides the potential to drive brand awareness to an unlimited number of readers. As Facebook grows, businesses continue to join the new environment in hopes of expanding their marketing strategy. Without proper knowledge of how to operate the premier social-media outlet, you can dig yourself into a hole by making mistakes in front of an audience. Below are four of the most common mistakes new Facebook marketers make and advice on how to avoid them to achieve a successful Facebook marketing campaign.
Not Providing An Adequate Amount Of Information: When people visit your Facebook page they want information. When there is not a name, location, etc., on your page, visitors will quickly move along. You must provide as much information about your business as possible. Add your logo to drive brand awareness, provide your name, telephone number, location and what you can do for your Facebook friend or guest. Adding specific or unique content will also help increase your Facebook marketing strategy.
Underestimating Time: Many new Facebook marketers underestimate the amount of time needed to create and maintain a successful Facebook marketing strategy. Setting-up a page and leaving it barren will get you nowhere. You need to update your page daily with current and captivating information. Set some time aside to develop a plan to avoid frustration. Planning time to post, comment, or check your progress will help your strategy operate smoothly.
Not Being Familiar With Facebook Tools: Taking advantage of the free tools Facebook has to offer is half the fun when marketing on the site. If you explore the available functions Facebook offers, you will be able to better your entire marketing campaign. Business owners that are new to Facebook tend to be in a hurry to get information out to the public, but taking only 10 minutes to play around with the platform could optimize and build your online brand experience.
Excessive Posting: Keeping your friends updated and engaged is the best way to manage your Facebook page, but excessive posting will become annoying. Be sure you are changing-up your information and you avoid posting the same thing over and over daily. People want to see current news you have to offer. It is safe to post new information 3-5 times daily. If you really want to highlight a promotion or new deal, consider changing the information within the post, this way people will not be reading the same information multiple times each day. Try to avoid solicitation.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page here
Last week, from their Menlo Park campus, Facebook announced an improvement to the popular social networking site that grabbed the media’s attention. The new feature called “Graph Search” allows you to draw connections between you and your Facebook network to find trusted recommendations to restaurants, places, events, businesses, and professionals from a specific industry (e.g. doctors, lawyers, etc.). The new Facebook feature is comparable to search engines like Google and Bing, but instead of having to search through one of the aforementioned popular search engines, you can simply search within Facebook for something to do, which business to use, or where to eat, through the collective wisdom and experience of your network. Below are three tips on how to start preparing for the release of Graph Search, as Graph Search is in “very limited” beta testing and not widely available. Facebook users who want to try the new search tool can join a waiting list, and Facebook will alert you when the service comes available. You can sign-up for the waiting list here: http://www.facebook.com/about/graphsearch
1.) Launch Your Strategy: Make a strong effort to build a following among your audience, Graph Search will eventually change how people discover your business. Your success will depend on how popular your business Facebook page is now, and how popular it becomes in the future.
2.) Add Data: Add as much information about you or your business as your profile allows. If Facebook users don’t add an increasing amount of data to their page, they will not reach the full potential for attracting attention from their network. Be sure to update your page fully by adding as much information possible such as your name, location, and URLs. Be sure to fill out the About section on the page in its entirety. All of these basic steps will contribute substantially to you or your business showing up in searches performed by other members.
3.) Give Your Followers A Reason To Interact With You: Update frequently and provide valuable and compelling information. Graph Search should prove to be a valuable tool to attract more traffic, new connections, and “Likes” on your page.
Invest some time in exploring the potential of Graph Search and the reward could be immensely beneficial. Failing to invest the time may result in your competitors having a serious marketing advantage over you.
For daily social-media tips, visit our Facebook page regularly: http://www.facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
Facebook was originally created for college-age adults as a tool to help while school was in session. Now, Facebook is not only for college students but is literally for everyone. Businesses lately have been opening their doors to more and more social-media networks. The most popular being Facebook, and more specifically Facebook fan pages; after all, Facebook is still the leading social-media network with over 800 million users. The number-one way you can have a successful Facebook fan page is to look reputable to your online fans. Here are some easy tips to help your Facebook fan page look more reputable:
Choose A Professional Name For Your Facebook Fan Page: This may seem obvious but choosing a professional, well thought-out Facebook fan page name is essential. The main thing to remember is to keep it simple. Stuffing the name with a ton of adjectives and keywords will potentially hurt your viral growth rate and make you seem unorganized, and let’s face it, unprofessional. Sounding generic is something to avoid, as well. Sounding generic can make your existing fans cautious and less likely to become engaged on your fan page. Another reason why you should avoid sounding generic is that Facebook can actually take away your ability to post or interact on your page if you look suspicious or fake.
Upload An Impressive Cover Image: Your cover image should be just as professional as your name. For example, a nice professional picture of you, your business or your co-workers is fine. Remember to keep it authentic. A picture you grabbed off of Google will probably not do the trick. People also tend to get tired of things very fast in the social-media world. Updating your cover image once a month will keep fans interested and will make your page look more attractive and fresh.
Explain Yourself: In your Facebook fan-page edit box, there is an area designated for you to explain your website. It is crucial to take the time to explain yourself or your company to your fans. A short summary will suffice while giving them a sense of familiarity. You can potentially build a bond with your fans this way, and they will be more likely to trust what you are doing and who you are. You should also add a link to your website. The link can be used as a back-up source to show you are a reputable business or individual and can also be used to drive more traffic to your website.
Give Contact Information: To optimize your Facebook fan page for local searches, it is highly important to include your address, city, state, and zip. An increasing amount of people are turning to social media for answers, and this is an easy way of providing your fans with contact information fast. Another benefit is that Google places a higher importance on Facebook fan pages with specific information, such as your business’s phone number and address. This tip can effectively improve your over-all population awareness and your brand.
In addition, your website logo should be somewhere on the Cover of your Facebook fan page or used as your profile picture to preserve and optimize your reputability.
For daily social-media tips, “Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheIbisNetwork
It may be easy to convince yourself that you don’t need a Facebook page for your business. After all, you’ve gone this long without one. But if you’re interested in building your business and connecting with potential clients in your community, not having a Facebook page puts you at a disadvantage. As evidence, we compiled the following three reasons your business would benefit from having a presence on social media’s most popular site.
Reach: Okay, we’ve said this before but … The top reason you need a Facebook page is the number of people who check in with the social-media giant every day. Facebook is hugely popular and the most visited website in the country. That means, a Facebook page provides you with a platform to reach out to the millions of members who keep on top of their status updates, fans, friends, and followers. The trick, of course, is finding the right audience. Which is why the first goal should be to connect with people in your region and industry. The Internet may be a vast resource able to connect with people half way across the globe, but your goal should be to build a community of locals who may be in the market for your particular services.
Connectivity: In the ever-changing world of social media, Facebook may seem like old hat. But, though it’s no longer the newest or latest craze, it does have the benefit of already having established itself. And by “established itself,” we mean it’s inescapable. That means, Facebook allows you to connect with and link to just about anything you’d ever need, including your blog, Twitter profile, and an impressive list of applications to further increase the functionality of your page. If you can think of something you’d like to do with your page, there is likely a way to make it happen.
Competition: Not having a Facebook page for your business puts you behind the times – and your competitors. It may be a case of “everybody else is doing it,” but it’s true. The more ways you have to explain, educate, and engage potential clients, the better. So, in an increasingly technologically connected world, you can’t afford to be the only business in town that’s trying to connect with customers using 20th-century tools.
If there were a shopping plaza that had 900 million regular customers, you’d be among the thousands of businesses clamoring for a storefront on the property. After all, the chance to offer your services to that many people at once would make closing new business almost a mathematical certainty. Chances are there are a handful among those 900 million that are looking for exactly what you’re offering. This is the thought behind social-media marketing and, specifically, marketing on Facebook. Sure, naysayers will tell you it’s a waste of your time and won’t develop anything other than a penchant for procrastination. But with that many potential customers within reach, it’d be crazy not to give it a try.
Here are some thoughts on social-media marketing on Facebook …
Focus on the Goal: Everyone wants other people to like them. It’s human nature and the reason behind Facebook’s ever-expanding popularity. But just because there are 900 million members on Facebook, doesn’t mean you have to make friends with each and every one of them. Focusing on the goal means focusing on business. You’re reading this because you’d like to find new ways to drum up business and make money, not because you need more online friends. Use your fan page to target opportunities and potential clients in your industry and region, not to boost your self-esteem and build your virtual ego. Keep it straight and professional. Making a connection with three people in your area will do more for your bottom line than racking up big numbers of out-of-state admirers.
Avoid Sloppy Mistakes: Fill out your page. Don’t leave it blank. We’ve said it before and we’ll likely say it again. Nothing makes you look more uncertain, unprofessional, and unattractive than a half-filled out fan page without a picture or logo. Keep your info fresh, sharp, and easy to digest. While you’re at it, make sure anything you post is short and easy to read too. Include pictures and stick to a somewhat regular schedule. In short, don’t keep ‘em guessing. Avoiding sloppy mistakes means paying attention to detail. And details often make the difference between success and being totally ignored.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help: One of the great things about social media is that it’s like math. It’s not so much the equation, as it is the answer. There are multiple ways to gain a business advantage on Facebook and other social-media sites. For example, it’s great to share your knowledge and build your reputation but Facebook can also be a tool for learning. So if you’re stumped or curious, ask someone. Sometimes posting a question about something related to your business or your clients’ interests can be an excellent way of, not only starting a dialogue, but learning something from your online fans and followers. Listen closely to their answers and you may discover a trick or two that leads you to new business.
Facebook is hard to escape. At this point, it may take more effort to stay off Facebook than it does to just sign up and give it a whirl. Its growing influence and reach means, not only is it difficult to avoid, it’s increasingly misguided to even try. By which we mean, it’s the website Americans spend most of their online time visiting and, therefore, businesses should be eager to get in front of Facebook’s continually expanding membership. Why not? Setting up a fan page is a relatively painless process and will instantly give you access to a database of local people, professionals, businesses and organizations with whom you can share your content, contact info, and connections. To help make it easier to get on board and begin taking advantage of the social-media giant, here are some of our past tips, hints, and suggestions carefully compiled in one place with links to source materials and further resources …
Give It A Proper Name: Sure, it seems easy enough but choosing a smart name might mean something entirely different to you than it does to a search engine. The best name to use, if you’d like to be found more often in searches, is the exact name of your business. Using clever phrases or your web domain may seem like a good way to separate yourself from Facebook’s 500 million active users, but more often than not it’ll make you less likely to be found by the very people you’re trying to attract.
Invite Your Friends, Contacts, And Clients: You can’t attract people to your page without first letting them know it’s there. Invite everyone on your contact list to become a fan of your page. Then add a “Become a Fan” button to your website or blog and watch your visibility grow.
Use Apps: Though you may think your job is done once you’ve got your contact and business info up, you’re not. Facebook offers a multitude of resources and applications that can make your page, not only more dynamic, but more functional and interesting to visitors. Have a glance through the available applications and choose those that seem to fit your business and audience. For example, there are many options to link your fan page to your other social-media sites and blog. If you’re keeping a business blog, kill two birds with one update and have your blog post automatically sent to your Facebook page.
Encourage Participation: Try to view your fan page the way a potential client or curious web browser would. Having a page that is interactive, updated regularly, and offers interesting info and ideas will keep people visiting and once they are, more accepting of any directly promotional materials you post. If you set up a fan page and only update it with messages urging visitors to buy, buy, buy, you’ll likely have, not only bored them, but assured that they won’t return. As always, communication and relationships are the key to a successful social-media campaign. Restrain your urge to advertise and, in time, you’ll reap the benefits of your efforts.
Advertise: Facebook offers an advertising platform that allows you to buy a simple ad that you can target by location, age, or interests. That means, your ad appears before exactly the audience you want to attract. It’s not free, but if you’re serious about building your fan page, it’s a good way to start adding fans outside of your regular everyday reach.
Here’s the thing … Telling yourself that Facebook is child’s play and there’s no way you could benefit from setting up a fan page isn’t going to build your business or attract any new clients. In fact, businesses both big and small are finding new ways to generate leads and potential business through social media. Of course, some are more successful than others but all of them will see more success than they would if they just did nothing at all.
Here’s the what, why, and how of setting up a Facebook fan page for your business …
The What: This is the easiest part to explain. A Facebook fan page is similar to a regular Facebook page but rather than updating your friends and family on your whereabouts and personal life, you’ll be sharing information about your business and communicating with a network of potential clients and existing customers. Sure, you’ll need to build that network first but with a bit of effort and creativity, you’ll find there’s a good reason so many companies feel it’s important to be represented on Facebook.
The Why: The short answer is there are 250 million users logging into Facebook each day and it’s the website Americans spend most of their time visiting when they’re online. In other words, your business should be represented on Facebook because everyone is on Facebook and, in order to build business, you need to go where the people are. Fortunately, having a Facebook fan page also means better search-engine results as well. That means, not only will you be able to capitalize on the millions of users already on Facebook but you’ll also be more easily found through search-engines such as Google and Bing.
The How: This is where it gets more difficult. Unfortunately, you won’t have much success if you register a page and then don’t ever update it, login, or fill out the appropriate information. So here are some quick tips. Once you’ve got a page registered and filled out all of your business info, have a look through the available applications to get an idea of the ways you can maximize your fan page. Using the provided apps is easier than ever and can, for example, import your blog posts, set up additional tags for reviews, polls, and contests, in addition to helping facilitate contact between you and any potential clients that stumbled across your page. Also, take advantage of the available badges to place a link to your new fan page on any other online properties you have. The more you advertise your site, the more visitors you’ll have. And be sure to use Facebook as your fan page. In other words, log in as your business and “like” other pages, make comments, and participate in the online community. It’s a great way of spreading the word and getting your name out.
Pretend your Facebook fan page is your house. Now how inviting a home would it be if you didn’t have furniture, appliances, heat, plumbing, etc.? The answer is not very. It may look nice enough from the outside but you certainly wouldn’t have many guests if, for example, they were expected to bring their own seating, water, and heat source. The same principle applies to your Facebook fan page. In order to attract visitors and keep them long enough to get them to like your page, become a fan, or contact you, you’ll need to take advantage of any available apps and tools that add function, make it easier for you to maintain your page, and – most importantly – attracts visitors and potential business.
Here are some applications to help your business take full advantage of its Facebook fan page …
RSS Graffiti: Visitors to your Facebook page will need something to look at beyond your address and phone number. That means content. RSS Graffiti greatly reduces the stress of coming up with content to share on each of your social-media accounts by automatically sending your posts and tweets to your Facebook fan page. Easy to set up and free, RSS Graffiti can be used with any website or social application that has an RSS/Atom feed.
Schedulicity: Unfortunately this app will cost you a monthly fee but for less than $1 a day it adds a tab to your fan page that allows visitors to schedule an appointment with you directly from Facebook. And, while it can be a benefit to you and your existing clients, it’ll also help you find new clients. After all, making it easier for people to find and book your services can only help boost your business and your fan page’s functionality.
Contact Tab: Much like Schedulicity, this Facebook app makes turning visitors to your fan page into new contacts easier. With Contact Tab, you can collect all of your contact info in one place – from your address to your social-media accounts – and also add a map to your location and a form to send you a message directly from your fan page.
Pagemodo: Pagemodo makes it easier than ever to customize your Facebook fan page. Though the app comes with a price, it also comes with a variety of customizable templates that will take your fan page from dull to dynamic. You won’t need any coding or design skills, either. Features are easily added and include slideshows, video, contact forms, maps, and the ability to hide content behind a “gate” that requires interested visitors to first like your page before they can access the info.
Poll: Just what its name suggests, the Poll application on Facebook allows you to add a poll question to your page or profile. The poll shows up as its own tab and is great for gathering information from your fans and visitors.
More suggestions here, here, and here. Previous article on LinkedIn apps here.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com