By Kristina Houck, Research and Online Content Specialist
With 901 million monthly active users, Facebook is a perfect place for businesses to connect with customers. So if you have a business and don’t yet have a Facebook business page, what are you waiting for?
During last week’s So Cal Business Networking and Internet Marketing Expo in Del Mar, speakers encouraged business owners to utilize Facebook and other social media platforms to grow their businesses. It was a great reminder to me that, despite Facebook’s immense popularity, many businesses have not embraced this platform for connecting with customers.
I’ll recap some of the basic essentials presented for establishing your business presence on Facebook, as well as some tips from our team. (If you already have a business page on Facebook, skip ahead for the tips from (W)right On!)
1. Create a business page
It’s important to not use your personal page to promote your business. After all, it’s against Facebook’s terms and conditions. Create a page just for your business and utilize Facebook, as well as third-party applications, to brand it as your own.
2. Brand your page
Create a custom URL to easily promote your business on Facebook. Use a cover image and profile image that best represents your company. If you don’t have a good photo, take one! The (W)right On team recently took new group pictures that will be unveiled on our page soon. You can further customize your page by selecting custom images for the tabs you created (not for default tabs such as Likes and Photos).
3. Provide useful content
Useful and entertaining content will increase interaction on your page, and interaction is essential on Facebook. Facebook’s default settings sort newsfeeds by top stories. Therefore, your page will be more visible if other users like and share your content. Post a variety of status updates, including photos, videos, links and questions to increase participation. You can also host giveaways and contests, but be sure to adhere to Facebook’s promotion guidelines. It’s also important to show your company’s personality. (W)right On, for example, often posts pictures of frog figurines as our President Julie Wright loves frogs! Our client Tri-City Hospital Foundation shares photos of volunteers giving back to the community.
4. Get “likes”
Drive people to your page. Do this by inviting your personal Facebook friends to ‘like’ your page and informing others about your page by using icons and social plugins on your blog and website. Also include a link to your page in your email signature. If you have a Twitter account, share the link to your page with your followers.
5. Set aside time for Facebook
If you’re worried about the amount of time managing a business page takes, don’t be. Set aside 20-30 minutes a day to post on your page and engage with your fans. As you gain more fans, you might want to increase the amount of time you devote to your page so you can properly monitor comments. You can save time by importing your blog posts on Facebook using a third-party app. You can also schedule some status updates by using social media management systems like HootSuite. But I recommend you also post manually as some sources say manual posts increase engagement. Basically you want to let your fans know you’re actively on your page and reading what they say by interacting with them!
If you’ve already established a business page, you’re well aware of its recent makeover when Facebook upgraded all business pages to the new timeline design on March 30. While some were wary of the changes, (W)right On has found the new design provides businesses with several benefits. Here are a few of our tips for making the most of your business page and Facebook’s new layout:
1. Use the admin panel and insights
The new admin panel is very user-friendly. You can now open your admin panel directly on your page instead of navigating to another page. Click on “Insights” to analyze your page’s user growth and engagement. Use this information to better understand what content your fans respond to.
2. Highlight and pin posts
While your page has a two-column layout, you can highlight a post and expand it to widescreen. To do so, hover over the content and click on the star. You can also pin a post to the top of the page for as long as a week. To do so, hover over the content, click on the pencil and choose “pin to top.”
3. Learn what people are saying
Fan comments used to get lost on the old layout. Now, fan posts to your page or mentions of your page appear at the top of the right-hand column. This is a great way to easily read what others are saying about your business. With that said, you can also choose to hide this box in your admin settings.
4. Check private messages
Users can now send private messages. Fans could only comment on business pages before the switch to timeline. Be sure to regularly check your messages and respond to your fans.
5. Have fun
While you may create a business page to gain more customers, don’t think of Facebook as work. Have fun engaging with fans and potential customers!
Have more questions about Facebook business pages? Contact the (W)right On team for all your social media needs!