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Quick start guide for Facebook

August 3, 2012 12:18 pm
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When considering a Facebook account the first thing you should do is research. What are people online saying about your industry.

I think I’ve mentioned many times here that listening when it comes to participating in social media is the first step (see A time to listen, a time to tweet).

On Facebook, businesses should find a more casual, upbeat tone, and it should be fun, which may sound ironic when marketing professionals tell you to post something 3 – 5 times a day on Facebook; right, like how could that be fun. It can be, but naturally it’s work.

The work is in the research and planning. Once you have a direction, set a pace, and have developed several marketing ideas that offer value (70% – 80%) along with mentions of offerings and sales (20% – 30%), then you’ll start feeling like you’re enjoying this very tremendous community on Facebook.

And it is a big, diverse community. How you as an organization find and interact with your customers online will make a difference in your online marketing efforts.

At a conference last year (HubSpot Inbound Marketing Conference) I was told that if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest with more than 800 active million people.

Remember it isn’t about your organization, it’s about your customers and what they want and what they could find of value.

How many times you post will likely be determined by how many people, or person, you assign to the task. If you do it right, you’ll more than profit from the time and energy your organization spends on your Facebook page. If you are a small business and can’t post twice a week… maybe wait until you can devote more time.

A few quick first steps.

Go to Facebook fan pages and begin to search:

http://www.facebook.com/pages

You’re looking for pages you like and you should list why. And you’re looking for your competitors. Find out what they’re doing on Facebook that seems successful, analyze their posts as to why. Then look at your own metrics and use all this information to develop marketing strategies you believe will begin to work for you on Facebook.

The search function for Facebook, as with many sites, isn’t efficient. If you’re looking for a specific organization on Facebook, go to their website and link to their Facebook page from there.

All businesses and organizations must have a fan page, not a profile or individual Facebook account. Profiles are for friends, family, everyday slice of life material, not a place for marketing, and your organization wouldn’t fare well there anyway.

So it is on a fan page you present your organization. You don’t want friends, you want fans of your business. And once they become fans, they will receive updates to your Facebook page.

After you’ve completed your research and developed your marketing strategy for Facebook your ready to begin posting to your page. While all of your marketing channels should be consistent in detail and brand, the tone you use on Facebook will be unique to that channel. Through your research you should be able to find this tone.

To note Facebook will play an important role in public relations, and those tips would be for other post soon to come. Also remember to brand your fan page, Social Media Examiner, 5 ways to enhance your facebook timeline page with images.

Now use all other information channels, both online and through traditional marketing, to drive your audience to your Facebook page.

Keep track of your metrics and discover over time what’s working for you.

Facebook Insights for tracking Facebook pages:

Facebook Insights
Mashable, Facebook Metrics Marketing

To get started on Facebook with a fan page, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php