5 Painless Steps To a Rockin' Facebook Page
BY: LENA L. WEST ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2012
Last month, I unraveled Twitter for you. This month, let’s drill down on Facebook.
It has been my experience that in order to be successful in any environment, you must understand the underlying drivers of that environment – you know, what makes it tick. So, when my students and clients ask me about the best way to get real results from their Facebook pages, the very first thing I feel compelled to share with them is this: Facebook users are not primarily there to learn anything about you or your business. They are there to socialize, share (read: brag) and sell their own stuff. (Just for good measure, read those last two sentences again.) If you understand this, everything else will be easy.
Now, what does that mean for you, the desperately-seeking-results Facebook Page owner? It means a few things, chief of which is understanding why, even though most times you might not have your market’s undivided attention, you still need to have a Facebook Page:
- Sheer numbers. With very few exceptions, no matter what your business does, chances are, your audience is using Facebook. As of the writing of this article, Facebook has one BILLION active users, with over 50% of those users being active every day. For the record, that’s 584 million people. Every day. Daily. As in per diem.
- Yoga-like flexibility (well, ok, almost). Say what you will about Facebook and their constant changes, the fact is a Facebook Page provides business owners a reliable, universally-available place to customize the experience of their brand. You can install apps to your Page, extend the reach of your newsletter sign-ups and run a contest (legally, of course!)– for starters. All at no or low cost.
- Catch them where they live. Because most people use Facebook on almost a daily basis, it’s much easier for people to connect with you if you have a presence where they’re already comfortable and where it’s second nature for them to be.
And, now that you’re convinced, here are five, painless steps to create your own rockin’ Facebook Page:
- Three is the magic number. Before you create your page, thumb through at least three other popular Facebook pages. They don’t have to be “competitors” or even related to your industry. What you’re looking to do here is learn how successful brands rock the house. Tip: The folks at RedBull get it. Spend some time figuring out how they do what they do. You’ll thank me.
- Grab your page. Head over to http://facebook.com/pages/create.php and create your page. Select the appropriate Page type and follow the prompts. Tip: If you already have a Twitter ID, if you can, make the title of your Facebook Page, the same as your Twitter ID. This way, when you create your vanity URL (which you should do), there is a consistent way for your audience to search for your business and find it.
- Info please. Once your page is updated, make sure you head over to the About area and add key information about you and your business. This helps people to easily find you and it gives people who aren’t familiar with your business a way to learn more about you. Tip: Don’t phone this in. Really take the time to flesh your About page out with lots of details; more people will read it than you think!
- Give ‘em a warm welcome. The ability to welcome visitors on Facebook has changed with the timeline layout. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be hospitable! That’s a job for your cover image, the large image that spans the width of your Facebook page. While you can’t be overly promotional in this space, you can show case what your brand is all about. A few small businesses that have great cover images? Positively Positive’s Facebook cover image tells you exactly who they are and provides a “formula” in their tagline that welcomes people of like-minds. This is usually a custom graphic, so you’ll probably need help with this, so ask around and get some referrals. Tip: If you’re happy with your current graphic designer, ask her first. Why re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to?
- Extend the invite. Now that you’re all set up, start inviting your friends, colleagues and clients to your page. This doesn’t just mean invite your Facebook friends, it also means putting your Facebook Page vanity URL on your business cards, linking to it from your website, adding the link to your email signature, etc. Tip: People always ask me how to get traffic to their Facebook Page and I ask them, “What would you do if your mailing address changed? Whatever you would do then, do that, but for your Facebook Page.”
Yes, Facebook changes their rules as much as Lady Gaga changes wigs. You won’t get an argument from me there. However, there’s no reason to not participate. Release the quest to keep up with everything and just focus on connecting with your ideal customers in your corner of the Facebook universe. Your audience is already on Facebook and when they do decide they need your services, where would you rather be? On Facebook with a rockin’ presence or somewhere complaining about how Facebook changes too much? I thought so.