Smart businesses are taking advantage of the power of Facebook and other social networking sites to interact directly with consumers and expand the presence of their brands. Here’s how to get the most out of your investment in this innovative website:
Step 1 – Set up Your Business Fan Page. If you run a company, having a fan page is a must! These pages are separate from your personal profile and allow you to create a “home base” for your business on Facebook, where you can interact with your fans, share information and link back to your main business website.
So, therefore, the first step in building your brand on Facebook is to register for your fan page. To do this, navigate to the following link from within your personal account: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. From here, you’ll have the option of selecting between six different types of fan pages (each of which will allow you to include different information about your business):
- Local Business or Place
- Company, Organization or Institution
- Brand or Product
- Artist, Band or Public Figure
- Cause or Community
In most cases, your business will fall into one of the first three categories (the “Brand or Product” has a special category for websites if you choose to advertise your business this way). Simply select the option that makes the most sense for your business and click on the icon to get started.
Step 2 – Optimize Your Fan Page. Once your fan page has been created, you’ll be able to personalize it with information that’s relevant to your business. A few of the key things you’ll want to add include:
- Your business logo in the “Profile Picture” setting
- A description about your company in the “Info” section of your profile
- The URL for your business website in the “Info” section
As far as design goes, you have a number of different options for optimizing your fan page. You might find that the standard design of the Facebook fan page is enough for your business (especially if your target audience isn’t particularly active on social networking sites).
However, as you look around Facebook, you’ll notice that some fan pages are extremely active and well designed, like the following examples:
Obviously, these pages belong to companies with big design budgets, but even smaller firms can benefit from enhanced design features. If you find that marketing your company via Facebook provides a good return on investment (ROI), consider hiring a graphic designer to improve the look and feel of your fan page.
Step 3 – Capture Your Visitors. One of the best things about Facebook is that it gives you the opportunity to interact directly with your target customers. You’re able to answer their questions right away and demonstrate your authority in your niche through the information you share. You can even boost sales by posting unique coupons for your Facebook followers!
The key to getting active with your audience is to get them to “Like” your fan page in the first place. Once your visitors like your page, your updates will appear on their Facebook Walls, increasing your exposure when you post coupons and other messages. But how can you encourage the people who wind up on your fan page to actually click the “Like” button?
As with your email marketing list, one way to increase the number of people who “opt-in” to your Facebook page by clicking the “Like” button is to set up an iFrame landing page that reveals premium information (like free ebooks, coupon codes or other bonuses) only after the visitor has clicked “Like.”
Setting up an iFrame landing page isn’t that difficult, and if you’re at all technically minded, you can follow the excellent tutorials published on the Social Mouths and Smart Passive Income blogs. If these instructions seem overwhelming to you, you can always outsource this process, using a developer from Guru.com or Elance.com for a reasonable fee.
Step 4 – Get Active! Once your Facebook fan page is set up, it’s time to get out there and start making connections! To find followers for your fan page, consider inviting your personal connections to “Like” your fan page, adding a Facebook sharing widget to your business home page or placing a Facebook ad promoting your business.
By investing time in increasing your Facebook fan base, you’ll improve the reach of your brand and, consequently, the number of people you engage with your marketing messages.