Social networking sites are where you’ll find the foot traffic of the Web. This makes it important for businesses to have a presence on sites like Facebook. Unfortunately, so many business owners and traditional marketers are unfamiliar with Facebook. And even those that use Facebook personally may not understand best practices for using Facebook for commercial reasons. Here is an easy guide of 5 things to keep in mind to get the most exposure for your business out of Facebook.
- Throttle your posting
- Engage your audience with your posts
- Control your brand and products
- Custom Landing Page
One of the newest versions of New Facebook gave us the dichotomy of Top News and Most Recent. In the Most Recent news feed, you’ll see real-time updates from all your connections. However, Top News is the default view for Facebook users and the only one that really matters. Facebook determines what it feels you most likely would want to see from everything happening real-time and serves it to you as Top News. Because of this, timing is very important for getting exposure for your updates. If you post too much in a small time frame, then your posts will compete with themselves. In most cases, Facebook will not flood a user’s news feed with updates from one source. So, if you decide to post six great links to your wall at once, realize that most people will only notice one.
When you use Facebook for business purposes, it easily starts seeming like work. Despite this, it’s important not to put off your updates! Nothing says “I’m just using this to spam you” like five posts in one day every few weeks. Facebook is a social site, and socializing is a daily thing. Try taking a few minutes each day to update and interact with your Facebook page.
One of the most popular features of Twitter is the @reply. #FollowFriday is devoted simply to the idea of @replying to people as a way of tagging them and telling your friends, “I approve of this person.” But did you know Facebook has that same feature? Most people don’t realize this, and it’s probably the most useful overlooked feature on Facebook.
Don’t forget the social aspect of social networking. People are on Facebook to engage with others, to hear and be heard. So, it’s important to give them a forum through your page or profile to be heard. The best and simplest way to do this is to ask a question in your status update. “Who’s your favorite author?” would be a great status update for a library’s page. Consider your audience when asking the question. Also, using quotes is a great way of getting likes. Comments and likes factor in greatly when deciding what to display in a person’s Top News feed. If your status update gets a lot of comments and likes, then it will show up for more people more often.
Recent changes to Facebook have made everything in the Internet world likeable. As a result, everything is now a Facebook fan page. If a page doesn’t exist for something a user puts on their profile, then it’s created as a Community Page. Community Pages are not controlled by anyone, though will likely be opened up and operated in a kind of wiki manner (be sure to sign up for pages you want the opportunity to contribute to). For businesses, it’s incredibly valuable to have control of a page, as it lets you post updates to the news feeds of all its fans. So, letting your brand or product become a community page is a huge missed opportunity. For example, the fan page for To Kill a Mockingbird has over 500,000 fans. Unfortunately for HarperCollins (the publisher of the book), it’s a community page. Beyoncé, on the other hand, is not a community page and is controlled by Beyoncé’s people. This gives her a huge marketing advantage on Facebook that HarperCollins has missed out on.
To Kill a Mockingbird Community Page
Beyoncé Fan Page
There are many settings to let you customize your fan page. The best customization you have available is the Facebook Static FBML app which lets you put HTML along with Facebook Markup Language (FBML) onto a tab within your page’s profile. Then, by changing the Default Landing Tab under your Wall settings to your FBML tab, you can build a custom landing page for your page! Check out Dominos custom landing page, currently advertising their Show Us Your Pizza contest.
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks for leveraging Facebook. If anyone has any good Facebook tips, we’d love to hear them, so please share your thoughts below!