Following Kate’s post on Social Media Considerations, here some thoughts on Facebook…
Our clients often ask us about Facebook so I thought I’d share some my thoughts on why Facebook can be useful, and how it can be used. Just to be clear, I’m not a Facebook marketeer and that’s not what we do at Boson. We create web tools so our clients can use the web effectively – of course Facebook is a significant part of the web landscape, and so we often have discussions about how it can be used to benefit a business or organisation.
Why use Facebook?
I often hear the comment, “I don’t want to tell people what I had for breakfast!”. OK, that is what some people use it for, but that misses the point. Remember, Facebook is simply another channel – a place where some of your audience will be. If you‘re strictly business to business, then you might argue that Facebook isn’t where your target audience is. But think carefully about that. With half of the UK’s population now on Facebook, could some of your audience be there? Perhaps there’s more than you think.
So, if your audience is on Facebook, and you have something valuable to say to them, doesn’t it make sense to say it through a channel they’re listening on?
Getting started on Facebook
First, you need to create a Facebook page (see FaceBook instructions on how to do this). One thing to note – you need a Facebook account BEFORE you create a fans page. If you’re not comfortable using your personal account for your business/organisational page, you could create a separate account under a different email address.
Be clear what your objectives are for your Facebook page. You might want to syndicate content from a blog or news area on your website. Or perhaps answer questions at certain designated times on specific topics. A Facebook page can help you to build an online community for your audience to come together and interact. You may want to use it to post notices about new products, events or special offers. Bear in mind that communicating on Facebook is not about direct selling. It’s about maintaining an ongoing relationship with your audience.
Posting to Facebook
The obvious way to post to your Facebook page is through your Facebook account, online. There are software tools that can make the job easier, particularly if you want to post to other social media accounts (e.g. Twitter), at the same time. Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are 2 such examples that allow you to keep multiple accounts within the software, and post from one place. They also come with mobile versions, so you can post on-the-move, which can useful whilst at events etc.
If you’re a client of Boson, we can build ‘connectors’ that allow you to post to Facebook and Twitter directly from your news or events area.
Spread the word
Once you have your page (and are in the habit of regularly posting content), you need to tell your audience you’re on Facebook. Make sure that you have a link to your Facebook fans page on all your marketing. Your website (of course), your email footers, advertising literature and possibly your business cards and other stationery.
Encourage your contacts to ‘like’ your page – so that their friends will see it and, hopefully like it too. This bit’s key. Facebook is ‘opt-in’. Your audience has to choose to ‘follow’ what you have to say – and ‘Liking you’ is how they do that. Getting ‘likes’ for your content is how word-of-mouth spreads on Facebook…