Facebook Business Page Tips-Part 1-Setting Up Your Facebook Page

Facebook Business Page

Today I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a business owner.  He stated that he “despises” social media, especially Facebook.  His words exactly were “I don’t want to use Facebook to sell”.  I explained to him that Facebook and other Social Platforms should not be used for selling as a primary objective.

You should be using social media for building relationships and communities.  This allows your audience to get to know you, and eventually trust you if you are using social media correctly.

On this post I will give a 8 pointers on how you should set up your business page.   All too often I see a business set up a personal Facebook account to use as a business.  With a personal account their are limitations including the number of “Friends” you can have.  I have also seen many Facebook pages set up only to sit idle with no profile, information, pictures or posts.  While it might seem easy to some, others will find setting up a Facebook Business page…and managing it, a daunting task.

In the coming weeks we will discuss engagement, management and etiquette.

Setting up your Facebook Business Page

growth1.  Include all pertinent information in the about section

This seems like a no-brainer but I am constantly astonished at the number of Facebook pages that do not have a completed about section.  The about section should include your website, phone number, operating hours,  street address, parking and any other relevant information.

2.  Custom URL

Once your page has 30 followers Facebook allows you to customize your URL.  Instead of a URL that looks like facebook.com/123456778001343 you can change it to facebook.com/scottgombarllc.   Obviously the last option is much easier to remember and looks better on business cards and other collateral.

Getting those 30 followers is important for analytic analysis as well.  Facebook will open up their insights to you once you reach this milestone.  Using insights gives you more information about what is and isn’t working and is extremely important in the growth of your Facebook Page and Inbound Marketing Program.

3.  Custom Cover Photo

Your page needs a personality and that starts with a cover photo.  A cover photo should be unique and draw attention.  You should also add a description of your cover photo including hash tags and a location if applicable.

The cover photo can be anything really.  You could have pictures of the products or services you offer, the company name or what it is you do.  Be careful to not include contact info or promotional offers as this is a violation of the Facebook terms of service.

4.  Custom Profile Image

If applicable the profile image should be that of the person who owns or runs the business.  This gives the page a little more of a personal feel to it.  Followers of the page, and people in general are more at ease working with a person rather than a logo or corporation.

However this is not always applicable.  In the event that a person’s head-shot will not work then a corporate logo is the next best thing.

5.  Tabs

Tabs almost always seem to get ignored and I am not sure why.  Tabs are like a gateway into the rest of your business.  You can create tabs that link to other social profiles, an email sign-up, contests or even other webpages.

Tabs should also have custom images to match your company’s branding.  For example on my page the tabs have the same color scheme (for the most part) as my branding.   This gives you a more professional image on Facebook.

Using my page as a reference, I have tabs to other social media profiles, a tab to sign up for my email list, a tab featuring a contest I am running at the moment and a tab to explain what I do in a little more detail.  If you are not taking advantage of the tabs you are missing out on a lot of potential interaction, and conversions.

6.  Like Other Pages

This is overlooked even more than the tabs.  Facebook allows you to like other pages from your page.  This has obvious benefits including the organic growth of your own following.

Besides the potential growth of your own following, you can also look for potential clients this way.  Using Facebook’s Open Graph you can search for and find other businesses and entrepreneurs who have pages and may be in the market for your product or service.   It also gives you the added advantage of getting to know potential clients, what they do, how they operate and where they are located.

Facebook does not allow pages to follow personal profiles.   This could lead to businesses potentially spamming people, and Facebook would rather you use their advertising platform to develop your following.

7.  Invite Your Friends

Facebook does allow you to invite any of your friends from your personal page.  In fact you don’t even have to manage a page to do this.  Once you visit a Facebook Page there is an option to invite any one or all of your friends to like that page.  This is how you will want to begin developing your following.  Inviting your friends may not seem advantageous to growing your business since they likely already know what you do but in doing so you now potentially reach others who are not friends with you or following your page…every-time you post.

6 Degrees of Separation on Facebook

8.  Use Facebook Ads

Facebook AdsFacebook has an advertising system that allows you to advertise your page or boost a post.  What’s nice about Facebook Ads is they allow you to be very specific about who you want to target.  You can base your target on Geography, Interests, Age and even Gender.  I would suggest using this system once you have invited friends, and even encouraged friends to invite others.

I will write a follow up post to Facebook Ads at a later date.

 

Get On Facebook and Get Started!

Next week I will post more on audience engagement so make sure you come back.  This should keep you busy enough for a day or 2.

Need help getting started on Facebook?  I would love to help you out!   Just click here to contact me or call 203.806.0736

 

5 Reasons You Need to be on Google+ in 2014

Are you missing out on business opportunities?  Could you use more potential clients?  Could your business or project benefit from improved search ranking in Google?  Then you should be on Google+.

 

What is Google+?

Google+ is a social network much like Facebook and Twitter.  It has been around since September 2008 but struggled a lot to compete with Facebook and Twitter.  Initially the only people that joined Google+ were the early adopters, mostly people who are in the technology world.

Recently Google has spent a lot of time and money updating Google+ with new features that can have a major impact on your internet marketing campaign.  Google+ has also seen a lot of growth as more and more people continue to join and use the social media platform.

Google+ has taken the second spot from Twitter in terms of users, only Facebook has more users now.  Google+ can impact your internet marketing strategy more than any of the other social media platforms because Google+ can be tied into Google Search results.

Google+ should be an important part of any marketing plan.  I can say that without hesitation.  To be honest you really cannot afford to not include Google+ at this point as you will read below.   By the time you finish reading this you should see no reason to not have a Google+ profile and will hopefully have another tab open to create your profile.

5 Reasons to Join and Use Google+

Without further adieu here are the reasons you should be on Google+.  This is not an all inclusive list as I am sure others can give you more reasons, but as an internet marketer myself, these are the most important reasons for me and my clients.

1.  Reach.  There are plenty of people who use Google+ exclusively, or as their preferred social network.  But more importantly Google+ now has more users than Twitter.  While I would never suggest passing on Twitter shouldn’t you use the same logic as a reason to use Google+?  If you are trying to reach as many people as possible without spending a ton of money wouldn’t you go where most others go?

  • There are over 44 million people and over 330,000 business pages on Google+
  • There are over 245,000 users in New York
  • There are over 36,000 users in Connecticut

Google+ is still in it’s growing phase and it’s best to get on board now as the population grows.  You can bet others will join and you will have a head start on those people in having followers and being able to use the platform which is constantly evolving.

2. The People.  While there are definitely artists, musicians and actors on Google+ it is not littered with fan pages and profiles dedicated to them.  The majority of Google+ is people who are interested in Networking, and learning from others.  Most of the Google+ users are people who want to share what they have and see what you have to share.   Under the “Looking For” category the second biggest reason is Networking.  That sounds like people who are ready to do business, doesn’t it?

3.  Authorship.  I have blogged about Authorship several times already.   Authorship is the process of telling Google that you are the authority on a topic.  You are taking ownership of content and in doing so Google says they will rank you higher in search results.   Since Google is still king of the search world by a long shot isn’t a good idea to get in their good graces.

Authorship can only be set up through Google+.

 

4.  Current Features.  Current features like Hangouts and Communities offer ways to deliver content in different forums to different audiences.  The content marketing game is one that requires the use of a variety of formats and Google+ offers you avenues to do just that.   Another feature is pages for businesses.

  • Communities allow you to develop groups focused on specific interests.  This gives you the ability to develop a group based on a subject that you are an expert on.  The group is obviously interested in your subject because they joined the group, giving you an audience that is already ready to become a client.
  • Hangouts give you the ability to have group meetings or discussions.  Using Hangouts you can meet with collaborators or a group of potential clients to give them a demonstration.  You can even offer educational seminars about your product or service the same way you might have a seminar for an audience locally, but with a much larger reach potential, and without the cost of a brick and mortar location, and gas.
  • Pages let you set up a profile for your business.  Since there is only 330,000 business listed on Google+ today you won’t have a lot to compete with just yet, but wouldn’t you rather get in front of the pack?

5.  Future Features.  (Say that five times fast).  Google is closing up shop on some of their other tools such as Google Reader and eventually Google Keyword Tool.   This is an educated guess but I would be willing to bet that Google plans on tying all their tools into Google+ at some point.   Little by little Google has added what used to be stand-alone tools to their social media platform.   It has already integrated some of its other features such as maps and local.

What are you waiting for?

Google+ is ripe for new users.  Even though it has experienced rapid growth recently it still has not reached super social media status.  Eventually more users will move to Google+ as they see the positives in joining, and the potential downfall to not joining.  Joining now means getting to know the platform before the masses come on board while giving you the ability to reach out to new audiences with new tools.

Your Thoughts

Did we miss another reason for joining Google+ now?  Let us know in the comments.  Have questions, reach us here!

6 Mobile Social Media Apps Your Restaurant Cannot Afford to Ignore

 

You own or manage a restaurant, chances are people are talking about it.  Let’s face it, everyone is a critic these days.  And with numerous outlets for the critics it’s easy for your restaurant to receive reviews (positive & negative).

Positive reviews will likely attract more people to your restaurant.  Speaking from personal experience I can tell you this is true.

Recently I was looking for a restaurant to take my wife out to for her birthday.   I wanted to go somewhere other than our usual choices of restaurants.  I asked some friends for ideas and got a different answer for every person asked.  My wife is a very picky eater and only likes certain types of food so making an educated choice is important, or she will not eat.  I used OpenTable to find a restaurant rated highly and with food, she would eat.  I also used OpenTable to make the reservations.

Think about that for a minute.  I never interacted with the restaurant until arrival.  I used a 3rd party social media app to choose and reserve the table.  Is your restaurant taking advantage of these apps?

The Dirty Half Dozen

Yelp

Yelp allows users to search for anything…locally.  It lists businesses from restaurants to computer repair to chiropractors and everything in between.   Users can then rate the businesses they visit and provide a review.

Yelp is also more of a social site in that you can add friends, create a profile and share your reviews on Facebook.    Yelp also allows businesses to claim/create their profile, post specials and pictures and communicate with others.

Yelp is king of the hill right now when it comes to reviews of local businesses (other than Google, Yahoo, Bing).   You will want to ensure that your business is claimed and properly updated on Yelp, and address all reviews.

Foursquare

If you’re not checking in on Foursquare then you weren’t really there, at least that’s what the people going to the gym believe.  Foursquare is an app used to check in to a location, typically a restaurant or retail establishment.  This allows your followers to see where you are.

Foursquare goes beyond just a simple check in though.  You are also able to leave feedback, take pictures and rate the check-in experience.  Businesses can also partner with Foursquare to offer promotions whenever you check in.

Recently I took my car to have the oil changed at a Valvoline.  While waiting I checked in using Foursquare only to discover that they were offering a $5 off coupon just for checking in.

From a restaurant, aspect having the ability to simultaneously offer discounts for checking in, and encouraging reviews and images of your establishment and the food can really help improve the visibility of your restaurant..and ultimately your traffic.

Instagram

Instagram is a photo sharing site (and 15-second videos).  It is one of the fastest growing social media platforms today.  While typically people post selfies, family pics and other personal items, you can often find people posting pictures of a meal at a restaurant.

A restaurant could use Instagram to post pictures of menu items, daily specials, and customers enjoying their food in the restaurant.   With the rapidly growing popularity of Instagram, it would behoove any local restaurant to ignore it.   While Instagram may not be a traditional restaurant review forum it definitely get’s used by consumers to post their own reviews, which often get shared to their Twitter and Facebook accounts instantly.

Instagram has also added the ability to include 15-second video clips to their site, and in doing so has allowed businesses to create short commercials for their products or services.   Imagine the possibilities with a smartphone, an Instagram account and a few seconds of your time.  You just might develop your own following and generate new business that was never before attainable.

 

Foodspotting

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well, Foodspotting is counting on that.

Foodspotting defines itself as a visual guide to good food, and where to find it.  What separates it from other food review sites is you don’t necessarily review the restaurant but rather recommend an actual menu item..including images.

Users of Foodspotting can then see what others have photographed (and hopefully eaten) to help them decide on where they should go to eat.   And users of Foodspotting may discover a restaurant they never heard of and would love to try (as I did while researching for this post).

 

TripAdvisor

If you are traveling and want to plan out where to eat in advance then TripAdvisor is the way to go.  TripAdvisor is really the go-to site for planning out a trip in advance.  TripAdvisor includes Rentals, Hotels, and Attractions, and allows users of the site to leave reviews for all of the aforementioned categories.

As you can probably imagine TripAdvisor is a very powerful site given the ability to find out exactly what to expect in advance of a trip.

TripAdvisor includes a section for restaurants allowing you to search out restaurants in an area you anticipate visiting.   You can then see reviews and ratings for those restaurants, or add your own feedback.

You do not have to be on a trip to use TripAdvisor.  Many locals also use TripAdvisor making it even more important to pay attention to.   You might be surprised at the reviews being left for your establishment, especially if they are not as good as you believe your business to be.

 

OpenTable

How’s this for a claim?

Our diners have spent more than $20 billion at our partner restaurants.

Wouldn’t your restaurant want a piece of that pie (no pun intended…well maybe a little)?  In all seriousness can your restaurant afford not to use OpenTable (or any of these apps).

As I opened this post I told a story of how OpenTable was used for my wife’s birthday dinner.  OpenTable’s primary purpose is to simplify the reservation process but it goes well beyond that.

Users of OpenTable can review and rate restaurants.   Restaurants are sorted into categories thus allowing users of OpenTable to find restaurants ranked high that fall into a category of dining the user would be interested in.

Are you mobile?

We went over 6 mobile apps that are getting used quite a bit by diners looking to find the next great meal.  We didn’t discuss the obvious like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ because hopefully you already aware of and using those platforms.  Today’s consumer is savvy and has tons of options available to them at their fingertips..literally.  The question is not whether you can afford to invest in marketing on the internet and mobile, the question is can you afford not to.

We’d love to hear from you!  Did we leave out an app or a feature of one of the apps above?  Let us know.

Need help with your local internet marketing plan?  Contact us now!