When it comes to using Facebook for business, a lot of companies are somehow stumped. Can you relate? To help demystify some of the confusion surrounding this social network, here are answers to the five questions we get most often!
Q: Should my company have a Facebook fan page?
A: In a world with multiple social media outlets, some brands find it hard to know when Facebook is worth their company’s time. This is particularly true for B2B brands, which often feel that their more humdrum, technical topics won’t be attractive to the typical Facebook user. At the same time, however, B2B clients are still people—and people are the heart of Facebook.
What does this mean for your firm? “A Facebook Page is probably worth your while — if you have the time, knowhow and resources to do it right,” says Small Business Computing. “At a minimum, some B2B companies find that posting regular updates on Facebook (as well as on Twitter and LinkedIn) help them stay ‘top of mind’ with customers.”
Q: Do I have to maintain a personal Facebook account to run a fan page?
A: The short answer is yes. You must have a personal account in order to set up and maintain a Facebook fan page. There are many situations when, for businesses, this can be a problem: maybe you have an employee set up your fan page but then he or she leaves the company, taking the tied page with them; or perhaps you’re setting up a fan page for a client but don’t want it tied to your account after the project is done. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Unlinking Pages from Profiles: While every fan page must be linked to a profile, Facebook gives you a way to unlink the page for a particular profile while passing it on to another one if you like. It’s also possible to have more than one admin on a page.
- Setting Up Pages for Clients: Rather than using your own personal account to set up a client’s Facebook page, create a generic Facebook account for your client’s use. That way, anyone authorized from the company will be able to log in—and their personal profiles can be linked as administrators as desired.
- Switching between Profile and Page: When you’re logged into your account but want to post as your fan page, there’s an easy way to do so. Simply go to the top right-hand corner of your Facebook dashboard while logged in and click the downward-facing arrow. You’ll see the option to use Facebook as your page when you’re logged into your profile, or to switch back to your profile when you’re logged in as your page.
Q: How can I use Facebook to increase engagement with customers?
A: Your Facebook fan page is about more than gathering fans—it’s about building community. You can improve customer connections by asking open-ended questions, linking to interesting articles, posting “fill in the blank” status updates (such as “The [company] product I like best is _____________”), etc. Rather than just promoting your company, look for ways to enhance your clients’ lives with good information and links. According to JeffBullas.com, the three content types that drive the most Facebook interaction are photos, quotes and meaningful infographics.
Q: Should I use Facebook apps? Which ones?
A: As with blogging or smartphones, apps (plugins to blogs) can add functionality and features to your Facebook fan page that make it more useful. Here are a few worth checking out:
- RSS Feed Reader: Automatically post from your blog to your Facebook page with an RSS plugin. This helps your fans stay updated on your latest posts.
- Twitter: If you want to simultaneously post to Twitter and Facebook, a Twitter app can make it easy. This way, you automatically stay in touch with users on both networks.
- Static FBML: Because Facebook pages and profiles don’t offer functionalities for adding HTML, the Static FBML is a great app for customizing your page. With Static FBML, you have a blank slate to add images, video, etc.
Q: What’s the Deal with Pages Liking Pages? Are they counted? Can I tell?
A: Just like individual Facebook users have the ability to like your Facebook page, so do other fan pages. These likes do not count towards your total fans, and there’s no easy way to see what pages like yours.