June 2nd, 2010

Facebook Best Practices

by Mike Duncan

Facebook Best Practices

Profiles & Pages

Facebook terms of service prevent companies from creating personal profiles. Businesses must use pages and groups, which are similar to profiles except for a few key differences:

  • Pages cannot connect directly with people. People may “Like” of your page, but you cannot write on walls or invite users as a page.
  • Pages must be connected to the personal profile of someone within your organization. This user will receive administrative access to the page for editing, posting, and sending messages to fans. Multiple users may become administrators of pages, but only the creator will have control over adding and removing administrators.

Creating Your Page

To create a Facebook page for your business, you must first create a personal profile. Once you have created your profile, click on the “Ad and Pages” application in the lower right corner of the Facebook home page. Then click on the “Pages” tab in the top, and “Create Page.” Choose your business or organization type, enter your company name, and click on “Create Page.”

Once you enter your business information and upload your logo as the photo, click “Publish Page.” Your page is now active.

Finding Fans

You cannot invite users to become a fan directly through your page. Here are some ways to find fans:

Share your page with your friends through your personal profile. Click on the “Share” button in the lower left hand corner of your page, and send it to any of your friends who are associated with or interested in your organization. Encourage other people in your organization who are on Facebook to do the same.

Add a link to your Web site and email signature. Facebook offers a badge that you can add to your Web site (click on “Get Your Badge” under the admin section on your dashboard), or you can create a text link. Just copy and paste the URL from your page.

Promote your page on other social networks. If you already have a following on MySpace, Twitter, or your blog, promote your new Facebook page on these networks.

Promote your page in related groups. Find groups that are related to your business, and post wall comments inviting people to become a fan of your group. Be careful not to overdo it, though, as excessive invitations can be considered SPAM by Facebook.

Advertise on the Facebook network. Facebook offers pay-per-click advertising to promote pages. This can be expensive, but creating targeted ads is an easy way to find fans outside of your network.

For additional considerations, view Facebook’s promotional guidelines.

Posting

Fresh content is important if you want your Facebook page to be successful. Facebook allows you to send bulletins to your fans with information, upload an RSS feed from your blog so your fans will be notified every time you post a new blog post, share events, photos, videos, and links.

You must control all posting through the dashboard on your page to ensure it is posted to the page instead of your personal profile. You can reach the page dashboard by clicking on “Edit Page” from your page (below the photo) or by clicking on the “Ads and Pages” application in the bottom left of your screen when you’re logged in. Choose what you want to post, and click on the “edit” pencil next to that application to post to your page.

Notes & Bulletins

Notes are like blog posts within your Facebook profile. If you want to share information that will be published on the NewsFeed, publish it with a note. You can also send updates or bulletins to your fans by clicking “Send an Update to Fans” from your page. Updates are like notes, except they do not appear in the NewsFeed. Users are notified of bulletins from pages when they log in, but they are not featured as prominently as notes.

Importing a Blog

If you want new blog posts to automatically post on your Facebook account as notes, you must link your Facebook page to your RSS feed. To do this, click on the “Edit” pencil next to “Notes” from your Page dashboard. From this page you can write a new note. To the right, you’ll see a box that says, “Notes Settings” with a link to “Import a blog.” Click on that link and enter your blog or RSS feed address to begin importing blog posts.

Photos & Videos

Click on the “Edit” pencil next to the Photos application to create albums and upload pictures. For videos, use the Videos application.

Events

To notify your fans of an event, click on the “Events” tab and invite fans that may be interested in attending. They will receive a notification of the invitation, and if fans accept the invitation the event will show up in their NewsFeed, notifying their networks.

For additional tips and information, visit Facebook Help or Facebook Business Solutions – Pages.