TEN TOP TIPS : Ten things to learn about Facebook

Face it, Facebook is strategy you shouldn’t ignore.
Facebook is now the number-one website in the US, even ranking above Google, with around 500 million active users using the site each month, and around half those users visiting daily. The average user has around 130 friends, and spends around 40 minutes on the site when they visit, which not only is huge amount of time, but other websites don’t come close to that.
That means that Facebook is fast becoming the number-one choice for lot of people to stay in touch with friends, and also to surf for information within their community. You can’t afford not to be using it.

1 The numbers In New Zealand there are about 1.7 million active users around the country, which given the size of the country, is almost half of the nation, and even when you take the younger generation out (13 to 17 years age group) that still leaves around 1.5 million active users.

2 Keep your privacy settings open Facebook works by you simply sharing information with your friends, and depending on how you have set your privacy settings up, your friends’ friends can also see certain information. For instance, if I click the “Like” button on particular business page, say Urban Gourmet, note will be posted on my personal profile wall that I “like” that page. That is visible to all my friends who visit my personal profile and they too can click through to that business page and “Like” it. This is one of the reasons why Facebook likes you to keep your privacy settings open, to keep things as easy as possible to filter through to others and really take advantage of the viral nature of the site.

3 It is vital to have business page Here are three good reasons why you should consider business Facebook page: It’s free. It’s interactive. It’s growing community.

4 Decide your approach There won’t be many industries that wouldn’t be able to make use of Facebook page, and so for most businesses, it is case of deciding on the reason to do it, and supplying information to satisfy that need. If you are corporate catering and event planning company, the reason to do it is brand exposure, to gain customer feedback and engagement, and to share culinary information. More “Likes” equals more exposure.

5 Beware of not updating Beware of simply starting business page and leaving it without regular, informative and relevant content, because that simply screams of sloppiness and could be damaging to your brand, bit like dirty windows and litter around your front entrance.

6 Use images To get your page looking good in the early days create an image for your wall page rather than just adding your logo. It is good idea to include in that image picture of the person who will be administering the page – as this gives the visitor an idea of who it is they are talking to, your logo, and how the visitor can contact you easily.

7 Use the notes tab Copy some relevant information from your website into the Notes tab. This acts almost as blog post and will filter through to your main wall page whenever you add something in. There is plenty of space for larger articles, but you will need to double-check the formatting to make sure it looks nice. You can even add photos to the page.

8 Video brings it to life Add any good video clips you may have of your company’s products or service as these are easily uploaded and stay on your video page. Alternatively, you can link directly to the video on YouTube if it is long one.

9 The ‘like’ factor Get the office team and close friends to “Like” your page quickly, as you want to get to 25 fans as soon as possible. When you hit 25, go to www.facebook.com/username and claim your unique page name or URL. Choose wisely, as this can’t be changed, so watch out for spelling mistakes. This unique page name or URL allows you to have an easy-to-remember and shorter page URL than before so the format will be www.facebook.com/yourcompany

10 Use the links Link your page to Twitter if you have Twitter account, so that whenever you post something on Facebook, it updates your Twitter account, simultaneously eliminating one job and spreading consistent message.

Linda Coles of Blue Banana is speaker and trainer on building and maintaining relationships online.

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