Catalogs.com has a page on Facebook. This is new for us. We are adding fans to hear what they think about Catalogs.com, while we share news, savings offers and interesting catalogs. Catalogs.com is also connecting with our merchants by making their Facebook Pages the “Favorite Pages” of our Facebook Page.
This is how the web of Facebook works. You have to get the word out there, and keep fanning the embers. No pun on the use of the word “fan.”
Some of our merchants are visiting the Catalogs.com Facebook Page, and asking us for a quick tutorial on how to get started. They see the possibilities. They want to join the web, and connect with their customers, both existing and potential. With over 400 million active Facebook users, there is vast potential. It’s kind of breath-taking.
As a marketer, I encourage our merchants to add social media to their marketing strategies. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs are valuable vehicles for branding and building community. If we listen – not just sell – these forums can provide a perpetual focus group of those who are engaged with our products and services.
Facebook is an excellent social media starting point. Facebook allows a business to share all types of media: copy, statistics, links, photographs and video. Facebook is free. And, once it is set up, Facebook is fairly simple to navigate and maintain.
Facebook made changes to the Profile and Page layouts last week. Here is how you get started in the “new” Facebook:
1. Decide which Facebook page is appropriate.
On Facebook, a “Profile” is for a person, a “Page” is for a business or a brand, a “Cause” is for a fund- or awareness-raising organization, and a “Group” is for networking. “Profiles” have “friends,” “Pages” have “fans,” “Causes” and “Groups” have “members.”
Facebook has its own language, where nouns become verbs, as in “please fan my Page” and “invite your friends to fan our Page.”
A Page for a business or brand must be attached to a person’s Facebook Profile. The person who owns the Profile is the administrator for the Page.
2. If you have a Facebook Profile, and don’t mind connecting your business Page to your own Profile, log in.
If you do not have a Facebook Profile, or if you want to create a “business persona” to administer a business Page, create an account at www.facebook.com. Fill out the required fields. If you already have a personal Profile, you will need to create this new Profile with a different e-mail address – use your business e-mail.
Page fans will not see the Profile that is linked to the Page. You can set privacy preferences for your Profile so that it is hidden completely if you prefer.
If you just set up a new Facebook Profile following the directions above, log in.
3. Go to your Profile Home page, by clicking on “HOME” on the right side of the top blue bar.
4. Scroll down to the very bottom of the Home page, find the small blue type, and click on “Advertising.”
5. On the left side, click on “Pages.”
6. Click on “Create Page” which opens a screen called “Create New Facebook Page.”
7. Fill out the information. Name the page for your business, store, service or brand.
Check the box “Do not make page visible at this time.” This will keep the page hidden until you have added your content and are ready to go live.
8. Click on “Create a Page.” Your Page has been created.
9. Now you can start adding information: a profile picture (your logo is a good start), copy about your product or company, and basics like phone and Web site. Click on all the blue tabs along the top to load information. Add photographs or videos. Click on “Edit Page” and work your way through all the boxes, completing the information.
It’s good for your Facebook Page to be engaging, especially when the Page is new: give your first group of fans something to read, consider and click on. Add a few wall posts to make your new Page visually interesting right from the start. Photos are great – always select “Publish to Wall” when you are uploading photographs; if you upload three or more at a time, the three photos will publish in a group to the Page wall. This looks nice.
Don’t be scared: you can’t break it! If you don’t like the way something looks, delete that piece of content and start over.
10. Decide who will be allowed to post to your Page wall. At the top of your Wall, selecting “Your company + Fans” encourages interaction. It is interesting to allow fans to post photographs as well: they can model the clothing they purchase or share pictures of their decorating projects.
11. When you have content loaded, close your Page. Sign out. Log back into your Profile, find your Page and test all the tabs and links. Proofread your copy. Think about what your Fans – your customers and potential customers – will be looking for. When you are ready to go live, click “publish this Page” in red at the top.
12. Click on the “Share +” button along the left to let your own Facebook friends know about your Page. Ask them to share it with their friends. Promote your Facebook Page on your company Web site and on your printed materials, even your business card.
13. When your Page has reached 25 fans, you can set a custom URL for your Page. Go to http://www.facebook.com/username/ and select a URL. For example: http://www.facebook.com/yourfirstpage. Be certain to check the box that indicates this custom URL is for your Page not for your personal Profile.
14. Keep your Facebook Page current and engaging. Log in to your Facebook Profile to edit your Page. To get to your Page, type the name into the search bar, or click on “Ads and Pages” from your Profile Home.
Some interesting links:
Coffee Talk with Baxter: How to set up a Facebook Fan Page
Blogtrepreneur: Facebook Fan Pages
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