Using Facebook to Promote Your Website
Facebook is one of the best Social Networking sites for website promotion. You can expect a big increase in your website business from the effective use of Facebook. This guide will help you develop your Facebook account to start sending more traffic to your site.
Many times, prospects will come to your Facebook page before visiting your website, so it’s important to make a good first impression. Your Facebook page should be the focal point for your business’s brand: the place where you project your company’s image to your customers and prospects. This is your chance to show the world what you’re business is all about.
Many people go to Facebook to connect to family and friends and people they have not seen in a long time. There are games to play, silly gifts to give and all kinds of other “Fun” things to do. However, here are many ways that Facebook can be used to promote your business as well. First, although Facebook has the option of creating a business account, it is better for you to set up a Personal Profile for yourself that will be solely used for the purpose of promoting your business. The reason for this is that a Business account on Facebook is limited in functionality.
According to its description of Business Accounts, Facebook states: “Business accounts are designed for individuals who only want to use the site to administer Pages and their ad campaigns. For this reason, business accounts do not have the same functionality as personal accounts. Business accounts have limited access to information on the site. An individual with a business account can view all the Pages and Social Ads that they have created, however they will not be able to view the profiles of users on the site or other content on the site that does not live on the Pages they administer. In addition, business accounts cannot be found in search and cannot send or receive friend requests.”
Setting up your Profile
It is very important that you familiarize yourself with Facebook’s Terms of Rights and Responsibilities in order to make sure you are following their rules. For example, Facebook has a policy that does not allow people to maintain multiple accounts. Therefore, if you already have a personal account, you will either need to set up the company profile under the name of someone else in your company that does not already have an account with Facebook or forgo using your personal account for anything other than to promote your business.
Once you have created an account for your business, fill out your profile as completely as you can. This is your best advertisement and will help you start to establish your brand. Be sure and include your contact information along with your personal web site or blog URL. You can upload a professional or business casual head shot of yourself as your main profile photo in order to add to your professional image and put a personal touch on your page. If you wear a uniform all of the time, you may want to wear your uniform for your profile photograph. Remember you are your brand so you want to pay attention to all of the details that will help build your brand.
Be sure to include content that will build your brand strategy. This includes:
- Regularly posting helpful links, suggestions and notifications
- Choosing a profile image that portrays your company’s branding, and is easily recognizable
- Posting photos that represent your business’s “personality” (remember, people buy from people, so include photos of yourself or your employees)
- Encouraging sharing and interaction among your Facebook followers
- Quickly responding to feedback in a professional way
Managing your Settings
As soon as you get your profile started, you need to go into the settings in your Facebook account and set your preferences that allow you to keep parts of your profile private. For example, you may want to have personal pictures there for your friends and family to see that you may not want clients to see. You have the ability to set your preferences so that only those you allow will see this personal information. You also have the ability to prevent others from posting to your page, or to keep updates from others’ pages from showing up as a post on yours. You don’t want to take the chance of something inappropriate appearing on your Facebook page.
Next, when setting up your page, Facebook offers 20 + pages of Applications such as the Blog RSS Feed Reader Ap, which you can customize to look like a mini version of your actual blog or web page, that allows you to integrate feeds from your company’s blog if you have one as well as to other social networking accounts that you have set up. Use the information tab of your profile to provide links to specific pages on your website such as your contact form or products and services page, along with information on how your readers can subscribe to your blog or newsletter.
Allison Driscoll’s 8 Essential Apps for Your Brand’s Facebook Page lists 15 key steps that are relatively simple but will allow you to have maximize your success with using Facebook to promote your website:
1. Vanity URL: Now that you’ve gotten your Facebook up and running you can reach out and connect with potential customers and business affiliates. Facebook has added a Vanity URL feature that you can use to create web address which is specific to your page, is static and can be used to help others find your profile easier.
2. You can include your Social Networking URLs in the signature line on all of your emails as well as posted on your website. In addition, you can feature this unique URL on all of your business supplies such as business cards and letter head.
3. Search Feature: Use the Search feature at the top of your Facebook pages, using key terms such as Business Networking, Business Marketing, Intellectual Property and so on to look for people and businesses in your industry that you can connect with. A list will generate featuring People, Pages, Groups, Applications, Events, Web Results, Posts by Friends and Posts by Everyone found as a result of your key term search. Try multiple search terms, including pluralities of words to make the most out of your searches. Search often as new profiles are added to Facebook each and every day.
4. Start sending Friend Requests: Click on the link for People and scroll through the list looking for potential leads and contacts. Send friend invites to anyone who you feel would be a good contact for you and your business. As your list grows, you will also see that every time you refresh your home page, Facebook gives suggestions of others who you may potentially want to connect with based on those already in your friends list. Check there every time you fresh your homepage to see if there are others who may be of potential interest that you can also connect with.
5. Join Networking Groups: From your original search list, click on the link for Groups. Search for groups and fan pages that you feel are relevant to your business and industry that may be of interest to you or who’s fans you feel would benefit from your products and services.
6. Click the link to become a fan and then post a quick hello in the Write Something box to introduce yourself to others in the group. Go back often to the groups you join and post things that you feel will of interest to the group.
7. Create a Group(s) of Your Own: Go to your home page and click on the Groups link on the left hand side of the page. A list of the groups you are a fan of will pop up. There you can create a group or groups of your own that is pertinent to your industry and will be searchable based on the terms you feature in the title and within the posts that you and your “fans” post to the group. Make sure it is set so that your group members can invite their “friends” to join the group as well. Be sure and mention your Facebook group on your main Facebook page, in your blog and on your website. As more people come to your group, they will invite others to the join the group and the group will continue to grow.
8. Create a Discussion Board: Facebook features a Discussion Board Application that you can use in conjunction with your Facebook page. Featuring a Discussion Board allows you the opportunity to post interesting topics pertinent to your business and in turn enables your customers and potential prospects to tell you what they think, feel and desire. It will help you get to know your customers better putting you in a better position to customize your products and services to your customers needs.
9. Keep a Calendar of Events: If you are planning to attend or host a business function that will be open to the public or perhaps you will be traveling to a specific part of the country, post a calendar on your Facebook page (they have one in the 20+ pages of available applications) letting your readers know. Post upcoming events including webinars, conferences and any other upcoming events you will or someone from you business will attend or host.
10. Stay Active and Current: And post regularly on your Facebook Profile Page, Group(s), Fan Pages and on your Discussion Boards in order to keep your group members interested and coming back for more. Post interesting tidbits that are relevant to your field. Remember as each person connects with you, you have the potential to connect with everyone they are connected with.
11. Build Awareness: Facebook offers very affordable, targeted cost-per-click advertising options that can be laser-targeted to the city you do business in. You only pay per click, so costs are minimal. Also, a Facebook page or group can be created to help get the word out about your organization.
12. Distribute Information: Local businesses need to affordably communicate events, news, products and services. Facebook allows you to leverage your personal and professional contacts to share information– for free.
13. Create Community: Social networking serves to bring people together. Your local business can brand, build, and boost business by creating a Facebook page or group so your local contacts can converse with each other. Let your community become your best sales people and free focus group. Listen to the conversations and allow raving fans to share and get in on the conversation.
14. Offer Additional Customer Service: Through Facebook, you can answer questions, receive free feedback, promote events, and provide news to be of additional service to your locally-based audience. Facebook gives your prospective and current customers an additional web option to find and connect with you.
15. Boost Sales: Local businesses have to fight harder than ever to survive in this tough economy, but your business can have a competitive edge with Facebook. Tapping free social networking tools like Facebook to build awareness, share information, educate, build community, increase connection, and enhance customer service will all work in unison to make sales.