Design, Social Media and Business Marketing Blog

Design, Social Media and Business Marketing Blog

Whether you’ve bought into it or not, you’ll be aware that Facebook began it’s journey as a platform for keeping in touch with friends, finding people you’ve lost touch with, or making new friends. But now with more than 300 million users, it’s also becoming a phenomenal tool for business - and it’s still growing.

The scope with which you can now use Facebook to connect with new potential customers is beyond anything that has been previously available, and if you have an active business, you really should be taking advantage of the opportunity and creating a Facebook ‘Fan Page’.

There’s a fair chance that you’ve already been dragged into the Facebook world on a personal level, but hopefully the following hints and tips will give the aspiring entrepreneur the basis to get started on the road to Facebook Page success:

Facebook Pages explained…

A Facebook Page is different to that of a normal profile. A profile is something you have for yourself, to connect with your friends and relatives, share photos and display more personal information about yourself. Your business on the other hand, isn’t allowed to have a profile all of it’s own, but it can have a Facebook Page.

Much like a profile, this is an area where you can display a wealth of information about your business in one place, all with a built-in potential audience just waiting to be found. The beauty of this is that you can keep your business contacts segregated, as being a fan of your Business Page doesn’t mean that they get access to you personal Facebook profile.

The information you can add to your page includes…

 A company overview / description
 Contact information, and website address
 Press releases and blogs
 Twitter-synced updates
 Company news
 Customer comments and referrals

Of course, one of the main benefits of having a Facebook page is that it’s incredibly simple for you to update. If you’re not technical enough to be running and maintaining your own website, you can supplement this with a quick update to your Facebook page. This means that you can keep the content fresh and get people engaging with your brand quickly and efficiently. This will push traffic through to your official website, where you can hopefully secure the custom you need.

Setting up your Facebook page…

After logging into Facebook (under your usual profile), use this Create a Page link to get to the category selection screen.

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Begin with selecting the type of business, and then continue to fill out all of the details that are requested. This can all be amended at a later date, but it’s good to have something ready to add in. The more information you add to your Facebook Page, the better you page will be for the people who visit it, and let’s not forget that Google regards Facebook content very favourably so it will all help in search engine results.

Ensure that you include your company logo, and relevant product images or photo’s of projects if you are using it as a secondary portfolio. Add in any videos, relevant blog feeds, and really go out of you way to make sure that your Page is as informative and explorable as possible.

Promoting a Facebook Page…

Unlike a normal Facebook profile, you can’t request a Friend for your Business Page. People can elect to become a ‘Fan’ of your Page, but only if they know about it. It’s therefore imperative that you promote your Business Page organically to introduce it to people, and keep at this on a regular basis.

First off, identify the contacts within you’re existing network of friends that are business connections, people related to the field, or friends who you think could either benefit from your content or spread the word for you. Then use the ‘Suggest this Page’ link to send them all an invitation to ‘Become a Fan’ of the page. You could also then follow this up with a short note, explaining why you have sent them the invite and what they stand to gain from becoming a Fan. It doesn't hurt to include a link to the Page on this message too.

Now that you’re page is up and running, it’s also essential that you start promoting it in your other online profiles - add a Facebook icon to your website which links directly back to the page, mention it on Twitter, and add it onto other profiles such as LinkedIn. Put the link on your business cards and newsletters, and email business contacts and mention the new Page - they may not be friends on Facebook with you, but they can still become part of your community if they have a Facebook profile.

Advertise your Facebook Page…

The ‘free’ option of inviting friends to become a fan is great, but it’s likely to be fairly limited in scope, so Facebook also offer a targeted advertising service.

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For a (fairly reasonable) fee, you can create an small ad, and target it at very specific audiences (eg user’s of a certain age or in a particular demographic) which will encourage them to become a Fan.

This could well be a more profitable option than other one time click-through services, as once you get a new fan you have the ability to engage with them indefinitely, unless of course you do something that makes them leave the community.

Enhancing your Facebook Page…

You can add extra functionality to your Facebook Business Page by installing Applications (Apps). These can be utilised to further engage visitors and hopefully provide them with a reason to come back. There a whole host of Facebook Apps designed to help you do business better on Facebook.

You can search here for relevant Facebook business applications.

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Of course, if you have the programming resources internally, you can develop your own App to compliment your business, however this is probably unlikely for small businesses and having this sort of thing developed by an external agency could be costly.

Getting the most out of your page…

If you’re already lucky enough to have a good brand, with a strong following, then your new Facebook page could be a great way to launch an online community. Use it frequently to encourage discussion about your product or service, or relevant industry news.

The trick is not to be too self-promotional - use the ‘Write Something’ box to feature links and information that your Fan’s might find useful. Ask interesting questions so that your Fan’s keep coming back to check on the content, and clicking through to your official website. Before long, you should start to see a decent portion of your site visitor referrals coming from Facebook.

As with anything, getting a good Facebook Page following will take time, so you need to apportion a good couple of hours a week to getting new fans, updating content and sparking interaction. It won’t take long however for you to soon appreciate the ability to instantly connect with customers and potential clients, and with millions logging in every day, can you really afford not to be involved?

Take a look at the PWD Design Facebook Page for some inspiration, and then get started on building your own Facebook Business presence. And if you find any really good existing Facebook Pages during your research, let us know and we’ll publish them in a later Blog.

PWD Design Business Marketing Blog

If you would like to comment on this blog article, or suggest topics for the future, please leave your comments below. Thank you for reading.

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