Facebook Tips for your Business

I want to start out by giving some advice to someone who is either just starting to build a Facebook Page or just has some basic questions.

 

Vanity URL

What is it?  It’s a short URL that points to your page.  For example:  http://facebook.com/”whatever_you_want”.  You want this to be pretty short (like a domain name).  To get one, login to Facebook and go to facebook.com/username.  At the bottom of the page, it will say “Set Username for Pages”.  Be sure to click there and choose your page out of the drop down menu.  It will allow you to search for a name and its availability.  If it’s not taken, click save and you’re done.  Two things to keep in mind:

  1. This CANNOT be Changed
  2. You have to have at least 25 fans to get one.


How to Add Applications to your Facebook Page

Very Easy!  Login and navigate to your page.  Go to the “Edit Page” section under your profile picture on the left side of the page.  Once you are in the “back-end”, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and click on “Browse More” under the “More Applications” section.  You may see an app here on the landing page you like or search for one in the upper left.  Once you find one that you like, it should say “Add to my Page” directly underneath the profile picture.  If you are an admin of more than one page, it will allow you to choose which page will be adding this application.

 

Static FBML Application

There is no doubt that this should be the first application that you add to your page.  You can design and designate a tab at the top to be the first page that new people will see the first time that they visit your Facebook Page.  You can also move these tabs to the sidebar to display directly under your profile picture or all of them can be combined into one “Boxes” tab.  These are extremely customizable using “Facebook’s Markup Language” (So similar to HTML that I couldn’t tell you the difference).  You can have up to 10 of these tabs or boxes.

 

Social RSS

Bring an RSS feed directly to your Facebook Page.  Mostly used for a blog, it can pull content from anywhere on the web to your page automatically.  There are a number of different applications that you can use, I am most familiar with Social RSS and have had good experiences with it.

 

Twitter Feed

Automatically update your social networks with content from various sources using an RSS Feed.  If you want to give your readers information on a specific subject, search for the very best blog on the web for that subject and have Twitter Feed automatically post updates for you.  You determine frequency and can set up virtually unlimited different networks.  Be careful though…  You are posting content that doesn’t have to be approved by you.  Make sure that you are posting from a reliable source to avoid any mishaps in posting irrelevant or worse inappropriate updates.

 

Contests

This is a great way to get your fans involved and have them share your page with their friends and family.  Offering a “cutest kid” contest, funniest video, or any other kind of contest can really generate some buzz about your page.  Create a fun incentive and watch the fans come rolling in.  I have seen pages go from 100 – 1000 in less than a week from one single contest.  The bigger the prize, the more success that you can anticipate.

**Be Careful with this.  I have run contests myself and seen many others do it without any trouble, however, Facebook has strict rules about this.  Alternatively, you could always run the contest on your website/blog and have part of it involving your Facebook Page.

 

Engage and Interact

The most important part of social networking is engaging and interacting with your fans.  If you don’t do this, there is no point on even starting.  You need to “Become a Resource” to your target fan/followers.  Provide them with information that is helpful, a community they will enjoy, and a personal relationship that they can connect with.  Post pictures, videos, and questions that will encourage interaction from fans.  Interaction is key, because every time that a fan comments, likes, or any of the like on your page; this will show up to all of their friends through the Facebook “News Feed” on the Home Page.  This is how friends of friends find out about your page!

 

Leverage current friends, email lists, past clients, etc…

The average Facebook user has 130 friends, how many do you have?  Get them to go “Like” your page and share it with friends.  Send an email out to every email that you have.  Find past clients and get them to join your page.  Make sure that everyone you have been in contact with in the last 6-12 months is a fan of yours on Facebook.  If they’re not on Facebook, tell them what century they’re living in and come on!

There is so much more!  If nothing else, I hope that you got one thing out of this blog because everything else will fall in just fine if you do:  “Become a Resource” to your fans/followers.  When someone wakes up in the morning, you want them to come to your network/blog/community for the latest news and just to hang out.

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