Owning your brand on Facebook is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. The value a Facebook Page holds in SEO, reputation management, branding and marketing is second to none. Every business, from car dealerships to restaurants, can benefit greatly from the advantages a Page can yield.
When building and maintaining a Facebook Page, one variable to consider is the fact that Facebook is dynamic; its features and functionality are changing and evolving on a regular basis. The tips below speak to the basic fundamentals as seen by this author. We have the feeling Facebook is about to revamp its “Pages” in a big way in the upcoming months. The proceeding tips should hold true, regardless of any technical updates from Facebook. Fundamentally, as long as your focus is “engagement,” you’ll be in the right.
1. Post Strong Original Content. Passion bleeds through on a Facebook Page just like it would in a great book or newspaper article. As long as you’re inspired by your content, others will follow (“Like”). Posting articles from third-party sources is fine, but do make sure you credit their work. Often, this “crediting” will help create a network of bloggers and content-creators thankful for your sharing of their respective pieces of work. It’s really a win-win situation.
2. Attach Links to Photo/Video Descriptions. Make sure each of your photos has a link in each description to the blog post and/or web page speaking to that picture. Creating that tangible link will help the long-term subscribers understand where your info is being sourced and that it’s authentic. An eCommerce example would hold a photo of a certain car with the link to the specific product page that car is being sold on.
3. Hyperlink Your Post Descriptions Whenever Possible! Tagging other Pages will spread the life of your post; it’ll also leverage the followers of those more-populated Pages. Before long, you’ll find that other Pages will be tagging you for the same reason. This is also where the aforementioned note on giving credit to third-party authors comes in. Crediting other content-creators with a hyperlinked, in-post tag will create a strong network. Remember, Social is just that: it’s social! Be gracious with the content you post and your Page will reap the rewards.
4. A Connected Page is a Stronger Page. Make sure there is a link to your Facebook Page and the opportunity to “Like” your Page at every opportunity on your blog/website. Facebook works best when integrated with your online strategy as a whole. It’s worth the investment to leverage your email lists to communicate your Facebook Page’s existence. Driving contests, giveaways, coupons and the like will further increase your Page’s value.
5. Use Your Tabs. Do you have a YouTube page? A Vimeo page, maybe? You can install a tab beneath your profile image that will host those videos on your page. I prefer this over uploading directly to Facebook, as the YouTube analytics are still more robust than Facebook’s Insights. A wonderful company called Wildfire provides a free service to install tabs that host picture galleries, RSS feeds, polls and fan meters.
6. Keep an Eye on Your Page’s Insights. Be aware of who your audience is and where they reside. You might find the majority are in a given locale — play to it! Reference (hyper-tag) local markets, hot-spots and the like to give your page greater relevance and visibility. Google and Facebook are strong, strong proponents of local-focused online marketing — take full advantage of it.
7. Respond to Likes/Comments on Your Page From Followers Often & With Enthusiasm. The number of followers really is secondary to the level of interaction your page yields. The “Social Revolution” brought humanity to the web. Gone are the stoic days of corporate online communication. Have fun with your audience, always being mindful of the PR repercussions. As in life, be gracious whenever possible. Engagement is king!
As always, leave comments/thoughts below. This is an abridged list, but adhering to these basic principles will set any up-and-coming Facebook marketer on the right track. Happy Facebook-ing!