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Facebook Page Best Practices for Small Businesses

September 12, 2009
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Please Note: Three new best practices are added each month. Please subscribe to the Small Business Tech 2.0 e-newsletter to be alerted when new Facebook best practices have been posted.

1) Configure your Page’s “Settings” to allow more participation.

Facebook Fan Pages are a great tool in terms of inspiring online conversation around your business’s product or service. The ability to build community and inspire online conversation is essential in order to have a return on your investment (ROI) when using social networking sites, and you can’t build community on Facebook if you don’t allow your fans to participate on your Page. This will mean that you are going to have check your Page more regularly for rogue comments, but that is a small price to pay for increased community participation and ROI.

To allow maximum participation on your Facebook Page, go to “Options > Settings” on the home view under the “Share” button and:

View Settings:

1) Default View for Wall :: Posts by Page and Fans
2) Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else :: Wall
3) Auto-Expand Comments :: Check

Fan Permissions:

Check :: Fans can write on the wall
Check :: Allow fans to post photos
Check :: Allow fans to post videos
Check :: Allow fans to post links

2) Use your business’s logo as your Page picture.

Your logo a.k.a. avatar has never had more value than it does in the Era of Web 2.0. People will recognize your logo from Facebook on Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, etc. before they even they even see your profile name. Make sure the use of your logo/avatar is consistent on all your social networking profiles. A logo is increasingly becoming a necessary expense for small businesses to be successful on the Web.

3) Put “http://” before all Web sites in “Updates”.

“Updates” are similar to e-mails that you can send to your fans inside of Facebook. Make sure that you have the “http://” in front of all Web site URLs [such as http://www.taqueriasarandas.com] that you list in your Update so that the link is automatically hyperlinked allowing  individuals to visit the website with one simple click. You’d be surprised how few Page Admins know this little trick. People will not copy and paste http://www.taqueriasarandas.com into their browser, thus you are losing a valuable opportunity to increase your Web site traffic via Facebook Updates.

4) Ask questions to spark conversation and activity on your Page.

The new Facebook Pages were built to inspire more activity on the part of your fans. A good strategy is to use the “What’s on your mind?” function to post questions. People will then reply answers on your Page giving it more dynamic, community-driven look and feel. Make sure you have configured your Page’s Settings to allow more participation!

5) Select a vanity URL that matches your organizations website.

In June 2009, Facebook started allowing Page Admins to select vanity URLs for Facebook Pages, such as www.facebook.com/smallbusinesses. At first there was a 1,000 minimum requirement, but no longer. It is now down to 100 fans. Grab your vanity URL ASAP at www.facebook.com/username if you have not already. Ideally it should match your website address or other social networking vanity URLs.

6) Add the “Static FBML” App and learn basic HTML.

The Static FBML App is one of the most important Apps on Facebook. It allows you to add new boxes to your page that can include text, links and images as long as you have a basic working knowledge of HTML (View Basic HTML Tutorial).

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7) Get professional training on how use Facebook!

Knowing how to use social media in your personal life is quite different from knowing how  to use it professionally. Training is essential for launching and maintaining a successful social media strategy for your business. Be sure to take Small Business Tech 2.0’s webinar on How Small Businesses Can Successfully Use Facebook and Twitter.

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