December 1, 2009

How to advertise your business on Facebook

facebook advertising

A step-by-step guide — excerpted from Survival Guide Chapter 6: Social Networking

survival-guide-toDeltina HayHere is part 6 of the series I will post over the next few months based on chapters from my new book, A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization.

This book is meant to be a guide to building an optimized foundation in social Web for beginners and advanced users alike.

Chapter 6 of the book focuses on one of the most powerful social media strategies: social networking. These sites are incredibly effective outlets for finding new customers and readers, but if you don’t choose the right strategy, it’s easy to find your message spread thin. Below you’ll find a detailed explanation for creating and optimizing a Facebook page, as well as a Social Networking Strategy to help you prepare information and build profiles in social networking sites.

The following excerpts are from A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization: Strategies, Tactics, and Tools for Succeeding in the Social Web by Deltina Hay

Copyright 2009 by Deltina Hay. All rights reserved.

Creating Facebook Pages

Once you have a Facebook account and have completed your profile, log in to Facebook, and go to the “Advertising” link at the bottom of your Facebook profile page, or go directly to the Facebook business link.

Choose the best category for your business, book, or product. The three main categories are: local business; brand or product; and artist, band, or public figure. You can choose a subcategory as well. If you offer a number of different services or products, you may want to create several pages. For instance, if you are a publisher, you may want to create a main page for your publishing company using the “brand or product” category and individual pages using the “Artist, Band, or Public Figure” category for each of your authors.

Choosing the name of your Facebook page is very important. You are limited to around 65 characters, so make them count. The name of your Facebook page determines how well your page performs in searches.

The next step is to input detailed information about your business or product. Click on “add information” on your new page to do this.

The category you chose in the previous step determines what type of information you can enter. For example, the “Artist, Band, and Public Figure” category highlights Personal Interests, whereas the “Brand or Product” category asks for a Company Overview and Mission Statement.

Regardless of the category you choose, prepare the information you enter here ahead of time. Use your preparation worksheet to populate your page with all of your best information and key terms. You may only have a few seconds to get a reader’s attention, so put your best key terms forward. At this stage, click on every tab and fill each box thoroughly, reusing your key terms often. Be certain to upload an image to the “Picture” tab as well.

Once you input your detailed information, you can customize or remove the built-in applications for your page. Clicking on “edit” beside any one of these gives you more information about what they are and how to use them. Click on “view page” to see these applications in action on your page.

As an example, click on “edit” beside the “Notes” application. You can add manual notes to your page, or you can import a blog that feeds your latest blog posts onto your Facebook page using this application. There are many more applications you can add to your page. Click on “More Applications” at the bottom of the edit page or go to the Facebook application directory. Add applications that help represent your company and/or your products in your own unique way.

Applications are not difficult to install and are usually very easy to set up. A general rule of thumb when choosing an application is that if you can’t figure out how to set it up after the second try, find another one. There is often more than one application out there that can accomplish the same task.

Browse or search the application directory for applications that make sense to implement for your business or product.

On our Facebook page, Dalton Publishing uses the following applications:

Book Share Books
This application lets readers share their favorite books with their friends, as well as rate them and comment on them. This is a perfect application for a publishing company wanting to showcase their books.

My Flickr
Display photos from your Flickr account using this application. These photos can include logos, book covers, photos from author events, etc. You are provided many options of how to display the photos, too.

YouTube Box
Allows visitors to play your YouTube videos right on your Facebook page. This is handy for book trailers or promotional videos.

RSS-Connect
This is a nice application that allows you to display RSS feeds on your Facebook page. It is a convenient way for Dalton Publishing to display the feeds from their main site, as well as to their authors’ newsroom feeds.

By implementing these applications, Dalton Publishing has created an interactive page that also gives their visitors a personable look into their business. You can find many applications that can do the same for your business.

Once your page is ready, don’t forget to publish it. You will see a message in the upper right corner as you prepare your page that says “This Page has not been published…” Click on “Publish this Page” in that box so that your Facebook page can be seen by others.

The “wall” of Dalton’s Facebook page is similar to a regular Facebook profile in that Dalton can post items and others can comment on them. This is also where most of the built-in applications appear. Also from here, you can send updates to all the fans of your page, promote your page with an ad, and manage page settings.

A social networking strategy

Follow these steps for each social or professional networking site you join:

  • Read and follow the site’s Terms of Use.
  • Complete your profile using prepared material, including your best key terms.
  • Upload a profile image or logo when available.
  • Search for applications to enhance or customize your presence.
  • Integrate other social tools and sites into your presence (like Flickr images or YouTube videos).
  • Invite friends and colleagues to join your network. Do not invite people just for the sake of inviting them; only invite people you think can benefit from a specific community.
  • Choose your friends wisely; do not just add anyone who asks; check out their profile first.
  • Join groups relevant to your area of expertise or interest.
  • Promote your page or profile on your Website or blog.
  • Get to know the network features: Explore all of the features of the networking platform and implement each of them that make sense for you or your business.
  • Do not turn your back on your investment: Keep your social networking presence dynamic by contributing to it frequently.

This worksheet is also available on the resource CD.

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This chapter also includes extensive information about other social networking sites, like MySpace and LinkedIn, micro-blogging sites like Twitter, niche social networking sites tailored to appeal to certain groups of people or businesses, and Ning.com, a free service where you can create and build your own social networking site. The resource CD offers further reading, linkable resources, and two fillable PDF forms called “Social Networking Strategy Worksheet” and “Social Networking Preparation Worksheet.”

Read more about this social media book at the publisher’s site.

As always, Socialmedia.biz readers also get a special price of $16 (shipping included — retail $24.95) for this book – just click the buy now button.

Previously in Socialmedia.biz:

Deltina Hay, a partner in Socialmedia.biz, is an author and educator who develops online curricula on social media and other Internet marketing topics. She also helps businesses prepare their content for semantic search and big data analysis. Contact her, follow her on Twitter and Google Plus, or leave a comment below.

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  • Nice post – Am really getting into my facebook page that links with my blog and wouldn't mind using facebook PPC methods in future. Just to test it out at least :)

    Will save this post for future reference!

    Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com

  • While I think this is great for businesses to reach out to customers and when I helped run a website this is what we semi-attempted to do, I just really want to use Facebook for my friends and those people I know. The minute Facebook turns into all business with pleasure taking the back burner is the day I stop using it. I do think, however, Facebook has created a very interesting and workable way for businesses to appeal to users. The information on demographics is something businesses have been looking for for years. They finally have a way to get all this information in one place.

  • Bradford – I think there is a blend that can be made. If business' use Facebook to communicate with their consumers / fans then I think it is a wonderful idea. However if as you said, they begin to abuse the platform then it will ruin the whole system. Imagine the possibilities of meshing company & consumer…if the cloak was pulled back and company's were entirely transparent…I think that is where Facebook is trying to go with their integration strategy…