Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Why Start A Facebook Page For Your Business?

I’m writing this post in response to a few messages I’ve had or posts that we’ve had on our wall about Facebook business pages and what their benefits are. I know a lot of our mums’ businesses already have a Facebook business page but for those who don’t or who are new to Facebook I’ll try to explain why I think they are a good option. I will include both practical reasons and also the perceptions of others.
First off, for those of you currently only using a Facebook personal page to promote your business, I would suggest creating a business page, as this has many benefits over personal pages. (Strictly speaking I don’t think Facebook like you to use a personal page as a business page but that’s not what this article is about and as far as I’m concerned that is totally your decision.)
It’s really straight forward to do, sign in to your personal account and go to your ‘home’ page and on the left hand side you should see ‘Ads and Pages’. If you click on that it should take you to a page where you can ‘Create Page’. If you can't find this, go to someone else’s page and under that page’s ‘Likes’ on the left hand side you should see ‘Create a Page’ in blue writing. Once you get to the ‘Create a Page’ page, you then see all the options of pages available to you. Have a little look round to see which one suit’s your business best, different page types have different options and can require different information. You can always delete your page if you’re not happy with it or change the page type once your page is created, so don’t be afraid to have a go! You don’t need to separately sign in to your business page which makes it really accessible and easy to use. (You can't change the name of your page once you reach 100 likers.)
I’ll now try and outline some of the advantages of Facebook Pages.
1. Depending on the page type you can include much more information in the info section compared to a personal page. Anything from description of your business, what products you sell and any awards you’ve received as well as all your contact details. (This does depend on your page type, there aren’t as many options for community pages like http://www.facebook.com/YummyMummies.BusinessMums)
2. If your business is run by more than one person, you can add people to help admin your page. Or you can add a friend or partner to help you manage your page and moderate what is posted on your wall.
3. Don’t quote me on this, but I think you can add apps to your business page that you may not be able to add to your personal page. From simple, common ones such as a discussions app to more business specific apps such as welcome pages, Facebook/Folksy/Etsy shops and review pages (there are lots to choose from and they are easy to add just go to ‘Edit Page’ and then ‘Apps’ if you don’t see the one you want already on your page, try ‘Browse more applications’ at the bottom in small blue writing). – Please correct me if I’m wrong on this point.
4. Another advantage of Facebook pages is that you get to view insights of people who have visited or ‘liked’ your page. This doesn’t give any personal details, but includes things like how many people have liked your page and viewed your posts on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It also gives you an overview of your demographics (the age range and location of people who like your page) which can help you review your page and ensure you are attracting your desired target audience to your business.
5. If you have a Facebook page, people also have more choices as to how they like your page. Your page can be liked from either a personal page or a business page, and although anyone will liking you from a business page will not count in your number of likes visible on your page you will still be able to view the total number of ‘Likes’ (business and personal) in your insights.
6. If another business page ‘Likes’ your page, you will also show up in their ‘Likes’ list which also gives your page another opportunity to be found by others.
7. This is another one that I’m not entirely sure about but I did try to do a little experimenting so if anyone has had any strange post from a Jill it may have been me! If you tag ‘@’ a business in a comment on your personal page you do not show up on that page’s wall where as if you tag from a comment written on your business page you do. This is useful as once again, even though the comment was written by you on your wall it will appear on the wall of any business pages you have tagged in that comment, giving you yet another opportunity to be seen by others.
As well as the previously mentioned practical advantages there are also other advantages relating to how other people perceive your page.
8. The first advantage is that you appear more professional, both to other businesses and to potential clients or customers. Sometimes, for example if I am trying to return a like, I will click on what I think is a business page and it turns out to be a personal page and I can’t access it because I’m in ‘business’ mode and don’t really want to switch back to ‘personal’ mode. Even if I did switch back to my personal mode I would have to ‘add as a friend’ instead of ‘Like’ which takes time to be confirmed and I just find it a little bit messy.
9. Another reason that may put people off adding you as your business page as a ‘friend’ instead of just liking your page, is the lack of anonymity and privacy this gives. You may not have any difficulty getting friends or people you know to add you but could be putting off anyone you don’t know (who could be potential clients) as if they add you, you will in effect have access to their personal page. (I hope that makes sense.)
The advantages of your liker’s having anonymity from all your other liker’s is more important than you may realise. It means they have less to consider before pushing that ‘Like’ button. Their personal page will remain private and therefore less risky for them, making your page more appealing. The other thing that will also appeal to people is the fact that they can have a little nosy around your page first before deciding to like!
I don’t have a Facebook group so I’m not entirely sure how they work from an admin’s point of view, but as a participant in a couple of groups, I can identify a few drawbacks in using a group as your business page. As previously mentioned it looks less professional and it also doesn’t allow members to remain anonymous. You can also only join from your personal profile and the admins can only write from their personal profiles. This is not to say that groups aren’t useful, they are just not recommended for an option to promote your business.
The main reason I do not recommend using a group page for your business is because you will be missing out on marketing opportunities. And here’s why, when you write or share a post on your business page that post is seen in the feeds on the home page (personal and/or business) of your likers. This does not happen if you are a group, so unless people make the effort to come to your group regularly you will be missing out on opportunities to advertise to them. You will also be missing out on the opportunity to write comments as your business page, which can be useful in increasing your brand awareness and getting people to become familiar with your business name and logo (if you use your logo as your profile picture for your page).
I’ve rambled on enough! For anyone new to the idea of using Facebook for your business, go and have a look, both at other business pages and the 'Create a Page' section on Facebook (as mentioned earlier in this post). Don’t be afraid of experimenting, once you get your page set up it can be great fun as well as being a wonderful asset to your business! And it costs nothing to set up!
Jill. x






2 comments:

Sara said...

It's also worth watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFZ0z5Fm-Ng to get an idea of how many people you could reach through using social media. :)

CraftyBox said...

You touch on the apps that can be added to your fan page, so I wanted to share with you a post I wrote a couple of days back when I noticed a couple of different people in my news feed asking "how to". Please feel free to share this if you feel it might help others...we're all in this together!

http://crafty-box.blogspot.com/2011/06/facebook-fan-page-tabs-tutorial.html

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