Theres, like, 450 million on Facebook…so what?
The big stats are irrelevant, whats relevant is how many of your current or potential customers are on Facebook, how often they are on it and how often they look at your page on it. Some recent stats for Ireland indicate theres 1.58 million people using facebook, 850K log in once a day at least and 83% log in at least once per week.
Would you like to know how many people on are Facebook in your area, by gender, age, relationship, interests, and education? Check out this link http://www.facebook.com/ads/create/, fill in the three blank fields (Destination, Title and Body), but just enter anything, what you really want is the next page. That gives you the options to identify how many of your target audience is on FB. This graph shows the breakdown by age from 13 – 65+ using FB in Ireland in May 2010.
Am I a profile, a page or a group?
If you are a business, you are a page. Do not set up a personal profile or a group. Pages are by far the best for business. A personal profile will limit you to 5,000 friends and for some reason few people know this. Theres a bunch of business, that I notice are nearing the 5000 limit. Once they hit that they can’t add anymore.
(UPDATE) For example this Bar in Waterford sent a message out last week saying they had 970 friend requests, but since they had hit their limit of 5,000 they could not add anyone. Instead they set up a second profile and told their current fans if they knew anyone waiting to be confirmed as a friend to send them to their other profile.
So from a marketing perspective this is a massive problem. All the time invested in FB could go to waste. You’re now limited with what options to choose from. You can either start again from scratch with a business profile, and notify your ‘friends’ of the new page, or set up a second profile, as the local pub have done, which could be misleading and it could mean updating multiple profiles. If you move from a personal profile to a business one make sure you delete the old profile once you have notified your existing fans. Having multiple business and personal profiles will just confuse future friends / fans.
Why do Facebook profiles look the same?
Due to a complete lack of personalisation. Businesses are rushing to be on Facebook but marketing a business is about standing out from the crowd. You wouldnt take out an ad in a newspaper that is a carbon copy of a competitor’s advert would you? So why have the exact same profile as other businesses on Facebook? A little bit of personalisation can go a long way. And just how can this be done on FB?
Do you know you can have a logo that is 200px wide by 600px long? It might mean having your logo vertical or needing to do some clever editing make it fit into that space. But, with a little bit of thought, the logo can be made to stand out.
(UPDATE) Here are some examples; First a logo that takes no advantage of the space and instead is cammed into a tight corner. There is almost no brand presence on this page and for a company that have blown me away in their digital marketing in the past this is pretty poor:
Above Man City take full advantage of the space and there’s plenty of ways to do so. Take this example from the Body Shop; their logo takes up a relatively small amount of space, but so not to waste the rest of the logo space, they use it as an advert
(UPDATE) 4b. Page Icon or Thumbnail
Missed this first time around. These icons appear beside any post you make on your wall or another persons wall. The icons are actually small images taken from your profile picture. They can be taken from any part of the profile picture you want. To change them hover over the profile picture, click on edit and select change thumbnail.
Yes get your own facebook vanity URL. They have been available since last summer just log in as the page admin and go to
with a little HTML knowledge you can create your own personalised tabs. Every business has tabs for a ‘wall’ and ‘info’. But static FBML allows users to create their own tabs with whatever content they want. That could be a completly personalised page promoting an offer right up to a mini website within Facebook. You are limited by your own imagination but you can start by downloading the static FBML application on Facebook. Just search ‘static FBML’. This isn’t available on personal profiles, so another reason to go with a business profile.
(UPDATE) This seems to be a very useful tutorial on using FBML.
This is automatically set to ‘wall’. The landing page is the first page new users see when they look at your business. But the wall is boring and it says nothing abnout your business. Through the use of the Static FBML box you can create your own personalised tab, then you can make this tab the default tab that new users see first. So imagine new users land on a customised page all about your business? Doesn’t that sound much better? Just go to edit page, wall settings to change the default landing page to your new tab. This also isn’t available on personal profiles.
Apps – Free ‘V’ Paid
Apps in facebook can cover just about everything from quiz’s and poll’s right up to having your own shop on Facebook. There’s a bunch of free apps out there that can be installed on a page to compliment your business and help you drive customers and sales. If you can’t find the app you want for your business find a company to build you one. What app’s you install or have created very much depend on what your business is and what you want to do. There’s great companies on our doorstep doing this such as Betapond here in Waterford that are creating app’s for many well known brands.
(Update) check out AppBistro for the latest and best currently available app’s for pages some free, some not.
I need stats, stat!
Available right in your admin view of your business page. Facebook insights can provide data on your profile activity such as fans and engagement. All this is important to see how fans are engaging with you content. And another reason to use a business profile over a personal one – this feature also isn’t available on personal profiles.
Google Analytics can be installed on your profile to track where your visitors are coming from and data such as new versus returning visitors. Not essential but useful to see how traffic is arriving at your facebook page. Although there’s an expected overhaul of Facebook Inights due which may provide this data without having to install Google Analytics.
Sudden Design Changes
Do you remember when ‘like’ was ‘fan’? Way back in the day, back in late April 2010? What’s the difference? Is there a difference? But the change from ‘fan’ to ‘like’ highlights the sudden changes Facebook takes with little or no notice. (In the 5 weeks since I posted this originally theres been 2 more sudden changes that have affected FB, but in fairness, FB rectified the issues within 24 hours). The company likes to announce things hours before they go live and for many, the first time they realise these changes are when they see them on their page. The biggest change that they have notified us about is the imminent change to the size of the ‘tab’ canvas pages which is being reduced in width from 760px to 520px. Although they said this change was happening in early 2010, they haven’t announced when, which will probably mean any business with a customised tab will need it resized.
Ads, Ads and More Ads
Facebook offer the opportunity to advertise to fans, and when you couple this with the highly targeted information the company has on each user (see point 2 above), the ads have the potential to be highly targeted. A recent report from Nielson also found a positive correlation between brand awareness and organic traffic as well as paid for traffic through advertising (report is here). What does it mean? Paid for advertising can be effective increasing brand recall. How effective may depend on a case by case basis and how tempting the ad is to click to the viewer. I spoke to a colleague who has incorporated Facebook advertising into their marketing strategy. Early signs indicate that the ads send more traffic to their website than Google ads, and they’re cheaper. So they might be worth investigating for your business.
(UPDATE) Also I noticed this at the weekend; ads for the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire. Ad’s promoting their new course, Cyber Psychology, when clicked don’t bring you to anything but to a search engine, and the course isn’t even listed! The link is broken so IADT are just wasting their money – so make sure you test your ad links first! Notice the ad on the right side of this image;
And when it is clicked it brings me to this:
Ads not on Facebook
I’ve been a long time believer in promoting your Facebook presence off Facebook. I mean people don’t automatically know your phone number or web address, so where ever you promote this information think about slapping a Facebook logo in their too. Get your vanity URL and include that as a simple link. Last week Facebook revealed that businesses who advertise their Facebook presence off the social networking site get at least 20% more fans.
It’s All About Content
what should i post about?
So you want to post regular (but not too regular) the only problem is that you don’t know what to say. Well first don’t be too pushy, it reads bad, and can be off putting in a desperate kind of way for fans. But a way of conceptualising what to post is like this. Think of your Facebook page like a magazine and your fans are your readers. Your fans like your page because they have an interest in what it is you do so expand on that. You sell clothes – your readers have an interest in fashion, a restaurant – an interest in food, a hotel – an interest in travel and local tourism… There’s entire industries based around these so coming up with content shouldn’t be too hard. Yes in the beginning it will be hard, but once you get a grasp it will flow. Not only should you be looking externally, but also look internally, look at the people and processes that make up your business is there a way of bringing those to the fore? (UPDATE) A really good example of a brand with nothing to say but goes about it in a great way is Coca Cola, yes it might be the biggest brand in the world, but what can they say about Coke that we already don’t know about? Their posts revolve around the concept of Coke = Happiness and bring in everything from random thoughts, to Coke history, to examples of their marketing, to videos about the guys who set up the page (they weren’t employees at the time) to fan tattoo’s! See their profile here, although you may need to wade through a lot of fan posts to get to the posts from Coke
Say something in a new way
Thats almost my marketing motto – look for a different way of saying the something. You might be fortunate enough to have a business that is easy to generate content for eg. a music venue. But not everyone is fortunate to have a business that is a natural fit to social media. In order to rise above the clutter how about trying competitions, promotions, video, photos or even quiz’s to engage the audience? But try to focus on engagement. For example a competition to launch a new product – try and get your fans to come up with a marketing tagline for the product. This will help get fans onside, interested in the product and entered into a competition, and for the page it means the fans are creating new and unique content for your other readers to read and maybe even comment on. Such engagement wouldn’t happen if the competition winner was just selected randomly. So make the most out of how you engage.