Social Media: Facebook's Current Offerings to Business Owners
By Melanie Wahl, SEO Specialist
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and current CEO of Facebook, has been in the news a lot recently. Time Magazine named him the 2010 Person of the Year. CNBC did a documentary recently - The Facebook Obsession - on Zuckerberg's Facebook. The program which aired January 6, 2011 touched on the company's history, lawsuits, and the social network's aptitude for bringing people together. Facebook's dramatic growth lent itself well to the silver screen and became the popular movie: The Social Network.
Not long after Facebook made headlines for reaching 500 million users, the counter edged up toward 600 million. That's nearly 600 million people on Facebook, often viewing and updating their profiles daily. No business owner can reasonably deny that their customers are on Facebook; the question is whether your business has a presence on Facebook and if so, whether you are optimized for engaging your target market.
Your first question may be about Facebook Profiles. These are Pages for individuals to display images, videos, textual notes called posts, and other personal information. Each Profile can contain a variety of demographic points, from favorite movie, to attended university, and occupation. If you don't already have a presence on Facebook, you may be tempted to create a Facebook Profile for your business. This is against Facebook's terms and conditions. Facebook created something separate called a Facebook Page for businesses to use for their presence on Facebook. Facebook Pages are similar to Facebook Profiles and contain many of the same elements however businesses can leverage certain features of a Facebook Page to better suit their brand image and better connect with their current and prospective consumers. Filling the Page with textual, image, and video content will also help convey your brand to visitors. Visitors can "like" your Page (previously known as becoming a "fan") and then share your Page with others. Those who "like" your Page can act as brand advocates to their friends.
If your business already has a Facebook Page, are you testing Facebook ads, creating and testing custom tabs, or cross-branding with your other social networks? Facebook allows advertisers to display ads to specific groups as they move through the site without ever giving away information as it ties to a specific Profile/person. Creating custom tabs with special coding is a great way to engage visitors. Some companies have even integrated e-commerce to allow visitors to buy products straight through their Facebook Page.
There are many additional features of Facebook that you may encounter outside of the main site's Profiles and Pages. For instance, you may come across a "like' button on a website page (or perhaps even want to add one to your Page). You could delve deeper into the analytics behind Facebook and explore Facebook Insights. Even smartphones, such as iPhone, Blackberry, and Droid, can be equipped with Facebook apps so that you can check your "likes" and communicate with visitors on the go. These are all possibilities to expand your Facebook Social Media Marketing efforts and connect with current and potential customers.
Facebook has become an integral part of the social interaction of nearly 600 million people around the world. Consumers are familiar with buying online, sharing their "likes" with their network, and receiving real-time responses to their queries. As a part of everyday life, businesses should embrace this as an opportunity to better communicate with customers.
If you would like more information on designing a Facebook Page or developing a Social Media strategy for your business, contact MoreVisibility.
If you have questions about data protection and privacy settings, please review our May 2010 Newsletter: What You Should Know About Recent Facebook Changes by Danielle Leitch, Executive Vice President Client Strategy.