You’ve done your research and you’ve set out some strategies and goals and you want to use Facebook as a marketing tool for your business. For those of you starting out or looking to learn more, here are a few pointers to start off your Facebook marketing on the right foot.
First, setting up your account and personal profile is going to be very important and should be your initial step. Unless you’re a big brand or already have a following, you’ll need to have a personal profile and use it to build your network. If you are worried about mixing business and personal, I would suggest creating friends lists which will help you control who can view your information and updates.
Lets’ start with a reminder about the difference between Profiles, Pages and Groups.
Your profile is for your individual personal use and represents you as a person. On your profile you have “friends”. You can have up to 5000 friends and you’re allowed to “like” up to 500 pages. You’re only allowed to have one personal profile or you could run the risk of having your account closed by Facebook. Your personal profile is a great place to network and make connections but you shouldn’t conduct business under your personal profile.
Pages are for organizations, businesses and celebrities to share information, news, educate and entertain people who choose to connect with them. On Pages you have people that “Like” and follow your Page (they don’t necessarily have to be your friends). A Page is entirely open to the public and search engines. Pages can also have applications and custom tabs to help engage with your audiences. As an administrator of a Page, you can chose to only appear as a business and you don’t have to link your personal profile to your business Page.
Groups are great to share personal information with a smaller number of people with whom you network on a more regular and personal basis, like family, classmates or co-workers and with people whom you might have common interests. You can’t add applications to groups and they’re not generally the best answer for businesses.
Here are a few things to pay attention to when setting up your personal profile on Facebook.
When you first setup your Facebook account, it is important that you use your real name and not your company name (I see this mistake made every day). It’s against Facebook terms to have an account under a company name or made up name. Your name can’t include any titles, symbols, numbers, unusual capitalization, or punctuation.
Remember that first impressions count. Try to use all the space provided and be creative with the way you present yourself. Your profile picture can have a maximum size of 180px by 540px. I don’t suggest using logos, silly pictures (drinking alcohol or showing too much skin) or pictures of your kids. People want to connect with people and not necessarily logos or companies. Like it or not, people will often judge you and make assumptions on your picture alone.
Education and Work:
Obviously, in this section you should make sure that you enter your company name. As you may notice, that field becomes a clickable feature which you should link to your Facebook page so that you can promote your Page further. If your Page doesn’t appear when you type it in, take a look at these instructions on how to link your Facebook Page to the employer field.
Activities and interest:
This is an interesting feature that you might want to think about a little more. You should try to enter interests that are related to your business. The reason is that in the friends search feature, you can select to do searches under interests as a criterion. As an example, if one of your friends is searching for the term “real estate” and you have entered real estate as an interest and you happen to be a Real Estate Agent, you will appear under those search results. It might be helpful if you want people to easily find you and your business on Facebook. The same principle can be applied for Current City.
Facebook Privacy settings:
I understand people’s concern for privacy. At the same time, it makes sense to you allow others to view at least basic information on your profile to let people know who you are and what you do. I often reject friendship request if a person’s profile only has a picture and doesn’t show any other information. I personally prefer to show my bio and website to “everyone” for that main purpose and leave the other settings on “Friends only” or “Friends of Friends”. By the way, if you want to show your date of birth to your friends, make sure that you only show the day and month and don’t show the year as that is often used as a security question.
These are all simple steps you can take to get started with your Facebook marketing. The next important step will be to set up a Facebook Business Page which I will discuss in my next article. Any questions?