However, good news! Facebook does provide a place for you to represent your business, and that is Facebook Pages.
Here’s the #1 reason to have your own Facebook Page (as well as your own Profile):
More people can find out about your business because your Page gets indexed and is searchable inside and outside of Facebook.
Other reasons include:
- Because the number of Fans you can have is unlimited (whereas the Friend limit is 5,000).
- Activity on your Page helps increase what I call “viral visibility” on Facebook.
- You can establish your brand even further.
Watch this video introduction then read the instructions below to get going with your Facebook Page!
Is 5,000 Friends Enough?
I appreciate 5000 friends may seem like a huge number to some people – perhaps unwieldy and difficult to manage. However, if you’re in business for yourself – or you work for a company – fast forward a year or more from today. Can you see it’s perfectly feasible you’ll hit that ceiling of 5,000?
Of the 100 million active Facebook users today, only a very small percent are at or near the Friend limit. But I’m certain in the coming months and years, we’re going to see an awful lot more members bumping up against that ceiling.
I’m optimistic Facebook will take steps to accommodate the need for a higher ceiling (or none at all). Meantime, you should definitely set up your Facebook Page so you can begin to build out your Fans on your Page as well as your Friends on your Profile.
Establish an interactive presence on Facebook.
Every Facebook Page is a unique experience where users can become more deeply connected with your business or brand. Users can express their support by adding themselves as a fan, writing on your Wall, uploading photos, and joining other fans in discussion groups. You can send updates to your fans regularly — or just with special news or offers. Add applications to your Page and engage your users with videos, reviews, flash content, and more. Creating a Facebook Page is easy, free, and great for all types of businesses.
How To Create Your Facebook Page
[Pages are totally FREE but for some reason Facebook has them under Advertising. I met Carolyn Abram recently at Blog World Expo; she works for Facebook on the User Experience Team and she co-authored the book, Facebook for Dummies. I asked Carolyn why Facebook have all but hidden where and how to set up Facebook Pages – she told me she wasn’t sure either but that Facebook is aware of this. Hmm.]
Unlike with Profiles, Facebook allows you to create multiple Pages – ideal for various ventures, products, brands or divisions of your business. And, keep in mind every Facebook Page will go to work for you in terms of SEO! (Search engine optimization.)
NOTE: Carefully choose the title of your page, ideally including your key words or phrases for SEO purposes. Your title is the ONLY feature you cannot change (just like Groups and Events).
Just as you can add apps to your Profile, you can add many of the apps to your Page. Recommended apps inculde:
- Static FBML (Facebook Markup Language) – allows you to include any of your own HTML.
- Flash Player – upload your own Flash files for advanced customization.
- YouTube Box – import videos you’ve already loaded to YouTube.
- Kyte – create your own TV channel.
- Simply RSS – import your various feeds. (See also Notes below).
Facebook default apps;
- Notes – import your primary blog post. If you write multiple blogs and are a more advanced techie type, use Yahoo Pipes to create a blended feed to import.
- Photos – load and tag pics. (Note – you can’t pull pics over from your personal P
rofile. You have to upload pics from afresh as Facebook doesn’t make the connection that your Profile and your Page are the same person!)
- Videos -load your videos on Facebook even if they’re also on YouTube, Viddler, etc. for added exposure.
- Posted Items – share links with useful resources for your fans.
Ten Ideas To Create Buzz With Your Page
- Get a new domain.Create a shortened redirect URL or buy a domain (e.g. janedoefanclub.com) and forward it to your Facebook Page URL. Mine is marismith.com/fanpage (also /funpage & /fanclub).
- Use Twitter. Tweet about your Page URL regularly. [Related posts: How To Increase Interaction With Your Facebook and Twitter Network ]
- Create exclusive content.Add content to your Page for your Fans that they cannot get anywhere else, e.g. videos, tips, special gifts.
- Hold drawings.Run a weekly prize drawing where you draw a Fan’s name at random for a prize.
- Play hide ‘n’ seek. ;)”Hide” something on your Page and get your Fans to find it. Have them tweet their answer to you! The first x get a prize.
- Run contests.Create a photo and/or video contest. Have your Fans upload their photos/videos to your Fan Page.
- Provide a place for interaction.Start a thread on your Discussion Board that allows your fans to promote and/or network with one another. e.g. See my thread: What’s your Twitter username? Share here and we’ll all follow!
- Acknowledge fans.When new Fans write on your Page Wall, respond by writing back on their wall.
- Invite via siggy files.Call your Fan Page a Fan Club and include an invitation to join your Club on your email signature file.
- Buy Social Ads.Promote your Page with Social Ads. Every time someone becomes your Fan their name and photo may appear alongside your ad.
Example Facebook Pages
- Mari Smith – Relationship and Buzz Marketing Specialist
- The Blog Squad
- Social Network Fundraising
- Fast Company
- Forrester Research
- View all pages here. Browse the different categories and get a feel for what’s popular to include on your own Page.
What’s your Facebook Fan Page? Feel free to post the URL below. And/or ask any questions or make suggestions here about Facebook Pages:
[UPDATE:] Note that Facebook are particular about how you promote your page and reference Facebook. There are several do’s and dont’s. See the promotion tips and how to create a Facebook Page Badge here.