June 18th, 2010 by Becky Turner
As an entrepreneur,is an outstanding tool to promote your business. Most people I know use to share photos, play games and interact with friends online. But once you learn how to promote your business on Facebook, you’ll see it is much more than just a fun way to waste time when you’re bored.
Facebook is an interactive stage with millions of potential customers, targetable by common interests or home country or even date of birth. The average user mentality is receptive to new ideas and online content, and is willing to share a wealth of personal information.
Through the genius of social networking, your website or business can quickly develop a presence on the net without a large advertising budget. Here I’ve identified five easy ways to take advantage of Facebook’s incredible reach and supercharge your online business operations.Create a Facebook PageClaim a Unique UsernameAdd a Widget to Your WebsiteCreate a Landing PagePromote Your Page with Facebook Ads
A Facebook Page is a public profile that enables you to share your business and products with thousands of other Facebook users. Anyone can create a page in a few minutes and invite other users to join.
The advantage of having a page to promote your business on Facebook is you can build up a dedicated following. While it depends on your niche (a page for an accountancy firm might be as boring as it gets), giving fans the opportunity to join and share opinions is not to be missed.
What’s more, all your Facebook followers will be alerted to your latest stories and comments. This is just as powerful as a mailing list – if not more, because you can stay in daily contact with fans. (I don’t know about you but I regard daily emails as intrusive and spammy. Yet I’ll willingly listen to daily ramblings of every man and his dog on Facebook.)
With such a powerful communication channel geared to reach thousands of targeted users, I strongly recommend creating a Facebook Page for most types of business, online or offline. It is a fantastic way to create an online community and make your marketing go viral when users amplify your voice to their friends… and their friends of friends… and so on.
Follow this link to create a Facebook Page with on-screen instructions. Make sure you populate your page with enough information about your business or website, including your name (so friends will always recognize you) and your website address and logo.
I also post my Facebook Page link on my personal profile, which encourages my existing friends to join up if they’re interested. A lively community will begin to snowball once you have about 500 followers, and the page will maintain itself. All you need do is check up a few times per week and post your latest thoughts and content to encourage repeat traffic.
Facebook Groups are another kind of public profile often confused with Facebook Pages. There are a few key differences:Facebook Pages are visible to everyone and indexed by Google. But you can only invite new people to join manually – no bulk invites. You can create a custom URL for your Page, host discussions, add extra applications, message all members via their news feed, gain visitor statistics, share videos and photos, create related events, and promote them with Facebook ads. In short, Pages are generally better for creating long term relationships with your followers. Facebook Groups are only visible to fans and not indexed by Google. However you can send out bulk invites to friends, who can also bulk invite their friends. You have to use a long tail URL but can host discussions, message all members via private messages, and share videos and photos. So Groups are better for viral marketing, but not necessarily gaining repeat or long term followers.
Finally, when you promote your business on Facebook, keep a reasonable segregation from your personal Facebook activities. In particular, don’t use your personal profile page to create a fan base as this limits you to 5,000 followers – plus you will never be able to draw the line between work and play. All your followers will be able to see your personal photos of family and friends and anyone other photos you are tagged in.
Once you have 25 followers of your Facebook Page, you can claim a Facebook username. This is a custom URL that changes your Facebook Page address from a long tail string to something a bit catchier:
This is a much easier way for people to look up and remember your Facebook Page. It also creates a personalized home on the web for your business (although I strongly recommend this is not your first port of call – a custom website should come first).
You can also refer to this URL anywhere on the internet as a way of directing new fans to your Facebook Page. That includes your own website, in blog comments, on other social network sites, in You Tube videos, and anywhere else you can gain new followers.
Aside from Facebook referrals, the next biggest source of new followers will be your website. Facebook offers a number of social widgets to promote your Facebook Page.
I recommend creating a Like Box which can include thumbnails of people who already follow you. (As social creatures, we love to conform and seeing that other people already like something reinforces our urge to follow too.) Depending on how much space you have, your widget can also include a news stream.
When you send a new follower to your Facebook Page, they will automatically land on your Wall. They will be confronted with the latest user comments or photos, and it may be difficult to understand what your Facebook Page is actually about. You risk losing them altogether.
Instead of dumping them straight on your Wall and hoping that will compel them to “Like” your page, send them to a landing page which gives them some solid reasons to join. It looks much more professional and can dramatically increase your conversion rate.
I suggest you use PhotoShop or another high quality design program to create an image 520 x 500 pixels, featuring your business logo, your tag line, several benefits of joining, and maybe a picture of you to add credibility (if your personality is part of the package). If you are not a design pro, Pete can design a landing page for you.
Here’s a mini version of our landing page for Career Evolution:
Or you can visit our landing page for the full size version. See how it is clean and easy to understand, creates instant brand recognition with our logo and credibility with our profile photos. We also explain exactly what Career Evolution does and convey our Unique Selling Proposition (a USP is something you offer that no-one else does quite the same way). There is also a direct instruction explaining what you want the visitor to do.
It’s like an advert, but you are not actually selling anything. All you want them to do is hit the “Like” button which appears above the image. Using a landing page like this has been proven to increase conversion rates of new visitors to a Facebook Page.
This is really easy to do with step-by-step instructions. If I’ve made it look complicated it’s just because I’m explaining every little detail
Part One – Add Static FBML to Your PageOn your Facebook Page, go to the top left and click “Edit Page”.Scroll down to “More Applications” and click “Browse More”.At the top left there is a search box, type: “Static FBML”.The search results will return an application called Static FBML by Facebook. Click on it and a new page will open.Are the top left, click “Add to my Page”. You will be asked to choose which Facebook Page you want to add it to.
Part Two – Enter Your Image URLOn your Facebook Page, go to the top left and click “Edit Page”.Scroll down and under “Applications” find “FBML” and click “Edit”.In the “Box Title” field type: Welcome!In the “FBML” field type:
This source URL should be customized to reflect wherever you have uploaded your landing page image on the web. Your webmaster can help you do this if you don’t know how.Click “Save Changes”.
Part Three – Set Your Landing Page to Default ViewOn your Facebook Page, click on the Welcome tab you just created alongside Wall, Info, Discussions, etc. If you have lots of tabs, click on the double chevrons to view all hidden tabs. Check your landing page looks exactly how you want it to, or go back and edit it.Click back to your “Wall” tab and under the blue “Share” button click on “Options” then click on “Settings”.The first setting is “Default View for Wall” – I like to set this to “Posts by Page and Fans” for maximum interactivity among users.The second setting is “Default Landing Page for Everyone Else” – select your “Welcome!” landing page from the drop down menu. This means any new visitors (who aren’t already fans) will automatically land on your spiffy new landing page. That’s it!
This is a simple technique that should take just a few minutes to implement and should seriously increase your Facebook Page conversions. It is especially important if you are going to do the next step (recommended).
In the past I always shunned Facebook Ads because I assumed they were ineffective and expensive. I was very much mistaken!
You have to realize that Facebook is a runaway social network with more than 400 million active users worldwide. More than 50% of them log in every day – with the average user spending 20 minutes on Facebook. Twenty minutes! The average Google user spends mere seconds on the world’s most successful search engine. Moreover, Facebook has access to piles of user information, meaning you can target your ads to a very specific audience – ones who are itching to find your business. This is a massive advantage that not even Google AdWords can offer.
To demonstrate the power of Facebook Ads, I’d like to show you a real life case study. It shows how I gained more than 1,000 fans on my Sheltie Planet Facebook Page over the course of 4 days, costing a grand total of $12.10. (By the way, Sheltie Planet is another content-rich website I run about Shetland Sheepdogs – aka Shelties – launched in 2010.)
Go to your Facebook Page and click on “with an Ad”. You’ll see that the Facebook robot has kindly generated an Ad for you – but it wont be nearly creative enough for your needs, so ignore that.
The title is automatically set to the page name – in this case Sheltie Planet. I can’t change that. However, I can create some compelling body text for the ad. The trick is to create a hook. In as few words as possible, give users a compelling reason to click the ad. Remember, you’re not trying to sell anything – you’re trying to intrigue them just enough to click. Some good ways to do this include asking questions (“Do you own a Sheltie?”) or making enticing offers (“Free Sheltie plush toy!)
Take a moment to think about your ad text, because getting it right is very important. For Sheltie Planet, I went with a hook I knew would work – asking if they own a Sheltie. I know that 99% of my target audience WILL own a Sheltie, thanks to Ad targeting (explained below). But they will think it’s pretty cool that my Sheltie Ad found them.
I also give them a reason to click – to share photos of their beloved fur babies. We Sheltie owners are obsessed with our little dogs and jump at the chance to share pictures of them.
Next, I uploaded a small image for the Ad (106 x 80 pixels). I picked a bright and colorful picture of my two Shelties, Howard and Piper. This immediately draws the eye of fellow Sheltie owners, overcoming the problem of Ad blindness. For this reason, you should avoid using your business logo unless you are specifically trying to raise brand awareness. Instead, choose a relevant, eye-catching image that will draw attention. It must also be easily recognizable at this thumbnail size.
Once you’ve honed your Ad content, it’s time to target the Ad to a very specific group of people on Facebook. It’s extremely important that you only target those who will actually be interested in your page.
For location, if your audience is English speaking, I suggest targeting the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. For demographics, I chose both males and females over 15. There are further advanced options in this section, like relationship status or workplace. You can even target people on their birthdays with a free gift.
Next, the most important part of targeting a Facebook Ad is in their Likes & Interests. For Sheltie Planet, I didn’t target animal lovers, or even dog lovers. I only targeted anyone who put “Shelties” or “Shetland Sheepdogs” in their interests when they filled out their Facebook profile.
Finally, filter out anyone who is already a fan of your page. Facebook usually does this automatically to save you any unnecessary spending. With these filters in place, my campaign will be put in front of around 7,000 Facebook users. That is an excellent starting point for my first campaign.
This is the bit that always put me off in the past… Facebook’s Cost-Per-Click (CPC) rate is extortionate at face value. In this example, it quoted me $0.80-1.13 per click! If that value were accurate, it would have cost me more than $1,000 for my last campaign – instead of $12.10.
So what the heck is going on, Facebook? I honestly have no idea. In an effort to squeeze more money out of advertisers, Facebook quotes ridiculous click fees, but this also serves to push people away. In truth, your click rate needn’t cost this much – and there is a way around it so your CPC rate can be as little as $0.01. So hang in there.
First, if you’re doing a brand awareness campaign, pay for impressions. Otherwise, pay for clicks. Whatever the suggested bid, halve it and enter that in the field. If you go too low, you’ll get this warning message:
I find the safe range is 50% of the lower suggested bid. But don’t worry – that’s NOT actually what you’re going to end up paying. Just enter a viable bid (for now) and follow the on-screen instructions. I set my daily budget intentionally low – I really resent paying for advertising. So don’t feel stingy setting it to $2.00, especially at the start when you don’t know your final Cost-Per-Click. Finally, enter your payment details and save.
Your Ad will be pending review and Facebook will email you usually within 24 hours to confirm your Ad is live. Once you start getting Ad impressions and clicks, you’ll see you’re not really paying anywhere near the suggested bid range. Look up your Ad statistics and see the Average CPC. In my Sheltie Planet campaign, this had already fallen to $0.25 on the first day, so I edited my CPC bid accordingly in the campaign settings. The next day, the Average CPC (determined by Facebook) was $0.02! So again, I edited my bid. This may not be necessary but I wanted to ensure my CPC didn’t shoot up again without my knowledge. I also increased my daily campaign budget to $5.00 as I was getting hundreds of clicks and didn’t want to miss out.
Unbelievably, Facebook’s suggested bid for the campaign went up – to $0.97-1.40 per click. Yet in reality, my average CPC went down to $0.01 by day three and remained there. Pete and I have run a few more Facebook Ads since discovering this technique and the same pattern has emerged – the Sheltie Planet campaign was not just a one-off.
Promoting my business on Facebook accelerated my Sheltie Planet readership by more than 1,000 fans in just a few days. I was stunned by how quickly my Facebook Wall grew, with fans adding hundreds of photos of their Shetland Sheepdogs – just like the Ad said.
There is just one caveat to Facebook Ads: the targeting that makes it so effective is not available for every niche. Career Evolution is an example of this; people simply don’t write their career aspirations in their Facebook Likes & Interests.
Aside from that, if you can find a way to target your Ad to people who are more than likely to click, and more than likely to convert, then you can experience a dramatic snowballing effect with your Facebook Page. You can of course direct your ad to your website and create a dramatic increase in website traffic too.