A common theme throughout our Bloom Networking Soft Launch was a lack of confidence or experience with social media, there were some veterans however, so with the goal of helping everyone be at a similar level before calling on the services of an expert we have posted SIX basic things you can implement today
1. Create yourself a username
This gives you a nice tidy url referred to as a 'VANITY URL', it’s like your own facebook website that removes all the mess at the end
- Use facebook as your page (i.e. not yourself)
- Go to ‘edit info’ on the top right hand side
- Then on the left hand side, third option down is ‘Basic Information'
- Out of these options you’ll see ‘username’ is the third one down,
- Click on ‘Learn More’
- Decide what you’d like your page to be, it’s easy for the public to find if it’s as similar as possible to your business name or facebook page name e.g. www.facebook.com/BloomNetworking. Personally I always put the first letter of the new word with a capital to differentiate the words but this is not essential, it’s just my preferenc
- Now you have a facebook url to place wherever you go – flyers, emaile signature, counter signage etc.
This also helps because facebook doesn’t always come up with the page you are looking for when you type it into the search bar (I have no idea why) so you can open another window in your browser (internet) and type in ‘Bloom Networking Facebook’ and it’s easier to find
2. Include a facebook link on your website
There are many facebook apps and other website components that allow you to do this but I have found the easiest way is to
- Insert the facebook image on your website
- Insert a link to that image that goes to your facebook page
This is assuming you are familiar with the Content Management System (CMS) on your website and have access to make changes yourself so I won’t go into this too far. If you have someone else manage it for you then it’s an easy job for them to do
3. Facebook Tagging! – has a few benefits
This is a great way to make your fans aware of another fab business or cause
When you tag another page your post generally shows up on their page too, depending on their settings (some pages have their settings so that only their own posts show). This is a bonus rather than a reason to post as most of the time your intentions of self-promotion are clear and your post may end up being removed by the page admin
The tagging should usually be for the other pages benefit rather than yours and if it is done with the right intention it will usually come back around in positive energy and extra ‘likes’ for you in the end.
However, if you would like to get the message out to another pages fans to promote an event, a sale or your business in general, it’s a good idea to get in touch with them first (if you haven’t already been), introduce yourself and make sure they are happy for you to post and often they will re-post on your behalf as well to make sure you reach more people.
So how to?
- First (which you are using facebook as 'your page'), you must have ‘liked’ the page you want to tag
- Then, in your status update type what you would like to say, then before you include the name of the page type the at symbol “@” (shift 2) then the first few letters of the page
- You will see a list of pages that you’ve previously liked appear (that begin with those letters e.g. type “Bl” & Bloom Networking) in an auto list below the text, then click on it
- Keep typing what you want to write if you haven’t finished, you can tag anywhere during the status update
Unfortunately it will often take a few hours, even up to 24 hours for the tagging to be allowed after liking a page so I’ve often liked a page and then gone back to it the next day to post about it
4. Like & Share!
To benefit another page (of a business you love) it’s good to like it with your personal self which will increase their number of ‘Likes’ and shows all your friends you like it (it comes up on their newsfeed and is shown on your personal profile), they will probably be curious, visit and maybe even like it too!
Then if it is relevant or complementary to your business visit the page and 'Like' it as your business too, this won't count on their numbers but will show on your business page and will then come up on your business page newsfeed, enabling you to share, like & comment as your business and show your fans you’re on the ball, out to find useful information and share great things.
If another page posts a photo, status update or article you love then share it, but we always try to keep the source (keep the name of the page that shared it rather than choose to ‘remove’ so that page gets some credit too – this is because they may not have been the original poster so it’s keeping them in the mix - that's just a personal preference though)
5. Include your business page on your personal profile
If you 'Like' a page or have regular activity with your personal profile, anyone 'checking you out' (it's done all the time by the way) can see where you are from and what you do, they may check out your page and probably 'Like' it.
1st way – Add yourself as the ‘page owner’ of your page so your personal profile picture shows up down the bottom left hand column of you business page and your business page appears on your personal profile (pre-timeline set up)
- While in your business page go to ‘edit info’
- On left hand side go to ‘featured’
- Then ‘add featured page owners’
- Add yourself and your profile picture will be displayed at the bottom left hand side of the page, so it’s important to make sure your profile picture is an appropriate representation of your business!
- This also shows your page on the bottom left hand side of your personal profile
Note: this is all relevant to pre-timeline facebook pages – when the timeline is mastered this will be updated accordingly.
2nd way – add your page as your occupation on your personal profile
- On your personal profile go to ‘edit profile’ In work and education on the left hand side add your business name here, if it’s an existing page it will show up when you start typing it, but be sure not to create another company if it’s already a page – make sure you enter the right
- In work and education on the left hand side add your business name here, if it’s an existing page it will show up when you start typing it, but be sure not to create another company if it’s already a page – make sure you enter the right
- Then include what your position is e.g. owner/creator/partner etc
- Then include what your position is e.g. owner/creator/partner etc
- Now when you look at your personal profile this is at the top and creates an easy link to your page!
6. Post, Post, Post!
Don’t be too concerned about how silly or relevant your post is, sometimes the most simple things are the best – like “have a great day”…. A fantastic example of this comes from the www.facebook.com/gardening4kids page – where Caroline is consistent with posting on a Friday night! It may be a simple comment about the fact that it’s Friday or wishing all her fans a happy weekend, asking what everyone is up to on the weekend or telling everyone what her and her family are up to etc. It's engaging, it genuine and caring.
Carole from www.facebook.com/EasierParenting is also great at keeping readers informed and her business in the forefront of their mind by re-posting other people’s relevant articles, then adds a few posts in here and there about how her service can help you as a parent
These examples aren’t meant to be plugs (although it’s great to visit each other’s page and offer support), but they are meant to give you examples of how you can achieve great results with facebook as a marketing tool and a way to connect with their community.
In any case people will like seeing new products or a plug for the business if the facebook page is also a terrific resource for the fans
Here are a few tips for posting....
- Post at the right time of the day so the most people see you on their newsfeed - usually 6-9am & 6-8pm (to give you a broad window)
- Then there’s the business information – post about a sale, a promotion or event, people know that’s why you have a page at the end of the day but balance it with the positive life experiences, information sharing and showing your personality
- Post pictures of your shop, a room, the sunset, a painting, a day at the beach, something that’s part of you or your business
- Post articles you love from a blog or website, especially if it’s informative or inspiring. Post a question, ask people’s opinion with an open question just as you would to a customer who was standing in front of you
- A silly post may actually be better than no post, it might get people talking, spark a conversation, someone might ‘like’ it which means other people will see your page
- Post on someone else’s wall, ‘Hi, it was great to meet you today….” Or ‘Hi, love what you do”
It might make you feel better to know it’s not a competition for the most fans! Using facebook effectively is about having people who are engaging with you and value your message or product. You are building trust in your audience and at the end of the day, this is what will keep them coming back and remaining a loyal 'fan'.
So, having said that, it certainly helps to spread your word if you have more fans, it means more people are going to know about you in the long run.
Don’t forget to visit our page and tell everybody about Bloom (www.facebook.com/BloomNetworking) by ‘Liking’ us with your business and personal page - the more people know about us, the more people will see YOU and your business, as a Bloom member, so we'll see you out and about on facebook – enjoy!