Businesses and personalities of varying popularity and exposure are jumping on the Facebook Freeway to create communities, build a customer base, and sell products. Here are 8 tips to Pimp Out Your Facebook ride.
A Moment Of Truth
I’m going to bare it all here for a moment – our Facebook page is awful. I take full and complete responsibility for that. It’s not that I don’t know how to manage or create a great Facebook Page or content, I get paid by non-profits to do that – I just never seem to have time to work with ours. (And managing a successful page takes time and effort – a lot of it.)
But writing this series has given me a good kick in the pants. So, have a look at our ‘before makeover’ Facebook Page because by the end of June I hope to transform it into something…less embarrassing. I’ll be posting quick Facebook Friday tips on Facebook on transforming a blah/boring/embarrassing Author/Writer Facebook Page into one people want to engage with (hopefully). 🙂
Tip #1 Start A Fan Page
Fan pages (recently renamed Facebook Pages) are a gathering place for people who like what you’re selling whether you’re a non-profit helping children in Africa, or Nike selling shoes. Even Playboy has a Facebook Page – what do you think they sell with the caption: Think You Can Hang With Hef? Alright, sarcasm noted – I’m not a fan of Playboy, but this is the point of a Facebook page: to get Fans (now called Likes).
Groups are gathering places for people who share a common interest whether it’s bird watching or historical re-enactment. The problem is that you’ll eventually realize that a Page is set up for marketing and groups aren’t and you’ll want to switch. Problem. Now you’ve got followers in two different places splitting your exposure.
Tip #2 Custom Landing Page
A custom landing page is the first page you land on, often called a Welcome Page. Some great examples are BMW, World Vision Canada, Ted Dekker. The main goal of your welcome page is turn visitors into fans. You want them to ‘like’ you. Offer something free as incentive – download a free app, a chapter from your book, your newsletter, coupons, inside info. Create mystery or intrigue like the Playboy welcome page offers. You get the idea. Using video on your welcome page can increase conversions up to 80%. It’s important to have good design to compete. Here are some great options for building pages yourself (because we’re all about marketing on the cheap): IWIPI, Wildfire, Hubze, or Lujure.
New! Here is a great review of free apps for Facebook to create custom landing tabs. Thanks to Social Media Examiner for putting this list together.
Tip #3 Use iFrames
Facebook had all these great apps that allowed the average user to create fun content and customize the tabs at the top of their pages using FBML. Now, Facebook has gone to iframes which is more complicated and harder to learn – though it offers designers an open canvas. This means that the days of the average user creating custom tabs is virtually over unless you’re tech savvy or work from a template. So, however you come up with a designed welcome page, be sure the code is compatible in iframes.
Tip #4 About Me/Info
Complete the about/info section of your Facebook Page. Tell people who you are, what you’re about, etc. They want to know more about you, so don’t hide! Share your contact info, your blog and website address, all the good stuff. You WANT to be found. The Info Page lets you embed links in specific places, be sure to take advantage of that.
Tip #5 Profile Photo
Facebook has moved things around on the Pages a bit this winter. Pages are allowed to have profile pics, but keep it under 200px in height. If you have access to photo editing software, create a jpeg file and include your website or blog in text in the profile pic. You can’t include hyperlinks in the jpeg, but it’s a high traffic place to have that address. When creating a profile pic, keep in mind the thumbnails – the small square images shown when you post anything. You can edit the thumbnails, but keep in mind what that thumbnail will look like when creating your profile pic.
Tip #6 Vanity Urls
A url is the address used to find you on the web – www.girlswithpens.wordpress.com. A vanity url is usually shorter and easier to remember – www.girlswithpens.com. Both will lead you to our blog. You can do this with a Facebook Page if you have 25 fans. So, to find us on Facebook you can type in www.facebook.com/girlswithpens and you’ll find us. Easy. You can do this by going into the Edit Page feature and selecting Basic Information. It’s second from the top. This is so much easier than before when you had to verify your account with a mobile phone number, yah de yah da. Yay Facebook!
Tip #7 Image Rolls
Another recent change to the Pages, is the appearance of a row of photos across the top of the page. These photos will be the 5 most recent photos posted on your page. You can edit which photos appear there by rolling your mouse over each photo, a small x will appear in the top corner. Click the X. Gone. Easy. Some companies are turning this space into banners. There are outside apps that will let you upload custom banners if you want. Businesses are encouraging fans to post their own photos in a constantly changing montage of fans and product shots. What great advertisement. One pizza store has a mascot – a giant pizza slice. They ran a Facebook promotion where you would receive a free coupon if you found ‘the slice’ at an event and snapped a photo with ‘the slice’ and posted it on Facebook. Neat.
Tip #8 Posting As Your Page
Before, you were never allowed to post elsewhere on Facebook as your page, your personal profile would be used. Now you can toggle between the two. You can navigate Facebook as your Page’s persona and comment and like other pages, which helps to further promote your page.
As you Pimp Out Your Facebook Page, post the link on the Girls With Pens Facebook Page, or here in the comments, so we can all see your progess.