If you thought Facebook was just for keeping contact with friends and family, think again. It can be a great way of building an online community, or simply reaching another audience online.
With a Facebook Page you create a public profile that helps you share your business and products with Facebook users. You ask people to become a ‘fan’ and you can engage with them by posting videos, photos, company news, promotions and discounts and by starting discussion groups.
Also, you can make your page viewable by everyone, whether they are members of Facebook or not.
Setting up your page
The first step when setting up your page, isn’t actually setting up your page. It’s thinking about the name of your page. The obvious is your company name, however you can create a page that is related to your business.
For example we have two pages – Public Relations Sydney and CP Communications. The first relates to my personal blog, which I plan on creating a public relations community around, and the other is about our business.
You can also think outside the square. For example if you own a bottle shop rather than “The Corner Store Bottle Shop” you might think about calling it “It’s beer o’clock”.
Actually setting up your page
Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and you need to choose one of three categories for your business: Local Business (and the industry); Brand, Product, or Organisation; and Public band, Artist or other Public Figure.
For the ones we have set up, we have chosen ‘Brand, Product, or Organisation’. Then you choose what type of organisation. Then you type in the name of your name, hit ‘Create page’ and you are done!
Then upload your business logo, provide information about your business, contact information, hour of operation (if you have a retail or local office), and a general description that describes your business.
As you add more details about your business you can view the changes live on the page you are creating. This is all you need to publish a basic Business Page on Facebook.
The easiest way of populating your page is RSS feeding your blog into the page. Go to “Edit Page”, “Notes”, and “Import setting” and add your blog url. This then means every time you post an article on your blog, it is automatically feed into your Facebook page. I have also read that you can use an external RSS feed application, but haven’t investigated this.
I have also fed my personal Twitter into Public Relations Sydney Page, and our corporate Twitter in the CP Communications page. You need to use an external application to do this. I have used Involver.
Once you’ve become a “fan” of your business, your friends on Facebook (some of which are likely customers) will see a message in their home page. When your Facebook friends become “fans” of your business then their friends will see a message, and so it goes…
You can also send a message to all of your friends asking them to become friends. One of our clients posted a message on their intranet letting all staff know that the company had a Facebook page so they could choose to become fans.
I also suggest you add the page link to your website, email signature, blog, business card – as many places as possible!
Remember when you get 25 fans you can claim the name of your page. This means you can point people to a direct url ie www.facebook.com/cpcommunications. To do this, go to http://www.facebook.com/username/
To see how your fans are interacting with your page, and to get some demographics click on “Insights” within “Edit Page”. You may like to use this information to develop targeted competitions.
What makes a good page?
A successful Facebook page needs to be engaging, updated and rewarding.
While I was writing this article I read on Twitter @JourneyJottings tweeting about a giveaway on her Facebook page. She was engaging (and rewarding) her fans by running a 10 day giveaway where each day her fans had the chance of winning an Australia Map Journal. She was publicising it on twitter (and I would assume elsewhere) and getting more fans.
Another good page is The Sydney Writers Centre. They use video as well as words to share information as well podcast interviews with leading authors. They are creating a community around writing, and aspiring writers.
Dell has done a great job with their social media resource for small businesses. Understanding that small business owners buy computers, by offering them this resource, small business owners interested in social media keep Dell top of mind.
Sydney Public Relations Agency, CP Communications provides specialist media, traditional and online PR strategies that get amazing results. Contact us today. For more great tips visit our website www.cpcommunications.com.au.