Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gettin' Social: Facebook Fan Page

We've all heard of Facebook, you may even have your own profile. And if you're ahead of the game, you may even be using Facebook to promote your small business! (Go ahead, pat yourself on the back). Here are a few quick tips on how to use Facebook Fan pages for your business.

Facebook Pages are different than profiles. You have a profile for you, but must have a page for your business. A Page can include all the important information about your company. They’re useful because you can include everything that relates to your business such as company overview, website & contact info, press releases, videos, Blog RSS, company news and status, photos of new products or projects, plus customer interaction, to name a few.

To learn more about how to create your business fan page, click here. Then, follow the directions to create your own page. BUT WAIT! Before you create your own fan page, please read my latest eNewsletter, that will help you to plan why, who and how you will use your page. It's not enough just to have one, you must first strategize how your fanpage fits into your business marketing plan.

Once you have a fanpage, there are all sorts of fun, and thoughtful ways to make it stay consistent with your brand, while getting the most out of it. First, make sure to set a custom user name for your page. Usernames allow public entities to easily promote your presence on Facebook with a short URL, such as This username can be used in your marketing communications, company website and business cards. If you didn't select a user name when setting up your page, go to, then click on the bottom link "Set a username for your Pages" and select an available name.

Second, create a unique landing page that stays consistent with your brand. The landing page would be similar to a website homepage—you want to very quickly let the viewer know who you are and what you do. Plus, you want to encourage them to become a fan of your page! Check out Kalico's landing page for an example. Landing pages must be created using FBML, which stands for Facebook Markup Language. It’s similar to HTML for writing websites, so unless you are familiar with HTML, you may need a designer's help for this part. Here's a great How-To Video that walks you through the steps.

There are tons of additional applications you can include on your facebook fan page. Here's a great list to start choosing from. You don't need all of these, of course...just pick the ones that work the best for you and your business! For instance, for Kalico, my goal was to increase subscriptions for our eNewsletter, so I have an app that includes a newsletter subscription form right on my fanpage. I also use the Photos tab as a way to showcase some of our portfolio works. My next step is to add an RSS feed for our blog. (yep, the one you are reading right now!) The possibilities are endless, and I'll admit I'm still learning new ways to use Kalico's Fan page everyday!

And last, stay on top of it! It will take time to build your fan base, so keep sending out invites to new contacts asking if they want to become a fan of your business Page. Keep your content up-to-date and give people a reason to check in on your page regularly. Constantly promote the Page in any way possible, and before long you should see a large portion of your website’s referrals coming from Facebook!

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