This month I’m continuing to share advice with you on the ins and outs of this behemoth called social media. Last time we talked about LinkedIn, this time we’re going to get into something more personal—we’re going to face Facebook.
I have so much to share on this topic that I’m going to break it up into two articles. First we’ll talk about why you have to (yes, I said have to) take the plunge into Facebook, and then we’ll talk specifics on how to actually set up your business page. If you’re one of the more than 500 million people who are already on Facebook, you can use this information to review and improve what you have. In the next article, I’ll dive in to how to get people to “like” your page once it’s up and running, how to drive traffic to your page, and how this will benefit your other marketing tools—especially your website.
Do I Have To?
There are two types of people reading this article right now. There are those who have hopped on the social media bandwagon. You understand why you need to be there and you understand the value of your time investment. Then there are those of you who still haven’t quite made the connection. You aren’t yet willing to embrace it in your personal life, much less your professional one. You wonder how can such a personal tool like Facebook be good for business?
So for the second type of person reading this article, the reason your business needs to be on Facebook is pretty simple—so many, many eyes. That’s it, the reason you need to be there is because there is a massive number of people using this tool day in and day out. Some never leave it, some use it more than their inbox, some even check it before their morning shower. But don’t take my word for it. According to Facebook’s press room, there are more than 500 million active users on Facebook, 50% of them log on every day, and people spend more than 700 billion minutes per month on the site.
Now let’s break down those facts even further to something printing specific. Who is the average print buyer? Women age 25-40 prove, time and time again, to be your primary customer. Now consider this, according to research from the Oxygen Media Insights Group, 34% of women age 18-34 check their Facebook page the very first thing in the morning, 21% have checked it in the middle of the night. According to marketing charts, women Facebook users outnumber men in every age group, and 45% of all Facebook users are age 26 or older. Nearly a quarter are over age 35.
One other key consideration, Facebook ranks amazingly high on those search engines. If your Facebook page contains the right kind of content (i.e.: a lot of words people would use to search for you—more on that later) your Facebook page may quickly appear in the number one spot when someone searches for your company.
Convinced? Great, now let’s talk about the fun part: creating a dynamic, fan-filled Facebook page.
Step One: Get Personal
Step one in creating a Facebook business page is to create a personal page. Every administrator of a business page has to have a personal page. So, even if you don’t plan to use it, create a personal Facebook page at www.facebook.com and sign up right there on the homepage. There are only six fields to fill out and you’re on your way! You can add a photo and additional information about yourself if you like. Now, let’s get to business.
Step Two: Get to Business
Once you’ve created your personal page, click on “ads and pages” on the left side of your personal profile page, then on “create a page” at the top. Choose Local Business and then the appropriate category—I would recommend “professional services.” Choose your page name and you’re off to the races! The next few steps are pretty self-explanatory and as simple as filling out the fields, but there are many considerations along the way to ensure you are building the most effective page possible. Here’s what to keep in mind:
Add your location to your company name. You are likely not the only Joe’s Print Shop in the world. To avoid confusion and make your page easy to find, consider adding the city and state where your company is located in your business name and/or tagline.
Really think about the image you select for your profile. It should be interesting and eye-catching, but not so abstract that people won’t recognize it as your business. Please don’t use a scan of your business card. And if you have the time and ability, consider something a little more than your logo. Also remember to review what your image will look like as a thumbnail when you post to your page. Check out Firespring’s Facebook page for an example.
Be sure to take advantage of the “write something about your business” box. This is extremely important not only for visitors to your page, but to help increase search volume for your page. Focus on words people might use to find you such as business cards, color printer, digital printing, etc. Include your city and state once more and your website address. Be sure to use the “http://” at the beginning of your URL so that the link is clickable. If you use email marketing, be sure to include a link to sign up for your email list as well.
Take a look at your wall settings and the security level you’d like to maintain. My advice is to keep this as open as possible, allowing fans of your page to interact freely. Allow them to post comments, photos, video, and tag existing photos. The more you allow them to interact, the more likely they are to visit your page time and time again. Coca Cola has amazing fan interaction on its page; you can review it for a great example.
Upload photos of your staff, your products and, ideally, your customers. Next time you deliver a job to a happy customer, snap a photo and upload it to your Facebook page. You can associate that photo to the customer’s personal Facebook page by tagging them. Tagging is as easy as clicking on “tag this photo” under the image and following the instructions. When you tag a photo of a customer, they will get an email that you tagged a photo of them and that photo will be posted on their wall, meaning all of their friends (could be 50, could be 300) will see your company’s page.
Create a username (a username is www.facebook.com/yourcompanyname). Use it to direct people to your Facebook page. Once 25 people “like” your page, which could be as easy as asking your staff and a few friends to “like” you, be sure to sign up for a username by going to www.facebook.com/username.
Consider a landing page. This is an additional tab on your page that can welcome visitors, include more information about your company, provide a promotion, or just be a fun interactive game. This will require a programmer’s help, but can be very useful in driving traffic to your page as well as adding value to the visitor. More to come on this topic in the next article, but for now you can see a nice example of a B2B landing page by visiting Dell’s consumer Facebook page.
Step Three: Get Fans!
Now that your page is up, start sharing! Invite all of your personal friends to “like” your page, and encourage your fans, friends, family, and customers to do the same. Be sure to begin adding “find us on Facebook” to every other piece of marketing you do—including your website. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can gain fans simply by completing these steps. But there’s so much more to talk about—the marketing side of the page, how to get visitors and fans, how to engage them, and encourage them to interact and to come back often. We’ll delve into that next time. For now, get started on creating an amazing Facebook page and we’ll talk again in November.
Tawnya Starr is a former successful print shop owner who is now president of FireSpring’s PrinterPresence. She has dedicated her career to educating the printing industry on proven website and marketing strategies. In 2005, she received the Industry Award of Distinction from NAQP for her service as a consultant and educator to the industry. Contact her at Tawnya.Starr@Firespring.com. This article is available as a podcast at www.quickprinting.com/podcast and from iTunes.