So it’s 2010 now and no business should be without Facebook presence. Right? So what does this mean in practise? You’ll need:
- Facebook Page (not Group!)
- Landing page using FBML application and with link to your online business pages
- At least 25 ‘likes’ so you can get short URL for the page
- Regular updates on your wall
To go into more detail on these, and some pitfalls I encountered doing this for the first time.
1. Facebook Page
You can not create a Facebook username for your business — Facebook specifically forbids this. Facebook users have to real, breathing human beings, not faceless corporations. What you can create for your business is something that Facebook calls a ‘Page’.
Log in to your own Facebook account (you’ll need one, sorry, no way around it) and in the left sidebar click on “Ads and Pages” and navigate to the Create Page view. The first important selection is the page type. Community Pages are meant as fan pages, for people who don’t own the business. You don’t want that.
On the other side you have Official Pages for business owners. Selecting the right type of business is important because it impacts on the page style and type of information presented on the pages. If you select the wrong type, you can not change it later — you’ll need to delete the page and create a new one instead.
If your business is a real brick-and-mortars business with a place people can walk in to, go ahead and select the “Local business” type. This requires you to enter the business address and the Facebook page will show this address. If you’re setting up the page for an online business (like I did), select “Brand, product, or organization” and from the drop-down list select “Online Store”.
Fill in the rest, and you’re all set!
2. Landing page
Pretty much every company Page on Facebook has a static landing page, created using FBML markup language. It makes sense, you’re doing marketing after all and you’ll want the people coming to your page to have a good idea what they’re dealing with. There are some good write-ups on FBML the internets, I found this to be pretty good when I created my landing page.
3. Short URL for the page
By default the URL for your Page is something not-so-easy to remember, like http://www.facebook.com/pages/Silverfire-Jewelry/136339093082545
You can select a ‘username’ once you have 25 fans, i.e. people who have ‘liked’ your Page. This would make your Page URL something easier to remember, such as http://www.facebook.com/MyOnlineBusiness
To get those 25 fans, you need to make people aware of your Page. Asking all your friends to ‘like’ your Page is good first step, but you need to do some real advertising to get the Great Public to notice you.
Facebook advertisements work pretty much the same way as the Google AdWords, except that you can add a picture and there are more options to target your add to small subset of Facebook users:
- Create an ad containing a Subject line, small image (110 x 80 pixels) and two lines of text.
- Select demographics to target (geographical area, age, sex, interests, school, employment etc).
- Decide how much to bid per click or per thousand impressions.
- Select your daily or overall budget
You can create the ads from a button on your Page (when you’re logged in as the administrator) or from your own Facebook page in the left sidebar by clicking on “Ads and Pages”. Note that at least as of this writing the ad editor seems to have some issues with Chrome on my Windows 7 machine — it works on some other computers, but not all. Just use Firefox or IE instead.
5. Regular updates on your wall
Once you have fans, you need to keep them engaged! Post updates at least few times a week. Keep them interesting and relevant so people will ‘like’ them. Posting links gives your postings more prominence on people’s walls. Posting Facebook-only specials (“25% off today for FB users only!”) keeps people following your pages and recommending them to their friends.
Don’t post too much and don’t post completely unrelated content. Hiding your posts or ‘unliking’ you takes just one mouse click.