So, you want to start your Facebook presence

fb Facebook and Twitter are the two most-overhyped social media channels for business. Not every company, product, celebrity, or needs a Facebook fan page. However, there are many instances in which they are valuable for the right companies.

YOUR WEBSITE ISN’T ENOUGH – Whether people come to your site through searches, clicking ads, or word-of-mouth, your website can only take them so far. When these people want to connect with you and see what other people have to say, Facebook fan pages offer a great opportunity.

Setting up your page is simple enough, and if it’s too time consuming or the tutorials are too confusing, find a marketing services provider or some enterprising consultant to take care of that for you. Where you really want to focus your time in the beginning is in getting interesting content prepared for people to see and interact with. Why not post a photo album titled something like “Some of our favorite customers” or “Local artists showing here.” Along with that, make sure you have all of your information filled out. If I happened to learn about your company through Facebook, you might want to let me know where else to find you on the web. ;-)

TABS & APPLICATIONS – Many people do not understand how to properly use tabs or Facebook applications, and to be perfectly honest, there are so many new ones each day that no one – not even me – will know how to leverage them all, but here’s an important point: Keep your Facebook tab and application use to a minimum . If you have quality video content to share, use one of the many valuable YouTube applications. If you have a blog, most definitely use Social RSS . Do you want reviews? Discussions? Something else? Pull together a short list, and keep it SHORT.

USE STATIC FBML It’s not a question. Install Static FBML, and if you do not know fbml or html, have your web designer work on it. Static FBML allows you to design a Facebook tab as if it was a small webpage. With it, you can pull in outside pictures, complicated divs, boxes, frames (if you’re old school), videos, whatever else. Use it. And, if you’re lost as to what to fill it with, email me .

ENGAGE YOUR FANS – You have to know this going in…If you’re not going to engage with your Facebook fans, they’re not going to care to come to your fan page. And, please, think about this – every time you post a status update, link, story, whatever to your page, all of your fans get a notification. That’s another impression of your brand. Everything you post gives them an opportunity to start a conversation with you and your other fans. All of those are additional opportunities for impressions. If you knew you could get your fans to generate additional positive impressions, why wouldn’t you?

WHAT SHOULD YOU POST – If there are lots of cool, interesting things to post about your company, do that. If not, treat it like your blog or Twitter accounts. Or, think of it like talking to someone at a party. They might ask you about your company and what you do, but they don’t just want to hear about that. Post links to stories about the industry. Post pictures from team bonding events/exercises. Do not just use your Facebook fan page to advertise. It looks bad. It will be clear that you don’t get it . Your current fans will un-fan you, and no one new will become your fan.

HOW DO YOU GET FANS – Tell all of your employees to fan you. Their friends will get little notifications that they just became fans of your page, and who knows, they might decide to fan you too. After that, post your custom Facebook URL around your store, offices, wherever, on your takeaway or leave-behind material, on your blog, in your email signature, and on your website. You have to tell people about your fan page. They will not search you out without you prompting them.

ALL IN ALL – Facebook fan pages are great – even for small products or companies, but long dormant pages are just sad…not unlike a long dormant blog. If you’re going to start a fan page, don’t overwhelm yourself. Get some content up. and then start engaging your fans even if you only have 5 or 10 or 40. That number will grow if you engage them, and if you have questions, tweet me , email me , or comment below.

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  • Jim Yoder

    Great article. You can also use services like InvolveSocial ( http://www.involvesocial.com ) to add custom tabs to your fan page to do cool stuff like linking your YouTube channel to your fan page or your Twitter feed even.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Thanks for the link, Jim. I like the variety of applications InvolveSocial has available.

  • http://www.ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    Thanks for the link, Jim. I like the variety of applications InvolveSocial has available.

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