In the last Tech Tip we touched on the differences between Facebook profile pages and Facebook “fan” pages. One major difference between the two is that you are limited to one personal profile but can have unlimited “fan” pages. Also, there is a limit of 5,000 friends (rumor is that this will be decreasing) on your profile page but there is no limit to the number of “likes” you can have. So If you’re looking to market yourself or your company on Facebook you’ll need a fan page.
This Tech Tip will address creating a page and maximizing all you can do to brand awareness, drive traffic and increase sales.
To start your page, if you’re logged in, scroll down to the footer on Facebook and click on Create A Page or you can go directly here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
Note: It is not a requirement to have a profile in order to create a business page. This is usually tied to placing a Facebook ad. But remember, Facebook is a “social” network so best practices is to have a profile.
Choose the category that best fits what you want to promote. (If you choose Local Business/ Place, that will create a Facebook Places page that we discussed in the previous Tech Tip.) Name your page, agree to the Facebook terms and Get Started. You can edit the info for your business, add an image (we’ll talk more about that in a minute) and find lots of ways to promote your new page.
You’ll notice that your new page has a very long URL such as: http://www.facebook.com/pages/YourPageName/241427782536616
Once you have 25 LIKES for your page you will be able to go in and edit that URL at http://www.facebook.com/username and select something easier to remember.
TIP ALERT: Be laser specific in choosing the right name for your niche. Do it wisely, with search engine optimization in mind, as you’re locked in once you make your choice. You will, however, be able to change the name as it appears on the page just by going to Edit Page and then Basic Information. Once you reach 100 LIKES however, you will not be able to change it.
Since this is primarily a “business” page you may want (and highly recommended) to have someone else also administer or manage your Page, especially if you hire a Social Media Manager. Go to Edit Page and then Manage Admins and add the new name. Manage Permissions will allow you to hide the Page until you are ready to launch and set other parameters. This is also where you will choose what landing page you want new visitors to see. You want to encourage interaction so don’t be too restrictive.
Going forward you will be able to access your Page by clicking on the link in the left hand nav. If you only have one page you’ll see a flag followed by the page name. If you have more than one page you’ll see the flag followed by Pages.
Images and Landing Page
Make the most of the Profile Picture real estate to promote yourself. It’s 540 pixels high and 180 pixels wide so do include your business URL, if you have one, and whatever you would use for your elevator pitch. You can also utilize the Photostrip banner images that we talked about last time. The only difference between the Profile Banner and Page Banner is the pictures are not static on the Page and will rotate. You’d think it would be the other way around and maybe one day Facebook will give you the option. You can create 97×68 thumbnails or how about creating a landing page/ad to promote your business.
To do this, start by making an image 720px by 720px and place the image that you want to appear in the thumbnail in an area 534px by 374px.The measurement of the “thumbnail area’” is the same 97×68 ratio that Facebook will shrink it to, and a location of 89px down and 94px in should do the trick. Adjust as needed.
You can go bigger or stick to the 97×68 ratio for the whole image but you’ll need to figure out where the thumbnail area needs to go. The 720 x 720 should work just fine.
Using the larger size allows you to add text to your image, a call to action, URL address or whatever you like – a sales page, info page etc.This may be out of reach for some novices but you can always have someone else create the image for you like fiverr.com, Elance or odesk.com.
Now that you have the images ready for your Photostrip, you’ll need to upload them and turn them into landing pages/ads. Just click on Photos in the left side bar of your Fan Page and then the +Upload Photos link. Upload your images and name the album. Once you’ve done that you can then enter a description for each one in the Description field – you can always change the description later.
You could say something like “Click here to get my free eBook of tips and tricks” followed by a link to the destination page on your web site where they can sign up for the eBook.
Publish the images. When a visitor clicks on one, it will expand to full size in the photo viewer and your relevant hyperlink will be underneath in the description field. It’s a good idea to upload the images one at a time over a few days. That way every time that you upload a new image, it will appear in your fans’ Newsfeeds with the description and link. Finally, remember that Facebook will display them randomly so be consistent with the overall look and feel of your Page.
Who Am I
Earlier this year, Facebook started to allow you to post on other Pages as your Page. To assume the identity of your Page, look in the right hand nav bar under Admins and you’ll see Use Facebook As ‘PageName’, click on that and you have a new Facebook Identity. You can toggle back and forth. You cannot “friend” a person as a Page, you can only LIKE and post on other Pages. This is a handy tool to help with your branding.
If you’ve promoted your business online, you should be familiar with Google Analytics or other analytics packages. Facebook does a great job of providing you with its own analytics tool called Insights. Again, under that right hand nav, you’ll see View Insights. This will take you to the Insights page where you can review your Page stats, see viewer demographics (click See Details after Users) and Interactions.
Edgier the Better
As discussed previously, Facebook just doesn't serve up everything your friends post to their Wall. They have their own algorithm, much like the search engines, to determine the content you see. Similar to Google’s Page Rank, this is called Edge Rank. (An Edge is any object that appears in a Newsfeed.) It’s based on 3 key factors:
AFFINITY – how often you and your friend/fan interact
WEIGHT -whether your content has been liked, commented on or shared. Weight increases in that order: like, comment, share.
TIME DELAY – the older the object is, the less important it is.
TAKEAWAY: Post often and encourage people to respond. To increase traffic to your page, spend 20-30 minutes a day on Facebook. Fifty percent of that time should be on your page adding content, commenting on content/comments, sharing others’ content, tweaking it etc. Encourage people to respond to your content by posing a question or use the Poll feature. Spend the remaining 50% on other people’s Pages – sharing, commenting and liking.
One trick is to click the “Share” link under a Newsfeed story, click on the down arrow next to “On Your Own Wall”. Four additional options will appear including posting to Groups and on your Page.
Note: If there is no content in the post, the “share” option will not appear.
You can’t buy attention anymore. It used to be “pay to play” now it’s “play to play”. You have to interact and engage with your audience.
One of the main reasons businesses are now flocking to Facebook is the introduction of iFrames back in March 2011. Prior to that, the only way you could pimp out your page was to use their limited proprietary application Static FBML. Now thanks to iFrames you can build your own web site right there within Facebook. Your Page can incorporate video, opt-in script, whatever you can create in HTML and import into the iFrame. You’re still limited to the 520px width for your content. No restriction on length.
This opens up the ability to create tabs the way you want them. You can create a Welcome tab that visitors see before clicking the LIKE button. I’m sure you’ve seen them. Would you like to create your own tab? Let’s take the mystery out of creating an app.
An App A Day
First, assuming you have your own web site or landing page: go to http://developers.facebook.com click Apps in the top bar, then +Create New App, jump through their security hoops and give your app a name such as “Welcome”. Fill in the captcha. Then you will be on the Basic Info page. Click On Facebook in the left hand nav. Don’t get overwhelmed, you only have to fill in three of the fields:
1. Canvas URL is the URL of the web site you want to appear in the 520px area. Enter it there with a forward slash at the end http://www.example.com/
2. Tab Name – Welcome
3. Tab URL – same as the Canvas URL without the forward slash http://www.example.com
Save Changes, then click on View App Profile Page in the left hand nav. This will bring up your App page and click on Add to Page in the left hand nav. If you have more than one Page, choose the one you want your tab to appear on. Done. Now go to your Page and you should see your new Tab there. Look ma, I created an app! But for those of you who feel this is a bit adventurous, there are plenty of ready-to-go apps like iFrames.wildfireapp.com or Lujure.
To make your new tab specific for first time visitors, go to Edit Page, click on Manage Permissions, then the drop down menu for Default Landing Tab and choose (in our example) Welcome. Now your new visitors will see that tab first. After they LIKE your page, they’ll only see your Wall.
As you can see the possibilities are endless with creating your own apps.
If you create your own HTML landing page, remember to stay within the 520px width limit. If you don’t have your own web site or landing page, you can try out these templates: Chris Farrell iFrame Templates. They are plenty of free hosting sites, just ask the Google.
As we talked about last time, Facebook is constantly in motion. There’s talk of significant changes to the “Page” coming soon. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg announced on July 6, 2011, not only are they rolling out the video chat but that there will be lots of changes to Facebook in the coming weeks and months.
If you would like to learn more about Facebook, I highly recommend these sites: allfacebook, MariSmith.com and chrisfarrellmembership.com (scroll down for free Recorded Webinars with excellent tips on how to drive traffic to your Facebook page) and SocialMediaExaminer.
If you want to stay on top of the most current Facebook scams, LIKE the Facecrooks page.
Yes, Facebook can be wonky and a bit buggy so LIKE this page Known Issues on Facebook.