10 Things Your Business Needs To Do On Facebook Right Now

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NOTE: the information in this post is accurate as of 12/6/2010. But since Facebook keeps changing things so fast, when you read this it might be inaccurate. Thanks.

Have you watched any TV commercials lately?  I know, with TIVO and DVRs becoming commonplace, you might not have.  But if you watch TV commercials you will notice a visible trend lately.  It seems not many companies are advertising 800 numbers anymore, or even their websites.  They are advertising their Facebook pages.  And who can blame them?  When Facebook passed the 500 million user mark they essentially became the 3rd largest ‘community’ of people in the world, right behind China and India.

Listed here are the 10 things that your business needs to do right now on Facebook.  Some of these things take some time, and some will take the services of a geek.  So find a geek to help you, and bribe them with something they will want… like iTunes gift cards or chocolate.  Here we go….

1.  Create your ‘like’ page – If you haven’t already you need to create a ‘page formerly known as fan’.  Just log into Facebook with your personal account, then go here:  www.facebook.com/pages Create your page by following the instructions.  Once that is done, you will see a menu item on the left side of your personal account ‘home’ screen called “Ads and pages”.  Click that link to get access to the pages you have created so you can edit them.  And yes, you can create multiple pages if you want!

2.  Pick your page apps – you get some standard apps with your ‘like’ page when it gets created, such as events, photos, links, and discussions.  Those will show up as tabs across the top of your page.  If you don’t want any of those you can get rid of them when you edit your page, but I also suggest adding some other apps to give more interactivity and interest.  Here are some apps that I recommend:

  • YouTube (by Involver) – this is a great way to bring your YouTube channel into your Facebook page.  If you don’t have a Youtube channel, well of course you need to get one and start making videos!  Then use this app to let your visitors watch all your YouTube videos right on your Facebook page.
  • Poll (by Kremsa) – a free poll generator that allows you to create interest on your page by asking for your visitors to vote on this or that.  It also keeps track of who voted and only allows them to vote once.
  • Static FBML – the letters stand for ‘Facebook Markup Language’.  It basically puts a blank tab at the top of your page that you can do anything with.  It does require a little bit of HTML coding knowledge though (that’s where the geek comes in).  You simply paste your HTML code into the Static FBML box, give the tab its name, and you are done.  You now have a new tab across the top of your page.  The possibilities are really endless when it comes to this app, so everyone needs it.
  • Payvment – I use this app to sell items on my Facebook page.  There are other full-featured apps that are really quite good, but this app is free to use, which is why I like it.  It requires a Paypal account though, so you’ll need one of those.  You create your products, set your shipping info, set taxes, and so on.  The cool thing about this app is that you can set it so that it gives an immediate discount in the shopping cart for those people who ‘like’ your page.  This is a great incentive to get them to buy.  Everyone loves a sale, right?

3.  Get your Facebook username – after you get 25 ‘likes’ you can set up your vanity username.  Mine is www.facebook.com/steveholtconsulting.  You need this because this is what you need to advertise your Facebook page and make it easy for people to remember the link.  To grab yours (cross your fingers it isn’t taken) go here:  www.facebook.com/username

4.  Add a ‘like’ button to your company website – You have seen those ‘like’ buttons.  They are everywhere.  According to Mashable, there are over 2 million websites so far that use them, and that number is ballooning every week.  To do that, simply go here to create your ‘like’ button:  www.facebook.com/share Then get that geek to come back and integrate it with your website.  When you are ready to see some statistics about your ‘like’ button, go here:  www.facebook.com/insights.

5.  Publicize your Facebook page – I have seen too many companies fall down on this one.  You spend hours and hours of your time trying to build up your Facebook fans, but you forget about advertising the page in your traditional outlets.  Don’t forget to include your Facebook URL (what you created in step #3 above) on your business front door, your letterhead, your company website, your shopping bags, your receipts, your email signatures, your business cards, on your local Chamber’s website, etc!!  They can’t ‘like’ you unless they know you are there.

6.  Monitor your page every day – one of the things that really annoys me with Facebook is that they give you a ton of options on your personal page for getting notifications for just about everything regarding your Facebook account.  But they give you no options for notifications about your Facebook ‘like’ page.  So that means you must monitor your Facebook page every day to make sure you don’t miss any posts that people make on your wall.  That takes alot of time, but you don’t have any other choice.  Surely Facebook will fix this.

7.  Pay attention to your impressions– Facebook implemented something really cool for ‘like’ pages.  For every post that you make on your ‘like’ wall, you will see statistics for it right below the post.  It is called ‘impressions’.  An impression is when your post appears on someone’s wall.  It takes a few days for the impressions to start showing up, but when they do you will see how many people actually saw your post.  Also, right beside that you’ll see the % of ‘feedback’ about how many people actually responded to it by making a comment, clicking the ‘like’ button, or ‘sharing’ it on their Facebook wall.  There is debate about how valuable this actually is, but it does at least provide you some feedback about the types of posts that get the most interaction from your fans.

8.  Claim your ‘Place’ page & offer Place ‘Deals’ – In direct response to the popularity of location-based check-in services such as Foursquare and Gowalla, Facebook launched what they call ‘Facebook Places‘.  This enables your fans to use their mobile phones to’check in’ on Facebook when they show up at your actual business.  Then all their friends on Facebook will see it!  Make sure you ‘claim’ your page and hang in there during the claim process, which can at times be a hassle.  But you need to claim your ‘Place’ page so you can control it.  After you have claimed your Facebook Place page, you can begin to offer ‘deals’ to those who check-in to your Facebook Place using their phone.  You can offer them something of value when they ‘check in’, like a free gift, a % discount on their purchase, or whatever you want.  This rewards loyalty and provides you free promotion as those check-ins are showing up on people’s walls!  You can get all your questions answered here, and then you can click here for the business guide to Facebook Deals (PDF).  (UPDATE:  Facebook has provided the ability to merge your ‘like’ and your ‘place’ pages. Read the instructions careful here. And then read this so you understand what happens when you merge them.)

9.  Offer helpful & valuable information – Don’t you just love it when a friend helps you discover something of value that you didn’t know about?  Of course, we all do.  Well, do that on your ‘like’ page.  In whatever business you are in, give them things that help them.  Give them links to go learn something.  Recommend things to them that can make their life easier, their day a little brighter, and make them laugh.  That will make them come back to your page to see what you have to say.

10.  Get personal – one of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is that they turn their Facebook ‘like’ page into a continuous stream of ‘buy this’, ‘buy that’ posts.  Everyone loves to buy, but noone wants to be sold to.  And everyone likes to buy from someone they know.  As I always say, “people don’t like to do business with business, they like to do business with people.”  So get personal. “Get Social”.  Put your face on your Facebook page.  Talk about your personal life.  Share pictures of your family.  Share your vacation photos.  Tell them what your dog chewed up last night.  It’s true, they want to hear it.  Connect with your supporters on a personal level and they are more likely to do business with you.

So there you have it.  That should be enough to keep you busy for at least 10 minutes, right?  Oh, and by the way, make sure you click my ‘like’ button below. 🙂

{ 3 comments }

Anonymous January 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Thanks for the information as I sit up late and cruise the net lol.

Anonymous December 11, 2010 at 10:23 am

Was looking for this – so I just tweeted your website on my account – thanks

Aaron December 7, 2010 at 12:19 am

Terrific Post! I am really into social media right now (like everyone else out there!), especially Facebook Marketing and FBML. It can be hard to keep up to date with such a fast changing innovative topic but I manage to do it through the fan page factory and blog posts exactly like yours. Tips and tricks rock. I am trying to learn as much as possible to put myself ahead of the curve. So thank you again!

Enjoy!

Aaron

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