So far, we’ve taught you how to build your Facebook profile and business fan page, and how to use Facebook’s promotion feature to create a paid ad for your practice and attract readers to “like” your page (this used to be calling “Becoming a fan.”). Now that you’re up and running, though, do you know how to keep the momentum going? Here, we’ll discuss some additional ways to promote your business page to potential clients and prospects, as well as referral sources, and use your presence to build an online community.
And remember: If you’re a business owner, you need to set up a fan page rather than a profile using your business name; the latter is against Facebook policy, and Facebook may delete your account.
Revisit your strategy
Hopefully, you built some sort of strategy and defined your goals before getting started on Facebook – this is a good time to revisit that, or to map something out if you haven’t already. This can help you measure your success as you go along and better assess how effective the social network is for your particular business. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you primarily trying to reach new clients? Or are you trying to communicate better with existing clients?
- Do you want to improve client engagement?
- Do you want to increase referral business?
Keeping these objectives in mind will help define your Facebook strategy and allow you to set metrics by which to monitor the success of your campaign.
Beyond Facebook ads: Spreading the word
The tricky thing about Facebook pages is that you can’t “friend” someone the way you can from your profile. People can elect to become fans of your page, but they can only do this if they know about it. You’ve got to spread the word organically, then, (to introduce people to your page and to your company – and keep spreading the word long after you’ve built your page.
To do this, log in and visit your page. On the left hand side, you’ll see an option that says “Suggest to friends.” Click on this, and it will bring up a list of all your Facebook friends. You can then identify and invite contacts from your personal profile who are business connections, industry peers, or people who would simply benefit from the information your company provides.
Personally, I invite everyone, even if they’re just a friend that wants to support your business and not a prospective client. It can’t hurt, and a greater number of connections can lend credibility to your company.
When you invite contacts to “like” your page, Facebook gives you the option to provide a short note; definitely do this. You’ll want to explain what the page offers (remember, people are thinking, “What’s in it for me?”) and include a link to your page.
Promoting your page
There’s no reason to stick to Facebook alone when promoting your fan page – you can add a Facebook “Like” box to your own website or blog to offer visitors an easy way to discover and follow your page.
To do this, log in to your Facebook account, visit your business page, and click on the “Getting started” tab. There, you’ll see an option that allows you to promote your page on your website. When you click on this, the image below will pop up; go ahead and fill in your Facebook URL, along with a couple items that allow you to customize such features as the width of the box, the color scheme, and whether or not you want a stream of the most recent posts to be visible on your outside site. Once you have the box the way you want it, click on the “Get code” button at the bottom and send that over to your Web designer or IT person to integrate into your site.
Customize your URL
Your Facebook fan page is beautiful – until you get a look at the URL at the top of your browser. The default URL is long and appears to be full of gibberish numbers, dashes, and all that jazz. To clean things up and make your URL more memorable, visit www.facebook.com/username/ and make your page address match your company name, if available, or something similar that properly identifies you and sticks out in prospects’ minds: www.facebook.com/JohnSmithInsurance or www.facebook.com/HoustonLTC, for instance.