How can we NOT give FB it’s own sub-category at the very least!
How can we NOT give FB it’s own sub-category at the very least!
One of the best venues to market a business today is by utilizing the power of social media. Social Media has become a business marketing requirement rather than an option. Businesses that do not have a social media presence are missing out on viral exposure as well as growing their existing customer base, peer referrals and brand reputation management. Many businesses have figured out the need to be on social media, so they have jumped on the bandwagon and signed up on several of the top sites. The interesting fact I’ve noticed as an internet marketing, social media marketing professional, is that because social media is “free” many businesses just jump right in with no realization of terms and conditions and real rules that exist governing the social media sites. I was inspired to write this article this morning, as here I am working on a customer’s site this morning, always have my Facebook open, and I just noticed a local business that just set up a “personal profile” for their business. This is a major violation to the terms and conditions of Facebook. Personal profiles, i.e. where you add friends, are for people, not businesses. Businesses need to set up business pages and invite people to Like their page a.k.a. brand. Setting up just a business page with no personal account attached is rather tricky, but can be done. However, in social media marketing circles, including Facebook, this type of setup is really not recommended. The whole preface of Facebook and social media is that it is based on people. Many business owners do not understand why they would want to attach their personal profile to their business page. Many privacy issues are often raised regarding this objection. The truth is, if you are using social media to promote your business, then whatever information is posted to the personal profile should not be of a confidential manner. The easiest way to understand this philosophy is that behind every business are people. Social Media is about people. Social Media for the most part provides completely free exposure for your business. There is one major caveat to this FREE, i.e. knowledge and time. If you have set up a ‘business account’ using a personal profile (where you add friends), this account is currently in violation with Facebook terms and conditions. The risk is that it can take a few months to attract friends to this page, which really are clients, not friends. If Facebook identifies this violation, they will shut off any accounts with no questions asked. Be sure to read all the terms and conditions of any social media site before activating a profile. If you are a company with employees, be sure to have a social media policy in place. Make sure that you do not set up two Facebook accounts, one for personal and one for private use. The time and effort you spend in building your presence on Facebook is just too valuable to jeopardize. The value of your business can skyrocket by using social media correctly, but if used incorrectly, it can cause harm your business as well. Zappos is a company that used social media correctly. What is it worth to your business to use social media correctly?
Did you know that you can use custom Facebook pages to advertise a home for sale? Facebook's viral nature and ability to be visible makes it a great platform to get the word out on a homes for sale.
A custom Facebook page can provide detailed information on the home, pictures, virtual tours and agent information. The page can contain links to the agents site, links to an MLS and capture data, such as name and email address of people visiting the page.
The custom Facebook page can be used to redirect traffic from Facebook's advertising. Facebook advertising is laser targeted. Pay per click or pay per impression enables the advertiser to custom build an advertiserment at very effective rates.
Print media is very expensive and once the ad has run, the money is as good as gone. There is no way to track who saw the article, how many people wanted more information and the life of the ad is expires quickly.
Facebook advertising can be designed to have a pre-determined time to run, can be tweaked while the ad is running, can be tracked to see the effectiveness of the ad, and most importantly can be budgeted to almost any budget.
Advertising the home on Facebook Marketplace can also redirect the interest back to the custom Facebook page which can then redirect traffic back to the realtor's site or more information on the home.
Updates to what's happening with the home such as price reductions, sale status can be published through the page.
Check out this custom Facebook page here.
Logging into your Facebook account today may have given you quite a shock if you have a Fanpage, or Page as they are now called!
They've actually been called Pages as opposed to Fanpages for a while now, and you "Like" a Page instead of becoming it's "Fan". These are mere trivialities compared to the changes that came about today…
Here is a rundown of the major changes or Upgrades, as FB is calling them:
Navigation Had Been Moved
The content that you formerly accessed by clicking the tabs at the top of your Page can now be found in the column underneath your Page profile picture. The text in the box that used to appear in the box underneath your Page profile picture will now appear in the Info tab.
Profile Picture Sizes Reduced
Profile picture size: The profile picture size for Pages has been adjusted from 200×600 to 180×540.
You Can Use Facebook "As Your Page"
In other words, to a limited extent you can be identified with your page as opposed to your personal profile. You will be able to receive notifications for your Page, view a News Feed for your Page, and like and post on other Pages as your Page. This enables you to interact on other Pages as your Page. You can not interact with personal profiles as your Page.
Photos At The Top – Just Like On Your Profile
The most recent photos that you post to the Wall of a Page you admin, or photos you tag your Page in, will appear here. This area will not include any photos posted by people who like your Page.
Pages now have two publicly visible Wall filters-”Posts by Page” and “Everyone.” Page admins will be able to view additional filters-”Most Recent” and “Hidden Posts.”
You can opt to receive notifications when people post or comment on your Page.
Featured Pages & Admins
You can feature other Pages your Page likes, or admins of your Page, in the new “Likes” and “Page Owners” sections on the left side of your Page.
When people visit your Page, they will be able to view friends who also like your Page, as well as other Pages that both they and your Page like.
No More Static FBML App!
“On March 11, 2011, you will no longer be able to create new FBML apps and Pages will no longer be able to add the static FBML app While all existing apps on Pages using FBML or the static FBML app will continue to work, we strongly recommend that these apps transition to iframes as soon as possible. Lastly, we want to be clear that our deprecation of FBML does not impact XFBML, such as the tags that support social plugins.
What this means is that you can continue to add Static FBML to your Fan Page, and to develop custom tabs, but after March 11 Page admins will no longer be able to add the Static FBML application.
People seem to be pretty surprised and upset by a lot of this, but frankly how can they be? We've all seen the major changes implemented on the personal profiles, so did we really think the pages would stay untouched?
The good news is that at least some of the FB Page Creation tools are still viable. Our favorite of these is the Lujure Facebook Fanpage Factory. Like any of these page creation tools, there is a learning curve but it is a Drag & Drop tool for the most part so the curve is a short one.
Some people are counting on the statement that on March 11th when the changeover is "complete" that the old static FBML pages will still work, you just won't be able to create new ones. But for how long will that remain the case?!
Nobody really knows, and frankly I'm not willing to bet my business on it…
To successfully market your products and services on Facebook, you must master the art of becoming a part of the conversation without selling. You do this by finding where the conversations are taking place on Facebook and diving in with insightful responses to people's queries. This is all a part of the process of becoming viewed as an authority within your niche. Do this successfully and you will start to get sales from your fans.
"Wait a second, how did they get to be my fans?!"
Good question! As a business you need to set up a Fanpage instead of just a personal profile allowing people to hit the "Like" button as opposed to becoming your friend. The upside here is that you are not limited to just 5,000 friends as on a personal profile. You can have an unlimited number of Fans that have liked your Fanpage.
You can (and should) build your fanpage so that you are building an opt-in email list of subscribers that get some form of newsletter on your business' topic. The best way to motivate your fans to fill out that little form is to bribe them with a free report, a coupon or some other form of giveaway. This is a tried and true method that will build your list day in and day out. If there is one thing that the internet marketing community is in agreement about it is this:
The Money is in The List!
Once they are on your list, keep them reading your newsletter the same way that you got them to initially like your fanpage, and eventually opt-in to your list. Give them valuable information on your niche and leave your marketing message at the end of the email as almost an afterthought. Let it be a postscript, or simply a part of your signature.
Of course, now and then it doesn't hurt to send out an announcement of a sale or special deal you are offering. If feasible, make it a deal unique to your subscribers to add value to the subscription itself. If you are building a list of cellphone numbers to use in text message marketing it is a good idea to require the client to show the text message with the offer much like a coupon. Again, this will build value and keep your subscribers from dropping off your list.
Facebook is the largest social media site online today. What works here will work on other such sites, but may need to be altered a bit. Marketing successfully on social media sites is all about adding value to the community. Keep this in mind at all times and you will be successful marketing with this lucrative media.