Whether or not you already have a Facebook account, profile or fan page, you probably feel as though you could be doing more, getting more out of Facebook, and putting more in. The trouble is, where do you start?
There are some basic mistakes which people make that can cost them dearly in terms of credibility and brand recognition, and there are some great opportunities which people miss out on. In this article I’m going to look at three of each – the simple mistakes a lot of businesses make, and offer three ideas for you to really make Facebook start working harder for your brand.
Mistake #1 – It’s always surprising to find a business page which has almost no business details on it. The other day I visited the Facebook page of a business, only to find that there was no phone number, no web address, no email address, no postal address and no names. In fact there was no easy way to find out more about the business. After visiting their Facebook page I had to Google their business name just to find their website! Make sure your profile is complete.
Mistake #2 – Many small business owners will tend to find that family and friends start creeping in to your Facebook space. This is fine, but make sure that you keep personal information that should remain personal, private. In other words, allow some information to be visible to all, but other areas of your Facebook profile to remain private, visible only to friends. Try to keep business separate from tales of your adventures last Friday night at the Dog & Bucket with Dolores the Balloon Dancer.
Mistake #3 – Grab a Facebook vanity URL. I have seen many businesses listed on Facebook under the name of the business owner, or even worse – their username. If I want to find Barton Bathrooms then it makes sense that I should find it at facebook.com/bartonbathrooms, and not at facebook.com/jim200564. For example, our vanity URL is www.facebook.com/WebpresenceUK
Tip #1 – If you have a newsletter, then include your subscription details prominently within your profile, and whilst you’re doing that why not archive all your previous newsletters too? That way you’re making use of content you’ve produced in the past, as well as providing a valuable resource people may want to come back to, link to and recommend.
Tip #2 – Integrate Facebook with other forms of social media and marketing. Some people do this by integrating Twitter with Facebook, so that every tweet is automatically published on their Facebook profile. I’d advise against this however. Firstly, a whole raft of tweets appearing on your Facebook profile can be a little off putting for some people, and can even result in valuable information and resources being pushed so far down they become hidden. Also, people may well see your Facebook page as being redundant, since the information will have already been seen on Twitter. Instead, why not respond to a posting on Twitter by writing a brief blog post, and then linking to it through your Facebook page?
Tip #3 – Publish useful information on your Facebook page which provides real incentives for people to visit your profile, return to it regularly, follow your status updates, link to you and recommend you. This can be achieved by publishing details of new products or services, special discounts and offers, new package deals or valuable information such as the results of a recent survey or research. Simply updating your followers every time you put the kettle on is not how to use Facebook. Providing a regular stream of exclusive, valuable information is.
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