Facebook is well known by now. The few people who do not have Facebook profiles are either uneducated, unfortunate, uninterested, or simply proving some sort of point by not joining such a massive social site.
The hype around creating Facebook Fan Pages for businesses, products, bands, films, celebrities, even pets, has been picking up some serious momentum since 2012. However, is it truly worth it for businesses to create a Fan Page, or not?
Business Benefits of Facebook:
Facebook is a great additional tool for Publicists, as any renowned social website should be, and great for low-cost marketing strategies. With the upgrading of Facebook, and the addition of Fan Pages for businesses, events, celebrities, forums, etc., your company or product can revel in the following benefits if you make good use of your page:
1. Visibility: Unlike Facebook Profile Pages, if other users find your Fan Page (even via a Google search) they will be able to see all the relevant information (like contact details, company bio, status updates and planned events). If they are impressed, they can like you.
2. Limitless Likes: Whereas a Profile Page can only reach a maximum of 5000 friends, a Fan Page can have unlimited Likes. The more Likes you have, the more your brand is viewed as popular and trusted.
3. Separating Personal from Professional: Creating a Fan Page will help you separate your personal Facebook endeavours with the ones you use for business. This is especially useful for a company where various employees can be registered as administrators that can all contribute to updating the Fan Page.
4. Search Engine Optimization Bonus: All the content you post on your Fan Page is indexed by search engines, meaning that your status updates will appear on search results if the user searches the correct keywords. Though the link will take them to your Fan Page and not your website, the user will still be able to see your business information that you posted to your Fan Page, and every bit of brand promoting makes a difference.
5. Tagging: The Tagging feature allows other Facebook users to tag (or link) your Fan Page to their posts, and vice versa. This is great for additional free publicity, done by utilizing your followers and your followers’ followers.
6. Facebook Insights: Every Fan Page comes with Facebook Insight as soon as you reach 30 Likes. It provides great analytics like how many users viewed your posts, how many new likes you received per week, how many shares, likes and comments you received per post, and more. This tool can help you review what works and what fails at increasing user interaction.
7. Custom URL: Creating a URL with your business title in is a great feature for every Fan Page, because search engines pick up on the URL and will the display your Fan Page link in search results. See it as an additional optimization of your company name.
8. Facebook Places: Connecting your Fan Page to a specific location with Facebook Places will enable you to display your operating hours below your cover photo. This will help customers to check, via their mobiles, whether you are open or closed for business. Clients/customers that visit your business will also be able to “check in” at your Facebook Place on Facebook, which acts as an additional marketing contributor.
9. Business Exclusives: The nice thing, which is usually also the only reason why most users follow your Fan page, is that you can release or advertise exclusive news to your followers. Releasing news, trailers, photos or competitions on certain goods or services can be very useful to generate some excitement, and potentially increase possible sales when you release the advertised product.
10. Great Consumer Connectivity: Followers will be able to leave comments or direct messages with you via your Facebook Fan Page, and you can respond to them (as the face of the company) from there as well. This helps to create a much more personal, and immediate, client-business relationship.
11. Facebook meets Twitter: You can link some useful apps to spice up you Fan Page, but one of the best is to link your Twitter account. This will enable you to automatically post all your Fan Page status updates on your Twitter feed as well, which is an additional social site for additional publicity.
The Facebook But’s for Businesses:
Having a Facebook Fan Page does not mean that you are automatically covered in the marketing or publicity department. Facebook is but one of many tools to utilize, and not necessarily the best one:
1. Joining Facebook means that you also give permission for Facebook to keep tabs on all your web activities (browsing, searches, etc.), even if you are not signed in.
2. Facebook can be used by stalkers and criminals to obtain personal information like residential addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and photographs.
3. Thousands of Facebook Fan Page Likes does not mean that you have thousands of customers or clients, it only means thousands of people clicked to like your page, that’s all.
4. You need to keep your Fan Page active, if people notice that you have made no status updates or media uploads they will most likely unfollow your page.
5. Facebook does not replace your company website. Facebook should only be used as an extra marketing measure and not as the home website for your company. A home website should capture the essence of your business (representative colour scheme, contact information, bio, copyright protected images, and other relevant business information).
6. There are additional ways to promote your Facebook Fan Page, but they cost extra.
7. Facebook success comes from both text and visuals. Posting only text updates can become quite boring, whereas posting only image and videos with no descriptive text can be viewed as a spam or fake Fan Page.
Facebook is great website to boost your publicity, but be reminded to not place unrealistic amounts of hope on your Fan Page. It is but one of many social and SEO aspects to consider when boosting your businesses popularity and Search Engine Rankings.
Don’t let your lack of online tricks be the downfall of your online image, the Online Marketing Guys in Cape Town can easily help you create and maintain the online publicity of your choosing.