15 More Facebook For Business Tips

Just like every hit Hollywood flick there’s always the inevitable sequel. Considering the original 15 Facebook for Business Tips managed to get me a new job, on the radio and remains one of the most popular posts on this blog. It was inevitable that I would post something similar. So here it is 15 More Facebook For Business Tips. But is it a Godfather Part 2 or a Matrix Reloaded? It’s quiet long so maybe it’s more of a Lord of The Rings The Two Towers. Anyways, I’ll leave that for you to decide.

A Personal Profile for a Brand
I am so against this, but if you have set one up and you have reached the 5,000 friends limit, or are about to, you may be happy to know that while you cannot confirm people over that limit they will still receive your updates, and if you set your page to public they can read your page and access its content. They just won’t be able to interact with the page. So its still not ideal.

Email Every Fan
This option used to be tucked away for admins, but since the redesign of the admin area on each page its been brought into the open more. Go into edit page – marketing – send an update. These updates will be emailed to fans of your page. Or you can narrow the target audience to a specific group of fans. Click on target this update and then segment the audience by location, gender and age. As a word of caution don’t over use this. Like any form of communication it can be deemed as spam. I used to like several pages until they went into over drive on the updates.

Segment updates by location and language
So you have a promotion happening in a specific city or country which isn’t relevant to every fan. But how can you tell one set of fans without annoying others? It’s very straightforward. Facebook allows you to segment who sees your updates by location (city and country) and by language. Click on the lock icon beside the share button and you can do this. Remember if your message is for a specific segment of your fans you should try to only target them. Otherwise its could be deemed irrelevant, only annoy and eventually might get the page unliked.

Get notifications when someone posts to your page
This post is pretty useful for this . There’s a few options listed. You could like every post that goes on the wall, that way when anyone comments on it you will be notified. However, the ‘like’ will be from your personal profile. And what if it’s a complaint the person has made? You will hardly ‘like’ that. But you also need notifications when someone posts a comment to photos, videos or even older posts on the page. For this I suggest Page Notifier . It’s a Facebook application that will scan your page for free once a day or on a sliding scale up to every 15 minutes, at $14.95. The first day you get the 15 minute scan for free. I’ve used this for a month and it’s pretty good truth be told. Page Notifier picked up on discussion board and photo comments that would have been cumbersome to find otherwise. I also saw this post from Amanda Webb who suggests it as a way of catching spam too. The new Facebook Spam filter doesn’t catch everything.

Respond to posts
A person walks up to you and asks a question regarding your brand. Without saying anything you turn around and walk away. Isn’t that just rude? So is ignoring posts and comments on your brands Facebook page. I don’t understand why brands still do that, especially in relation to queries. Why have a Facebook page in the first place?

Target ads to fans of (competitors) pages?
I noticed this a few months back, you can target ads at people with specific likes. This includes fans of specific pages, my question is, does this include fans of competitors pages? I honestly don’t know, but the option is there. Go to this link, create your advert and its section 2 you are looking for. Scroll down to Likes and Interests, there type in the page name you wish to promote your advertisement to. It allows me to enter in names of business pages, so in theory this should also allow me to advertise to fans of a competitors page. (Anybody care to confirm?) It’s a bit sneaky and I did read somewhere ages back Facebook wouldn’t allow such tactics, but Google do it all the time.

UPDATE NOV 7th: According to a reader you cannot target pages of competitors, see comments below.

Allow friends to be tagged in page photos
A really good post from Amanda Webb at Spiderworking.com on this. Allowing friends to be tagged in photo’s means greater exposure for that photo and it gives fans a new way of interacting with content on your page. All pluses, but Facebook automatically sets this to off. How to get around it: edit page – in your browser’s URL, note the number that comes AFTER ‘edit/?id=’ – That number is your Page ID. The go to this URL and change REPLACEME to your Page ID:

 

Click the setting for “Allow All Fans to Tag Photos” and now fans can tag photos.

Tag people or pages in your updates.
Did you ever notice when some people post an update a friends name is also tagged in it. By tagged I mean its highlighted and links to the friends page. This is done simply by adding the @ symbol and typing out the persons name. A drop down should auto suggest it. This can also be done for brand pages too. However for this to work the personal profile belonging to the admin of the page, must like the page or be friends with the person they wish to tag ie. The admin must have a connection from their personal profile to the one they want to tag. When you tag a person or page on Facebook the update also appears on their wall as well as you rown. Handy way of getting a message out there, but don’t overuse it.

Guidelines
By guidelines I mean guidelines for the page. Few pages engage in this, but it sets expectations for the audience and defines what functions the page will perform. Is it for customer service? No, then where can people contact customer service? Here’s a pretty decent checklist of points for your guidelines. It’s straight forward enough and can help take the pressure out of a stressful moment on a page

Contingency Plan
A fan has had an awful experience and in a no holes barred post to your page, lets rip on your organisation. There is no language, and the complaint seems genuine enough. What do you do? Have you thought that far? Well this is where you can dictate the rules to a certain extent. Remember I mentioned guidelines well if Facebook isn’t the customer service channel then you can move the conversation off Facebook. I’m lucky not to have moderated over many complaints in my time. But in my experience most people will either not take the complaint further once they know you have acknowledged it (I have seen people edit/delete their comments once they realise th ebrand is watching!), have a genuine complaint and seek resolution (which is only fair), or be unreasonable. On Facebook its hard to be anonymous, but you can easily take complaints made on Facebook and try to resolve them via email. That way it doesn’t play out in front of all the pages fans. But you must also be attentive and proactive enough to demonstrate good customer care. In my worst experience dealing with a complaint, was on a message board in about 2005 and one individual was being completely unreasonable. I was a little dumbfounded by their comments. So I traced his IP address and it went back to competitors office. I shared this information on the thread and the individual never responded. Some people are worried that getting involved in social media will lead to a deluge of complaints. It often leads to a deluge of comments from happy contented customers, but there will be complaints. However, think about it – they don’t want to dip into social because they are worried about a negative backlash, why would you be worried about a backlash? Do you have reason to? If you do then that backlash is probably happening (or will happen) somewhere online and your brands non-response will lead to a vacuum of information and general speculation from people. Or you could deal with it head on and try change opinions and attitudes? No? Oh yes, head in sand is the easier option.

How to get your updates higher ranking in ‘Top News’
I posted about this over on the Neworld Associates blog earlier in the week. You might wish to read the full article here. Essentially to give your updates the potential to rank high in the fans Top News (the other listing is Most Recent), you need to be getting clicks on your page, updates with links rank higher than just text, photo and video updates will rank higher again, while comments and text also help too. Facebook is about engagement and so posts that are media rich tend to get favoured more. I also make some speculative comments on the role of Facebook insights and since Facebook also have access to this information do they rank pages with higher engagement levels better than those with lower engagement levels. They do this to personal profiles, so why not pages?

How to rank better in Facebook search
Another post from the Neworld Associates Blog (read it here). How exactly does Facebook rank its search listings? I suggest reading the full article as it’s complex enough. Facebook is essentially a place for people then users with the keyword you are searching for will appear first, then it’s a mix of historical activity on pages with the keyword, the users likes, their friends likes, events with the keyword and eventually the amount of fans your page has. Although the post outlines the criteria for the auto search box at the top of each page, the all results page and also the ‘pages’ filer on all results. Ultimatly its good to know this information but it can’t be gamed. You need to pick a good URL, link build so when potential fans visit your other social media channels they see the link and also to help build ranking in Google, and don’t forget Bing either. But point 11 and 12 also point to a race for likes in Facebook which may not be good for brands in the long run.

How Accurate are the Demographics in Facebook Create Ad’s?
I’ve always wondered this. How accurate is it, I mean according to this there’s 1.75 million people in Ireland on Facebook. But how accurate can we take that to be, or even the demographic breakdown. Well I decided to compare some pages I moderate using point 5. That is to target an advert to a page I admin to compare what the Facebook Ad demographics are to what the page insights are, I could also get this breakdown by country. I wanted to check for discrepancies because if both ad demographics estimated reach and page insights have the same figures what stops me from checking the demographics of competitors pages?

I looked at three pages with varying amounts of fans, two had mainly International fans and one hand a mainly Irish audience. I tested the top 3 countries on each page and left the age filter at ’any’. The estimated reach was always lower than the page insights from between 5% up to 50%. So what does this mean? Well Facebook won’t give you access to the demographic breakdown of competitors pages, because if the insights and estimated reach were accurate then you could get a fairly good picture of how a competitor is faring. Also I have a feeling that the estimated reach is a figure that lags behind the actual reach. I read during the weak that the total number of people on Facebook in Ireland is 1.83 million, the current figure available in the create ad section of Facebook quotes 1.75 million. This would indicate that estimated reach figures are somewhat older, while page insights are right up to date.

When should I post
A post I made recently, based on an exercise carried out at Measure It a monthly social media get together held in Dublin, that’s really well worth attending. There’s usually two industry case studies followed by group exercises. You can find the original post here. Essentially its about defining what the objective of the content is, knowing what the routine of your audience is, what time zone they are in, what kind of content it is, testing the content (although for Facebook media rich posts perform better), the timeliness of it (is it seasonal content), look for opportunities to tie in with current events, do you post during peak or off peak times (both have advantages and disadvantages), and how does you audience access the internet.

How much time should you allocate to Facebook?
From this months Measure It, in the exercise we had to estimate how much time should you allocate to Facebook. The answer is important as it will help estimate the cost of running a Facebook page. It will mostly involve time, but there may be other costs such as research, content creation, monitoring online activity and building awareness around the Facebook page. There were varying estimations as would be expected with different size organisations. For example a restaurant page was estimated at an hour per day in the initial three months, while an organisation the size of Eircom might need to allocate 15 days per month. A huge difference. Ultimately the time invested has to be evaluated against the cost of the individual who does it and the revenue generated from such actions. My group worked on the restaurant example and estimated one hour per day by

– Building awareness for the page, piggybacking on other community pages such as tourism or cultural pages

– Offline promotion such as including the Facebook logo or icon on the menu or discreetly within the restaurant

– Monitoring the web for mentions using free tools such as Google Alerts

– Creating content such as posting daily specials, offers and promotions

– Moderating the page

– Then to evaluate how much business Facebook is actually driving to the business, run Facebook only offers that require coupon downloads from the Facebook page, or require Facebook to be mentioned when booking to receive 10% off.

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