Facebook is everywhere. Since its founding in 2004, the free social networking tool has grown to more than 250 million active users. And though Facebook has a reputation of college-age users, more than half of them are out of college, and about 34 percent of users work as professionals, executives, educators or are in sales or technical careers.
In fact, the fastest-growing demographic is 35 years or older, according to Facebook, while Techno-Marketer states the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook is 50+, followed closely by the 41-45 age group.
Either way, your audience is on Facebook and if you’re not, you’re missing an opportunity to connect with them.
Below I’ve listed five tips to maximize your Facebook Page and better communicate with your audience.
1. Build a Strong Fan Base
Facebook Pages can be used by businesses to post news, links and live content, and more importantly, to connect with customers and potential customers. Your Business Page is a great tool to drive traffic back to your Website and a way to reach out to other businesses.
- Build it To Get Found: Give your Page a title using your company name and priority keywords wherever possible — your page can rank in search engines. Also, be sure to select the most appropriate category for your business when creating your Page.
- Make it Unique: Customize the tabs on your Page to fit your business, including Info, Photos, Videos, Events, Discussions and Boxes tabs.
- Publish Fresh Content: To attract fans, generate original and unique content on industry trends, news or product reviews. Create videos to engage visitors and start discussion boards.
- Invite Fans: Invite customers, colleagues, friends, family and business associates in your network to fan your Page. And, remember to become a fan yourself!
- Host Contests, Giveaways: According to Facebook, research by Forrester shows that contests, giveaways and promotions are the fastest ways to build fans to your page.
Once you build up your fan base, be sure to only post content that is interesting or in some way beneficial to fans. Avoid being too promotional.
2. Get Found Easily with Vanity URLs
Once your Facebook Page gains 100 fans, your business page is eligible to register a custom URL. This will simplify and shorten your Facebook URL, helping you get found easier. For example, instead of this long, confusing URL: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/pages/Cleveland-OH/PR-2020/97879779232, PR 20/20 now is able to use: www.Facebook.com/PR2020.
With cleaner URLs, Facebook Pages can be better promoted on business cards, email signatures, social networks such as Twitter, and ad space and sales collateral.
UPDATE: Facebook Page vanity URLs are now available for pages with 25 fans, rather than 100. To secure yours, simply visit http://www.facebook.com/username, click “Set a username for your Pages," select the page you want to name, choose the username (likely "/your-company") that you desire and check availability, and confirm. Make sure you like it though — once you select your vanity URL, it cannot be changed.
3. Collaborate and Connect with Facebook Applications
Facebook applications are a great way to collaborate, network and do business through your Page.
Facebook has more than 52,000 available applications on its platform. There are Facebook apps available for everything, including Twitter, Wordpress, Google Reader, etc. But where should businesses begin? Start with the following, and build from there.
- Add the RSS Feed application to incorporate your blog.
- Add the LinkedIn Profile application to promote your LinkedIn account by posting a badge on your Page.
- Add the Twitter application to incorporate your Tweets.
Then, visit Mashable.com’s post on the 30+ Apps for Doing Business on Facebook.
4. Gain Exposure by Getting Everyone Involved
Don’t just put up a Business Page and forget about it. Monitor the feeds, make updates and discuss industry trends, product reviews and relevant events. Encourage employees to be active and participate on your Page. Remember, the more people involved on Facebook, the more exposure your company will receive.
With fresh content and lots of activity, your Page will build in strength and become successful — no one will follow a stagnate page. Another great way to join the conversation is get involved in other Facebook groups and become fans of other Business Pages.
5. Drive Traffic with Facebook Social Ads
Advertise on Facebook to gain more exposure and drive a significant amount of qualified traffic to your Page. Because of the personal nature of Facebook, the ads program allows advertisers to target their ads to concise market segments, such as niche demographics, interests, hobbies, music, etc.
For example, since I’m listed as “engaged” on my personal profile, targeted ads such as wedding photographers, custom invitations, weight-loss programs, real estate for first-time homebuyers and more appear on my Profile.
Below are a few tips to remember when building your Social Ads:
- Write clear, targeted ads with concise text that speaks directly to the audience you will reach. The title can have up to 25 characters, and the body can have up to 135 characters.
- Put an attractive and relevant image in your ad that is appropriate for the product/service, event, etc., being advertised. Images will be resized to fit in a 110px wide by 80px high box.
- Target ads to profiles using your priority keywords.
There are many ways to maximize your Facebook Page. Do you have other ideas or tips to share that you’ve found effective? I’d like to hear about them. Please let me know by commenting below, or connecting with us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pr2020.
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Lyndsey Walker is a Consultant for PR 20/20, a Cleveland-based inbound marketing agency and PR firm. After five years in the journalism field, she is happy to have made the switch to public relations. Follow my updates on Twitter: @lyndseyfrey.
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