In order to leverage social media for your business, you first need to understand what’s out there. This is a series which will profile the most popular social media platforms and how businesses can utilize them. This is intended to be a basic introduction to each social media platform. Our first profile will be:
Facebook™: Facebook is the behemoth of social media. With over 900 Million monthly active users, Facebook easily outpaces all other social networks. 526 MIllion of those 900M are considered daily active users. It’s easy to see how your business can benefit from having a presence on Facebook.
From Facebook’s corporate site:
“Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.”
So, how does Facebook work?
Each user on Facebook has an individual Profile. This profile organizes Life Events, Updates, and Media via a Timeline. The Timeline displays all of a user’s postings in chronological order with the most recent postings appearing first. In addition to TImeline, each user Profile has an About section, where basic information about the user is gathered, such as hometown, location, education, employment, hobbies, Likes, etc. Lastly, each user’s profile has a Photos and Videos section.
Now, to the social aspect of Facebook. Each user “Friends” other users creating their own personalized social network composed of all their friends. When a user posts something on Facebook, all of their friends will immediately see this post on their News Feed. News Feed is a page showing all of a user’s friends’ updates, Life Events, and Media. News Feeds are organized by default based on what Facebook deems to be Most Interesting stories. Users communicate to one another publicly via “tagging” other users (using @username) on posts or privately via Messages. Tagging became popular through its use in Pictures where users tag other users who appear in photos.
Businesses on Facebook
Pages: So, how does your business use Facebook? Businesses create a presence on Facebook, not through profiles (as those are reserved for individuals), but by creating a Page. Pages are sites within Facebook dedicated to a business, brand or organization. Facebook Pages also consist of a Timeline, an About section, and a Photos and Videos section. Where users “Friend” others users, users “Like” Pages. You may also create custom sections for your Page, such as, Promotional Sections.
Vanity URL: Pages (as well as Profiles) have the ability to choose a Vanity URL. This is one of the first things you should do after setting up your business Page. As opposed to directing your clients to a randomized URL, you could direct your clients to www.facebook.com/mybusinessname ie: www.facebook.com/LucidInternetStrategies.
Page Management: Pages are managed by Administrators, who ostensibly should themselves have individual Facebook Profiles. Under settings, you may invite any Facebook user to become a Page Administrator. There is no limit to how many administrators a Page can have. You may also set up separate admin roles for each admin user: See here. There is no limit to how many pages an individual may manage.
Metrics: The biggest advantage of Pages, by far, is Facebook Insights. Insights give you excellent Metrics about who Likes your business Page and then goes one step further by measuring engagement on individual postings.For example, a retail stores posts a photo of a new product, Insights tells the store how many people viewed that photo, liked it, shared it, and commented on it. Insights also aggregates all of your likes to give you usable demographic breakdowns such as the age, gender, and location of users who like your page.
Events: Another great Facebook tool is Events. Events may be created either by individuals or Pages. Facebook Events are great ways to inform your clients of upcoming offline (real-life) events such as a sale, trivia night, a product launch, etc. Events allows you to add a description, location, date, time, photo, and link. It’s an easy way to keep your clients updated about any changes to your event.
Advertising: Facebook, of course, sells advertising on their network. Facebook advertising allows you to be both very targeted and very flexible with your marketing. Currently, you may purchase a Facebook Ad, which appears on the left column of a user’s News Feed, or a Sponsored Story, which appears within the News Feed and can be either posted by your business, or you may pay to have your clients’ stories about you appear more frequently on their friends’ News Feeds.
This is a basic overview of Facebook for businesses. For more information or to discuss creating or promoting your business’s presence on Facebook, contact us.