Facebook for Businesses – Best Promotion Tactics

The following is a post by Patrick Mackaronis.

Regardless of the size of a new business or company, many industry leaders are turning towards social media websites like Facebook to reach out to larger population of potential customers. However, not all companies are aware of the best business practices to use when using Facebook in this manner. Here are a few tips to consider when setting up a Facebook for businesses.

Facebook for Businesses: The Difference Between Profiles and Fan Pages

When first creating an account on Facebook, new users will be asked if he or she wishes to create a profile or fan page. What is the difference, and which should be used for a company or business? Simply put, this depends on the approach a company wishes to take in order to reach out to new customers.

For example, Facebook profiles are meant to be more personal in nature. Sharing personal photos, links, or personal status updates are commonplace with profiles since these accounts are usually managed by one person. Businesses can use profiles to reach out to a target customer population by creating a profile for a company mascot, for example. However, individual company employees should steer clear of creating profiles as Facebook requires the user to include personal information for profile accounts. In addition, other Facebook users become “friends” of profiles and have the ability to comment on the company’s profile page. In many ways, this can be dangerous for the business, especially in the event of negative (and sometimes vulgar) comments from other users.

As an alternative, companies may wish to create a fan page on Facebook. In this instance, personal information is not needed in order to create a fan page and multiple account users can manage one page at a time. Company logos, events, and photos can be used on fan pages as well, however the account manager can limit the interactivity of other Facebook users on the company page. Furthermore, other Facebook users become “fans” of a fan page and are substantially limited to how he or she can interact with or alter content on a company’s fan page.

Update Content Regularly on Facebook

Perhaps the biggest downfall that companies using Facebook notice in advertisement success rate is lack of consistent and updated information. When using Facebook for businesses to reach out to new customers, companies should designate a department, team, or employee as being responsible for updating their profile or fan page regularly. For best results, companies should update Facebook at least once a week. These updates need not be major and can simply be sharing a new photo, internet link, or status update.

The two tips mentioned above can serve as a great start for any company thinking about using Facebook for their advertising methods. As social media continues to grow in number of users and popularity, companies would be well-advised to try their hands at other networking sites as well.

Patrick Mackaronis is the CEO and Founder of Brabble, and can be reached on Twitter at @patty__mack.

How to Set Up Business Fan Pages on Facebook

At this point in the process, many businesses have considered their customer bases, and determined that they should have Facebook presences. They have selected the right personnel for their social media work, and are ready to get underway… but how to get started?

How to Create a New Business Facebook Fan Page

The following are some basic guidelines and instructions for the preparation of the Fan Page:

  • Don’t create a “personal page” misrepresenting a business as an individual human being. Not only is it dishonest, it means the business won’t have access to the “insights” tools available.
  • Instead, fan a few businesses on a personal Facebook Account to see how they manage the Fan page.
  • To create a new page, begin by logging in to the personal Facebook Account of the individual who will be responsible for the Fan Page
  • From there, access a business fan page, and scroll down to the bottom.
  • In the right-hand column, click on the link to “Create a Page for My Business” (see image below)
  • Complete the short form to create the account.

Once the account is set up, then it will need to be correctly administrated.

How to Assign Administrators for a New Business Facebook Page

The person who created the page is automatically designated as an administrator of the account. For businesses, it is a good idea to have more than one person established as an administrator for the Facebook page. This allows the business to retain control over the account in the event of illness or turnover, and it provides more than one team member the opportunity to look at the insights and provide updates and customer interactions.

The individual who created the page can add additional administrators by:

  • Clicking the “Edit Page” link directly below the “?” placeholder for the profile photo.
  • Scrolling down to the “Admins” box in the left-hand column of the administrator page (about the fourth box down). The existing administrator will see his or her own profile picture in this box already.
  • Click the “Add” link in the upper right-hand of the box.
  • The pop-up allows the administrator to select team members from among his or her friends, or by entering an email address. The email address entered must be the one that is tied to the second administrator’s active Facebook account.
  • Click the “Add Admins” button, and the other person will receive an email notification that they have been made an administrator.
  • For that person to access the page, they must log in to their personal account, and Search for the page title in the search box in the upper right corner of Facebook. The page will appear to all admins, even before it has been published.

When to Publish the New Corporate Facebook Fan Page

Prior to publishing the page, businesses will need to set up initial information. The tools and user interfaces are very similar between personal Facebook pages and those for businesses.

At minimum, a business page should include a Profile photo, and the small text box beneath the photo should have a brief statement about the business.

The “Info” tab should be complete with the business hours (if applicable), website, and additional contact information. This area is particularly important if the Fan Page supports a brick-and-mortar store somewhere!

At this point, the business page can be published. After publishing the page by clicking on the link in red text at the top of the page. (see image below)

How Often to Post Updates, and What to Post

How often a business should post updates is going to be determined by the business and the marketing goals for the page. Best practices suggest a minimum of 2-3 posts per week, and at maximum one post per day from the business account.

Remember, the Fans of a Business Page have “Fanned” the account because they want to hear updates and news about the business, the industry, events and anything related to it. They will receive these updates on their personal newsfeeds, regardless of whether they are logged into regular Facebook or Facebook Lite.

Businesses add pages to Facebook to generate conversations and to create a new way to interact with customers – not to sell or convert Facebook Fans to leads. (That’s what the business website is for!) Use this as a way to spread the word!

How to Attract Fans to a Business Facebook Page

One of the things that Facebook users like about the Business Fan Page setup is that they are able to “pull” information about their favorite businesses to them, without having unwanted information “pushed” at them. As a business familiar with advertising and marketing techniques, this concept is tough to act upon.

A few ways to begin the process of building fans include:

  • Start off with promoting the Facebook page among employees and friends. This will start getting the word out to the personal page network.
  • Add a link to the fan page to the homepage of the business website, inviting visitors to become fans.
  • Create an email blast telling your email list what news and information they will have access to if they “fan” the business.

Use the Insights box (Administrators will see this below the profile picture on the Business Page) to track interactions with fans, how many new fans have been added, and how many have dropped off the page. This will give the business a great way to track the success of the Facebook initiative.