How to Do More With Your Facebook Business Page

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Need ideas and inspiration for your Facebook Page Page Fan Page? Not sure what to do next? Here is an outline that should inspire some fresh ways for you to inject new life into your page.

The MOST IMPORTANT first step you'll want to give some thought to:

  • The name of your site – use keywords
  • The type of your site – your selection will determine certain content on the Info tab
  • These elements can not be changed later. You would have to start another page.
  • Creating a custom image to fit the space Facebook gives you:
  • 200 x 600 max, create collages, be creative, similar to sidebar banner ads

Best applications for businesses to use – core applications you should be using and why:

  • Static HTML – provides huge opportunities for custom looks, separate custom Welcome landing pages, etc. Can have up to 10 separate incidences of individual coded areas
  • Facebook Notes – the only place to put blog rss feed where it updates the Page Wall. Extended idea: create Friendfeed account and create a combined rss feed for multiple blogs, twitter posts, YouTube posts, etc.
  • Ping.fm app for Business Pages. A bit tricky to set up, but the most beneficial app to eliminate unnecessary dual work to post information.
  • Links – provides a link to any url, including an image thumbnail. More visual punch. To activate, create a new Wall post and include a link to a webpage. THEN, it will be displayed on the Boxes tab and you can move it to the Wall tab if you like.
  • If you have events, use the Events app
  • If you do videos, use the Video app
  • Adding an opt-in form for an e-newsletter or blog subscription (or whatever):
  • Use the Static HTML app
  • Techniques to use images through to create that visual punch:
  • Images, images, images. Think banner ads. Use as front-end image links going to your website.
  • Copy from website, paste into HTML editor, use tables to organize content if needed, copy html from code tab, then paste into static HTML
  • Image tools: Fireworks, Gimp, even Powerpoint can create an image out of a slide.
  • Do not bother creating animated gif images. Facebook does not like them. Bummer, I know.
  • HTML editors – I'm still using Frontpage (no laughing please), but another good one is CoffeeCup HTML editor. Of course if you're using Dreamweaver you are good as gold.
  • Best ways to communicate with your Fans
  • Link: Send an update to Fans – compose Facebook email, include links, etc.
  • Ways to promote your page
  • Link: Suggest to Friends
  • Facebook Fan Box
  • Link to FB page, link to specific tab url
  • Mention it on Twitter
  • Typical avenues: email signature, website, enewsletter, blog, email blast
  • Facebook Page Ads – pay-per-click
  • The true benefits of using Facebook Business Pages
  • Are indexed by search engines
  • Provides offsite community-building opportunities
  • Viral-ability: The more valuable content you add, the more people will comment. The more people comment, the more their own Facebook friends will see the link to your page. The more people that see a link to your page, the farther your brand reaches.

Settings to remember:

  • Change View Settings – Default View for Wall >> Posts by Page and Fans
  • Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else >> Custom Welcome Landing Page … or Boxes tab.
  • Fan Permissions >> allow or disallow fan postings, depending on what you want for this site.

Ideas on how to create a crowd-drawing community

This is an outline I provided to a client who has a shoe store on EBAY. They wanted to do more with their Facebook Business Page but did not know what to do next.

Promotional Elements:

1) Add pictures and galleries. This is a must for a site promoting physical product.

2) Add your eBay store RSS feed to the Facebook Notes application. Will populate your Facebook page automatically as you add new items to your store.

3) Create a custom landing page on the site and make it the first page people see when they come to it. Can use the Boxes tab or create a completely custom tab. Lots and lots of images – banner ads, etc.

4) Should include a link to your eBay store in all your posts.

5) Create a weekly / monthly video using images of new shoes / products you get in. Post the video on the Facebook page, as well as on places like YouTube, etc.

6) Provide value content. Ideas could include:

– shoe care tips

– announce / review shoe care products

– shoe storage ideas

– things to think about when purchasing shoes

– a different post on shoe ideas for every holiday, season, or special occasion.

– talk about shoe accessories

– do's and dont's buying shoes

– gift ideas for the shoe lover

– the latest in shoe designs

– what's going on in the shoe industry

– do a series about kids shoes. Best fitting tips, etc.

– set up an FAQ page for questions you get asked most often.

– highlight the benefits of shopping on your site.

7) Have a Newsletter? Put an opt-in signup form on the Facebook page.

8) Depending on how you feel about it, you can add the reviews application to your site where users review your business, products, etc.

Fun and Interactive Elements:

Contests – pick a winner, provide a prize.

1) Have people share their fun and strange shoe stories.

2) Have people share funny shoe pictures.

3) Post a picture and have people submit a caption. Selected caption idea wins.

4) Create monthly polls

5) Host periodic causes. Use http://www.chipin.com and use their widget to add it to your Facebook page.

6) Do a "Where Am I?" contest. Create pictures of the latest shoe in front of something recognizable, like a tourist spot, then give some clues and the first person who posts the correct answer wins something. Use Photoshop, or something similar, to create the doctored picture. Or, another twist on this is to get users to post "Where Am I?" pictures using the shoes they've purchased from you.

7) What about doing a weekly / monthly treasure hunt on your business website and use your Facebook page to provide clues to what visitors are to look for on your website? You could even do something where each week you give an additional clue but the prize gets smaller with the more clues you provide. Other tips:

1) Always respond to people posting on the page. If someone's question prompts you to write a new and expanded post, do it … and give credit to that person for asking such a great question. Use what people are asking you as inspiration for an expanded post by you. In a nutshell, give your visitors the content they are seeking.

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