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ec Newsletter #72

Greetings from a very sunny (and snowy...!) Gisborne and welcome to a new EC Newsletter.

Welcome to new subscribers on the mailing list - I hope you get some great ideas for your web projects from these newsletters - don't forget to forward them to your friends.

The past Newsletters can be found here; our contact details are below as is the unsubscribe information at the bottom.

Facebook your Business

I’ve seen a lot more businesses on Facebook lately – and many are not leveraging the power of Facebook that well.

Maybe it’s the tool itself – I find some of the functions and features very difficult to use and not consistent in the way it works.

So here’s the definitive “how-to” Facebook your business…

Not engaging with your “friends” or continuing to give people that “like” you great and interesting value will see the growth of your Friends and Likes drop off over time.

Facebook can also be a time sink – computers have been known to distort time for years – sit down in the evening after work and all of a sudden many hours have passed – and with Facebook now being a business tool accessing it during work time without great effect can lead to feelings of “What am I doing…?”

Losing sight of why you are using Facebook on a daily basis and not aiming for the results that a great Facebook strategy can attain can eventually lead to you abandoning Facebook for your business.

Using Facebook for business is about building relationships, setting yourself up as an authoritative source of information and getting a steady flow of links through to the specific “calls to action” on your web site.

Let’s look at the options for using Facebook – there are three main types of Facebook Entity that you can have: -

1) A Personal Profile

2) A Business Page

3) A Group

Facebook wants every person in the world to have a Profile and every Business in the world to have a business page.

Facebookers can “friend” profiles and can “like” business pages. They can also join groups – which can be open to anyone or closed and moderated by the Groups creator.

Although it is against the Facebook terms and conditions you may want to consider having a Personal Profile just for your business to keep separate the interactions being your close friends and family – and your business.

Here’s a quick rundown on some aspects of each and how to use them in business: -

Profile: - have a great profile picture that incorporates either your face or your brand or some other identifying feature. Avoid images that are copyrighted or recognisably stolen from somewhere.

Each time you change your profile picture that information gets posted to all your friends.

The photo should be square – so try and get your logo (or head) centered in the photo.

When you post your Friends get to see the posts and so you can add items through the week. Try not to post always at the same time – else you’ll be reaching the same people day in and day out – you may want to repost the same information later in the day to reach a different group of your friends.

If you want to mention a person (or a page) in your post use the “@” symbol in front of their username – so @ECWebsites will bring up our Facebook Business Page.

When you do this the post gets published on your page and also on the other persons – this is a great way to give thanks about a great service or tell people about a special that you may be promoting on your business page from your profile.

You can add friends by visiting pages and see who has “liked” that page – or join groups that have a shared interest and then “friend” those people in the groups.

I personally don’t automatically friend all requests until I have had a chance to visit their profile and get an idea of what they have to say or to think.

It’s up to you to decide your own “friending” policy and I would recommend making use of the “Lists” (categories) feature of the Friends system.

You can make changes in your security and privacy settings to only view posts from Lists of friends and only allow some of those lists to post on your wall, tag photos or you – or even view your photos.

Business pages can be setup by anyone (check to see if your business hasn’t already got a business page in Facebook – and claim it if it has) and can be maintained by more then one person.

Ideally your Business Page picture would be a tall skyscraper style image with your logo at top, full business name, contact details and maybe even a great “hero” photo.

An ideal image size would be 180 wide by 540 tall and when you upload it you can set the area of the thumbnail that Facebook will use as the icon next to your posts.

You may play around with this to ensure that your logo (or brand or face) looks good in your posts.

You can create landing pages that “non-fans” see and then that “fans” see when they visit your web site.

The “non-fans” image would be a “call to action” to like your page and become a fan while a “fan” image could be a giveaway or promotion of some kind.

Here’s a couple that we have made: -

http://www.facebook.com/ECWebSites

http://www.facebook.com/QualityEmeraldGisborne

And some other well known brands:-

http://www.facebook.com/DietCoke

http://www.facebook.com/heineken

http://www.facebook.com/porsche

(Let us know if you would like us to create some landing page or profile pictures for your Facebook Business page…!)

Once you have 25 people that ‘like” you – you can get a “vanity address” for the page such as www.Facebook.com/BusinessName - to do this have your page open and then open a new tab in your web browser.

Go to the web site www.Facebook.com/username and follow the prompts to get your own name like the ones above.

Promote this address in the same places that you promote your web site address and ask people to like you at every opportunity.

Post great helpful information and links to other people’s great information.

When you add a link to a web site Facebook adds the “Page Title” information from that page so optimise your pages for good search engine optimisation and let people know what they are going to see when the click the link.

Don’t just link to your home page – use “deep links” to relevant information for better click-through rates.

Also when you add a page link Facebook displays a series or small images from that page to use as an icon for the link – you control these in the “meta” tags of each page – let us know and we can create a “Facebook friendly” logo for you to use for this.

As for profile postings if you post at different times through the day you will reach a different set of people that like you – so you may want to repost some of your important or really useful information.

Upload photos into Galleries of Business Events and encourage others to tag themselves in the photos – in this way when they tag a photo that link also gets shared on their wall.

You may want to tag others yourself but be careful with this strategy as if you overdo it Facebook may say that you are spamming and also your fans may also “unlike” you if you do that too often.

A Facebook Group can be open, closed or secret – if closed or secret people need to be invited to join and moderated by the admin of the Group. A secret Group will not have any content shared at all in the Public Facebook area while closed could be depending on your privacy settings.

This could be used for your staff or customers as an “intranet” or as a “sealed section” for you to add value to your customers without having all the information in the public Facebook areas.

You may set up a group for your industry or geographical area to cover your interests – or just search out and join other groups already set up.

Once you have Facebook set up to your liking then you can add a link to your profile, page or group and you can also have the contents of your Business Page added onto your web site.

A word on security and privacy –

Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t want strangers to know anyway.

Watch for the geo-location of your posts – or about what you say – everyone on your friends list may enjoy reading about your overseas trip – but who is looking after your empty house…!

Keep up to date with the latest throughts on the privacy settings in Facebook (these do change from time to time) and spend a little time today setting the privacy settings that you have in Facebook…

Let us know if you would like us to help with your Facebook use for your business

Bonus Tool:

Google+ - Google has had most of the components of Google+ for a little while now – but bring it all together and adding a few neat tricks has many people thinking this may be a Facebook killer.

I’m not sure – yet as there isn’t many of my friends or contacts on their yet – if you would like to join me – let me know from the EC contacts page

Have you seen the E-C Help section lately...?

It is available at www.e-c.co.nz/help

We've also archived these newsletters at www.e-c.co.nz/news

And check us out on facebook - www.facebook.com/ECWebSites

That's it for now - please do let us know what you think of the newsletter - and of the ec toolset and thanks for your business...!

Cheers and thanks again
Rus

Websites:
www.ec2.co.nz
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