After posting a list of six common Facebook faux pas, with the information businesses need to know to avoid them, it seems only logical to post a list of tips that can help a business create fabulous Facebook pages.
- Create a Page People Want to Visit. What is it about your business that would make people want to come back to the page often, or create a community atmosphere? Whatever that is, make your Facebook business page reflect that — instead of just asking people to buy your products, or touting the virtues of your management team. For instance, American Family Insurance drew nearly 40,000 “Likes” when it added a Teen Safe Driving tab to its Facebook page for parents and teens looking for ways to negotiate the rules for new drivers, and one featuring storybook favorite Clifford the Big Red Dog encouraging families to offer “be big” ideas for improving their local communities.
- Plan for Success. Creating a Facebook page for your business and hoping for success is like any other kind of “pray and spray” marketing effort: doomed to failure. You need a marketing plan for your Facebook page before you start the process. What tools will you use to drive traffic? (Facebook ads? Organic search? Promotion in your company’s other marketing channels? PR? Email? All of these plus banner ads on your other websites linking back to Facebook?) Don’t forget regular content updates — and communicating with your friends and fans. (Not all Facebook updates show up on people’s news update pages — you have to interact with them before your data shows up on their update pages.)
- Find Your Place. If you run a bricks-and-mortar business, find your place on Facebook Places, and encourage check-in and mapping. (Set up your Foursquare presence at the same time, if you haven’t already.) Like other aspects of your Facebook business page, think carefully about how you can interact with your customers to encourage them to use Facebook Places, and what benefits your company can get — and offer to your guests — through Facebook Places.
- Participate in the Conversation. Facebook is a place where people talk — and they expect others to talk back. It’s not just a place where they are going to click “like” every time you post something new — even if they do like it. So be prepared for comments, criticism, suggestions, and questions — and don’t automatically block or delete anything negative. Remember, if you block an unhappy customer from posting on your Facebook page, they are perfectly free to post on their own — or start a page that highlights a customer service problem such as Dave Carroll’s United Breaks Guitars page.
- Select the Right Tools. Small businesses often start their social media marketing effort using free tools — but businesses in regulated industries such as insurance, financial services, and healthcare probably need the more robust compliance, monitoring, approval, and management tools available with social CRM tools like Socialware or Actiance. For a list of free and paid tools, with examples, check out the downloadable presentation from a recent webinar on the basics of social media marketing in a regulated environment.
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Having a great Facebook business page is important — but if you work in a regulated industry, compliance is equally important. If you work in insurance, financial services, healthcare, gaming or another regulated industry, join us for a free webinar on using social media — from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and the rest — while complying with state and federal regulations. Distribion, LIMRA, and Socialware will present Drawing the Line Between Personal and Professional Use on July 14. Registration is free, but space is limited. Register today.