Introduction to Facebook Timeline
Facebook rolled out the Facebook Timeline pages for businesses at the end of February, 2012. Facebook likes to refer to this new page as “Mission Control for your Business Facebook Page”. It is the core page to interact with new and potential clients and customers and includes a host of features never included at Facebook before this latest update.
One major change is the addition of a cover photo to the Timeline Page. This image can be used to highlight anything you like about your business and will be the first noticeable thing that visitors to your page will see. While the profile picture is still published, as before, it is smaller and featured in the bottom left hand corner of the cover photo.
Underneath the images is a bar that features views and apps and a link to your “About Us” page. To the left is the link that allows people to click through to your “About Us” page. To the right on this bar, you can choose which apps show up, such as a map of your location, product pages or any other pages that are included in your Facebook business page. Beneath the views and apps bar, to the left, is a composer bar that you can upload photos, post comments or upload videos that will show up on that page, and on follower’s news feeds. The left hand side also includes pinned posts, allowing you to highlight what you or others post on your wall. This highlighted post will show up on top for about seven days at the top of your page.
To the right, underneath the views and apps bar, is a friend activity box that shows a particular number of profiles that follow your Facebook business page. Below that are other posts you have made. If you have a Pinterest account linked, that will show up there and other activity from your wall will also show up in this area. The Timeline page gives you options of making posts larger or smaller, you can star posts to further highlight them and create milestones.
The great part about the Timeline page is you can create a story of the history of your business. You can choose which posts show up on this Timeline page and which posts will only show up in your news feeds. The Timeline has options of going all the way back to 1800, so including a rich history of your business is possible back to that point.
For businesses, the Timeline Page is like a quick view of your products, services, branding and company culture. Adding visually rich images will captivate visitor’s attention and encourage them to “Like” your Facebook page so you can further engage with them.
The new Admin Panel that is included with the Facebook Timeline page for businesses will appear at the top of the page, but only admins will see this area. This allows for easier management of the page including notifications of activity that allow for quick responses. Insights can be reviewed at a glance to see page performance information for marketing and analytics purposes. Messages also show up in the Admin Panel so they can be responded to easily and conveniently.
There are other management tools included in the Facebook Timeline pages for business that allow you to manage the content and marketing for the page. An activity log management tool allows you to view all activity, even hidden posts. This allows you to arrange them according to how you want them to appear on your Timeline. You are able to change the date of the posts, star, hide, or delete posts, and filter by type of posts.
While there is a bit more of a learning curve to using Facebook Timeline Pages for your business, the opportunities are much larger to effectively market to and track customers and potential new customers. You can use your Facebook Timeline Page for a variety of business and marketing operations including lead generation and customer service. Overall, your business will become more successful as it gets more acclimated to the new Timeline page and how to utilize it to its full potential.
Why Facebook Timeline is Important to Your Business
With over 850 million Facebook users, and a projection of having a billion users by the end of this summer, it just makes sense that your business would want to gain exposure by having a Facebook Page. Your business Facebook page is the perfect accompaniment to your business website and is the number one social media networking website that you should focus your social media marketing on.
Going where customers and potential customers go is another important reason why your business should have a Facebook Timeline page. Showing your target market that you are a progressive business, worthy of their patronage is to show them that your business is innovative and can keep up with the times. When customers and potential customers see that you have a Facebook Timeline Page, your business will become immediately viewed as an established business and more viable resource than it would be without one.
The majority of Facebook users check their Facebook accounts everyday and stay logged in to their Facebook account at a minimum of twenty minutes a day, with an impressive number of users that check Facebook consistently throughout the day into the evening. There is simply no better place to establish your brand that will get the same level of attention from the most users than on Facebook.
Facebook users are also all ages and with a broad variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Whether your business targets youth and teens, young adults, middle aged adults, or even senior citizens, you are sure to find millions of potential customers in your target market that use Facebook. With the mix of personal Facebook users, media, other businesses, and even government entities, your business has the gamut of staying engaged with the largest varieties of the population available.
Because of Facebook and other social media sites, people are becoming conditioned to expecting to have a social relationship with businesses they patronize. If you are not socially connected, you will not be considered by the majority of social users because they will not feel like they know the personalities behind the business. That “personality behind the business” is becoming much more important to portray in order to win the trust and patronage of new customers. As all marketers know, people prefer to do business with people they know, Facebook is a powerful medium in allowing those important introductions.
With all these important reasons for having a Facebook Timeline page for your business, including increased exposure and advanced engagement opportunities, it just makes sense to put the time and effort forth into creating a Facebook Timeline page for your business.
Creating a Successful Facebook Timeline Page for Your Business
The first thing you need to do in order to create a successful Facebook Timeline page for your business is to have a personal Facebook account. If you do not have a personal Facebook account, it is easy to set one up by going to Facebook.com and following the easily understood directions. Once your personal page is set up, you can to go http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php. From this point, you will be able to choose what you sort of page you are setting up and begin to add the preliminary information. You will also be able to add additional page admins to help manage the page if you have employees that will be assisting with the Facebook campaigns.
Make sure you choose a Facebook Business Page name that is going to be beneficial to your businesses overall search engine optimization strategy. While some businesses will just use their business name, you can do that, or also include a descriptive word that you know is an important keyword for your search engine optimization strategies. Many times Facebook pages will show up before your business website URL will show up, so this will allow one more way for people searching for your products and services on sites like Google, Bing or Yahoo Search to be able to find you.
You will need to have 25 “Likes” before you are able to set the name you chose for your business Facebook Timeline page to the permanent URL. Getting those 25 “Likes” as soon as possible will assure that you get the name you want. Make sure all staff members and other supporters of your business “Like” the page as soon as possible after you have it set up.
Choose a Great Cover Photo
The cover photo on the Facebook Timeline page for your business is the first thing people will see when they come to your page. This makes it crucial to create a stunning image. There are guidelines you have to abide by and the photo needs to be 851 x 180 pixels. If you or no one else in your business is confident to create an excellent high resolution image for this cover photo, you can find low cost services that will create one for you.
The 851 x 180 pixel cover photo can be of anything you like. Some businesses use a map to pinpoint where their business is. Others will add an image of their building, employees, or a collection of photos in a collage. This collage can be a mix of products, services, or other elements of your business. Restaurants do well to place an image of their favorite menu item and spas do great with photos showing how indulging their services are. Whatever you use, make sure it is the first impression you want to portray for your business. You can also change the cover photo at anytime, but coming up with the first one is always the most challenging.
The restrictions Facebook has placed on the Cover Photo do not allow for any pricing or purchase information. You can also not include any contact information including email, address, website address or phone number. No calls to action are allowed either and that includes asking people to “Like” your Facebook Page, sign up for a contest or any other call to action. To stay safe, just have a really great photo that doesn’t have text included that will be frowned on by Facebook.
The profile picture on your business Facebook Timeline page will show up in the lower left hand of the cover photo. It will also show up on every post and response you create, message you send, and when you post to other Facebook pages. With this in mind, you want to use a great image. It can be any size and then you will be able to crop it once you have uploaded it. Many businesses will use their logo for this profile picture in order to help gain additional branding purposes and to better familiarize Facebook users to their brand.
Views and Apps Bar
Directly underneath the cover photo is the Views and Apps Bar. To the far left of the bar will be an “About” link which will allow users to click through to a page to learn more about your business. Adding a compelling description of your products or services with a call to action is permissible for your business’s “About” description. Use keyword rich content in your “About Us” page to further enhance your business’s search engine optimization strategies.
To the right of the “About” link on the Views and Apps bar, there is room to highlight three apps. Choose these apps carefully. They could direct users to a photo album, a video collection, map, product pages or a host of other pages that can be added to your business Facebook page.
Once you have these set up, you are ready to start adding posts and arranging them into a Timeline of history and milestones for your business. You can go back to the 1800s. The more image rich and compelling you make these posts, the more exciting it will be for potential new customers to learn more about your business.
While you are working on adding content, you will also want to integrate your business Facebook Timeline page with your own business website. Adding buttons beside your products and services, on your homepage, and every other page of your website will encourage people to “Like” that page, product or service. When the “Like” it, it shows up on their wall for all their friends and family to see what they like. You would be amazed at how much traffic you can attract from just a handful of Facebook users “Liking” a page on your own business website.
Additional Facebook Apps
The great thing about the Facebook Timeline page for your business, you can add apps that will help you with a complete variety of functions. Three of these apps will show up in your Views and Apps Bar. When they are clicked on, it will take your page visitors to a new page that has the specific app. There are apps for just about anything you could think of that would be helpful to further market and sell your products and services. Many of these apps are free and some will have a cost associated with them depending on where you get the app to use at your Facebook Page.
A popular app to have is an app that automatically posts links to your blog articles as they are posted to your business blog. This app can be integrated into your business website so you do not have to do it manually. People who may not have visited your site might see these posts at Facebook and click through to your site for additional exposure to your business.
Other apps include social bookmarking apps that allow Facebook users to subscribe to your RSS feeds if they so choose. E-Commerce apps are available so you can sell products and services directly from your Facebook account. Since Facebook does not allow for promotions and contests to be posted directly on your wall or cover photo, you can use a variety of apps in order to create exclusive promotional and sales for your Facebook followers.
There are apps that allow you to publish polls to further engage your followers and learn more about how to offer them the products and services they need. Apps for surveys and discussion boards are also helpful to keep followers engaged and receive important information from them in order to improve your business offerings.
Apps that help you see news and deals from your website is a timesaving app for many time challenged business owners. Another time saving apps allow integration from other social media sites that will automatically upload posts across the networks your business is involved with. Apps that allow additional contact information such as Google Maps are timesaving for potential customers so they do not have to leave your business Facebook page in order to find out how to get to your business.
There are also apps that allow you to highlight your top followers, your Business page “Likes”, a calendar for events and a large variety of other apps. Consider which apps would be most beneficial for your business to use. Chances are you will find one that fits the bill.
What Content to Post
Where most businesses get hung up and fail on Facebook is they come into it with the old marketing mentality and most of their posts are about marketing their services, announcing sales and asking people to check out their site. That mentality will kill your efforts quickly. Remember that Facebook is a social media platform. Therefore, you want to remain social. The popular rule of thumb is to keep at least 80% of your posts social, 10% marketing and information about your business and 10% announcing sales or other promotions.
One way to look at how to create content for your Facebook Timeline page is to think about going to a social networking party. If all you did was walk around and talk about your products and services, few people would ask you for your business card. Or, if you showed up, but just sat in the corner not talking to anyone, no one would learn about your products and services. The truly successful networking will be schmoozing, making small talk, bringing up compelling and interesting information and everyone will want his or her business card. Facebook is the same way, only you have to be successful at creating that personality by using words, images and videos.
So while you know the 80-10-10 rule, you also want to be very active in posting content. Three to four posts spread out throughout each day would be ideal, one a day would be minimally successful, and too many would irritate people. When people get irritated, they will “Un-Like” your page fast and possibly even complain about your business which is the last thing you want to have happen. Even with three to four a day, spread out throughout the day, if they are not thoroughly interesting, compelling and/or entertaining risk causing people to “Un-Like” your page. It would be best to just stick to one a day to avoid irritating your followers.
Knowing what to post everyday can be challenging when you know that your business needs to stay 80% social. The best thing to do is consider what your target market would be most interested in hearing about. If your business caters to moms, posting recipes or ideas for the home and garden are always well received. For further engagement, you can ask them to share their favorite recipes, or ask them questions about what their favorite meals are for the weekdays or weekend. If you are a service oriented industry, it may be trickier to know what to post every day, but there is sure to be some relative information that your target market would find interesting. Avoid trite and cliché posts such as “Happy Monday Everyone”, while a few Facebook users may enjoy that, the majority of them will see it as a pathetic attempt of your business to get their attention.
You can post comments with links to blog posts you create at your business blog, or other news or information that your target market would enjoy hearing about without coming across as “marketing” if you are conversational about it. Mentioning personal tidbits about yourself or your staff members will help followers know you better. Obviously, you do not want to go overboard on personal information, but comments such as “Mary won Employee of the Month and gets to leave early on Friday” with a picture of Mary grinning ear to ear with a thumbs up sign is whimsical and people will feel good about congratulating her which will bring some great interaction on your business’s Facebook page.
Videos are popular and choosing fun, yet appropriate, videos to post and share with your followers is always content that is well received. Quotes and sayings are popular too, but go lightly with those because they are overdone and people get tired of seeing them unless they are truly unique and captivating. When you find a great one, you will be amazed at how many of your followers will share it with their friends.
Any time your content is shared by your followers at your business Facebook page, a link will show up on their page, back to your page. You will be able to get additional exposure and followers to your page. People will also be more likely to comment on your content when it is posted if it is interesting to them. That will bring more popularity for your business Facebook page as well. Keeping this in mind, go for content that you think will be thrilling for your followers.
Along with consistent posting of content, responding to other’s comments of your posts, or posts on your business Facebook page by followers is critical. People want to know they are worth your time and responding quickly will allow them to feel that way. It will also help keep the conversation going, and show up on their page as well as your business Facebook page.
You can organize content in the admin panel to show up in your Timeline. Many posts you may want to hide after they have run their course, so six to eight weeks. Other posts you might want to change the posting date on to include them in more relevant parts of the Timeline history, and others you will want to highlight and keep up for a long time even if they are not directly relevant to your business history. For example, if a Follower posts a glowing testimony, mouse over the upper right hand area of the post. You will see a star. Click on that star and it will highlight the post, making it bigger, so it becomes more noticeable.
When you post consistently using the 80-10-10 rule, followers will get used to seeing your brand on their page. When they share it with their friends, their friends will get used to seeing your brand on their page as well. Your conversion rates will begin to improve and your business reputation will start to sky rocket.
Search Engine Optimization for Your Business Facebook Timeline Page
By now you should be getting an idea of how successful a well put together business Facebook Timeline page can be for your business efforts. More businesses than ever are considering their Facebook Timeline pages to be a second home page for their marketing, sales and lead generating presence on the internet with remarkable results. There is no reason you cannot set up your business Facebook Timeline page to do the same for your business.
Getting increased traffic to your business Facebook Timeline page requires a collection of elements including how captivating the images and content are, what value your Timeline page adds to Followers to want to pursue, and other best practices. Your own website can be dramatically affected by how well the business Facebook Timeline page does. One crucial element for all this success and business building is optimizing your business Facebook Timeline for the search engines. Facebook is also working on additional search engine optimization techniques. When you combine efforts of your own business to optimize your business Facebook Timeline page for Google, Bing, Yahoo Search and other major search engines, you will capitalize on a critical way of being found by those who are searching for you businesses products and services.
As mentioned before, the name you give your business Facebook Timeline page is important in order to appeal to Followers and for search engine optimization efforts. You want a name that clearly describes your products and services and contains your business name. You want to make sure it does not sound overly spammy or that you are blatantly advertising. Choose this name carefully and do not change it, because if you change it in the middle of the game, you will lose the entire search engine optimization efforts you had made up to that point. The search engines may also penalize you for changing the name, so it is best to put the forethought into it and then keep it as your first choice for the duration.
Using a clear definition and your business name for your Facebook page is important because if your page name is too generic, it risks being disabled for updates by Facebook. For example, if you are a car washing service, “Car Wash” would be too generic. If your business is a car washing service, and its name is “Sudzees”, Sudzees” would not clearly define what your business is about. If you combine the business name with the description, you could have a clear winner. Naming your business Facebook Timeline page “Sudzees Car Wash” would be an ideal choice. Combining them in this way will give them the unique name Facebook requires, and will also allow potential customers to know what you offer, as well as offering an important keyword about your business for search engine optimization efforts.
You do have the opportunity to choose a URL for your business Facebook Timeline page than is different than the name that shows up as your Facebook name. Reasons you may want a different name would be if someone already has your business name and you have to adjust it to be unique. An example would be if “Sudzees Doggy Spa” had the name “Sudzees” for their URL. You could choose “Sudzees Car Wash”, “Sudzees Detroit” or something along those lines to have a unique URL that will also allow for people searching for car washes, or for your business in Detroit (Assuming your business is in Detroit) to find you easily. It will also aid in search engine optimization.
The “Basic Information” area in your business Facebook Timeline page account is important to fill out thoroughly and use keywords where possible. Choose the most closely matched category from the dropdown box of business categories and add everything that is possible to include in ways that will allow you to use additional keywords to explain your business. Make sure to fill in every blank.
The “About” area that gives you space to talk about your business is a crucial part of search engine optimization for your business Facebook Timeline page. Use keyword rich content in this area. Make sure it still reads well and is compelling for customers and potential customers to learn more about your products and services also. Normally, the best keywords for this area will be the same keywords and keyword phrases that you use at your own website. While you want to use the same keywords, you want to have unique content, so avoid copy and pasting your “About Us” from your own website in order to avoid posting duplicate content. This “About” box only allows you to use 250 characters so planning on how to work the keywords, in while comprehensively highlighting the information you hope to portray to the public, is important to become strategic about.
Make sure and include backlinks to your business’s website as often as possible in your business Facebook Timeline page content posts without going overboard or looking as if you are being overly-promotional. Ways you can do this is by posting links to blog articles, videos or other informational or entertaining content at your own website, or when you are adding milestones or history posts for your business. This will create additional weight for both your business Facebook Timeline page and your business website.
Make sure that these are relevant links to the post topic. An example would be if you are a landscaping business and post a picture of a new design for raised flower beds, you could link to an article to your website that talk about how to make raised flower beds with railroad ties or bricks. Also make sure that you do not post too many links all at one time or you could get penalized by the search engines. Posting them with relevant daily posts should be enough. If you have a collection of content you want to post that all includes backlinks, only upload a couple a day to avoid being penalized in the search engines.
Adding backlinks to your website at your business Facebook Timeline page does not have to be only done through posts on your wall or in the basic information area. If you have a discussion board you may find the opportunity to add links that point back to your site. Getting creative will help you discover other ways to add backlinks from your business Facebook Timeline page to your website.
When you are working on links, remember to put links on your website that point back to your business Facebook Timeline page. Along with Facebook “Like” buttons on your website’s pages, you can also add direct links to your Facebook page on your “Contact Us” page and other relevant pages, or in articles. This will give additional weight to both your business Facebook Timeline Page and business website.
The more Facebook followers you have for your business Facebook Timeline page the more intra-Facebook inbound links you will have pointing back to your Timeline page. Being able to help with search engine optimization is an important reason to pursue getting people to become followers of your page. It also makes your page visible to their friends to help get more people to your page. You can also include your business name in images and videos you upload by saving the files with your business name in them. These are not backlinks, but do carry relevancy with the search engines. When these videos or images are “Shared” and show up in Followers news feeds, it will further increase search engine weight.
When your business Facebook Timeline page is optimized for the search engines, you will notice more activity at both your Timeline page and your business website. Using the “About” box, Basic Information and posting content to your business Facebook Timeline page that uses keywords and keyword phrases will be time and effort well spent. These efforts will cut down on the amount of advertising that your business will need to do to keep exposure high for your products and services.
How to Get Followers to Your Business Facebook Timeline Page
Now that you have been getting your business Facebook Timeline page set up with compelling content and search engine optimized posts, information and pages, it is time to start campaigning to get more Followers. There are two rules of thought for finding followers and the most successful campaigns will more than likely lean somewhere in the middle. Considering the industry your business is in will help you determine where your focus will be the most successful.
One rule of thought says the more Followers the better, and while this could be true for increasing the number of intra-links back to your business Facebook Timeline page, having a couple thousand followers who do not interact, engage or have an interest in your products and services are not going to increase your conversion rates or help build your business. The other rule of thought for getting more Followers for your business Facebook Timeline page is that you should focus completely on your target market because they will be the ones that will end up interacting with your page, because your products and services are interesting to them. They will also be most likely to convert into customers and help increase your business profits.
Ideally, you want to position your efforts someone in the middle of those two schools of thoughts about business Facebook Timeline page Followers. While you want to focus efforts toward appealing to your target market, the general public can become a great way to get information about your product and services to those who will fall into your target market. They will also create the intra-links within Facebook that will create more weight in the search engines, and boost your ratings in your Followers news feeds.
An example of considering who to target to gain Followers for your business Facebook Time page could be if you own a dog grooming service. The target market for your business would obviously be dog owners. However, there are many people in the general population that do not own dogs. Most people know someone who does own a dog though who they could refer your business to, or help your business become exposed to. Also, since you are a primarily local business, the bulk of your customers are going to be local patrons, unless you sell dog grooming supplies online. With this in mind, keeping your focus on building a local following, regardless of whether or not the Followers are dog owners could bring some welcome referrals your way.
When you have an idea of the markets you want to most focus on, you can start to create strategies to help encourage people to become Followers of your business Facebook Timeline page. The worst thing you could do is start posting “Like My Page” everywhere. With this in mind, when you consider using the “Suggest Your Page to Friends” feature on Facebook, do not just choose all your personal Facebook friends and spam them with the information. Choose friends that are all ready customers or would have a relevant reason to “Like” your page. Adding a personal note to your request is also helpful so people do not feel that you have randomly spammed them about your business Facebook Timeline Page.
Acceptable ways to invite people to become Followers to your business Facebook Timeline Page would be to include an invitation in your email newsletter or other email activities that you pursue. A blog post announcing your new Timeline page and inviting people to visit it is another acceptable way of encouraging people to become Followers. You can also add your Timeline page URL to business cards, fliers, sales circulars or even product packaging with a quick “Visit us on Facebook” blurb to invite people to become Followers. Even fast food chains do this on their food packages and it seems to get great results. Other forms of media are also a popular way of advertising your Facebook Timeline presence. This includes television and newspaper advertising.
Using social plugins called widgets on your business website that show your business Facebook Timeline page friends on your own business website will encourage people to click the “Like” button when they see that a good number of people all ready “Like” it. Adding a quick note above the widget asking people to click the “Like” button will further encourage them to take action.
Another popular Facebook feature to add to your own business website to help create engagement with your Timeline page is Facebook comments. With this, people can comment on pages, articles, blog posts, videos or any other content on your site by being logged into their Facebook account. Their comment will show up on your business website and on their Facebook account’s news feeds so their friends see it and might comment too.
Placing Facebook Ads is an affordable way to reach millions of potential Followers. This type of advertising is the most targeted traffic you can get. It is easy to place ads on Facebook too as they walk you through every step of the process to get started.
Another way to get Followers is to link your business Facebook Timeline page to other social media accounts. For example, linking to Twitter will help you cut down on how many social media sites you post at, because they will automatically cross post. You can also edit what gets cross posted such as Status Updates, Photos, Links, Notes and Events to make sure your content stays within your social media marketing strategy.
Make use of the “Share” button and share interesting posts from other Timeline pages you have followed through your business Facebook Timeline page to help gain additional exposure that will encourage others to like your business Timeline page. Make sure to include a question or interesting comment and that whatever you are sharing will appeal to your Followers. This will show up on your page and the “Share” will show up on whoever’s post you shared, giving your Timeline page even more additional exposure.
As you continue to work on getting followers for your business Facebook Timeline Page, you will see that your efforts become easier as the Timeline page popularity grows. People like to “Like” pages that are well liked, so the more Followers you get, the more Followers automatically begin to appear without you having to make as much effort for them.
How to Engage Your Business Facebook Timeline Page Followers
When you start to get more Followers to your business Facebook Timeline page, you will begin to wonder how to best keep them engaged. Brands have a harder time keeping people engaged, especially if they come across as too much of a business and not enough of a personality. That is why it is so important to define the personality your business has by emphasizing the culture of your business and personality of you and your staff members. Another reason is people need to be emotionally stimulated in order to share, post or otherwise engage with Facebook posts and many businesses fail to emotionally stimulate their Followers because they are afraid to stretch the limits of what might be appropriate for their target market.
The most important thing to have in order to keep your Facebook Followers engaged is great content that goes straight for your Followers hearts. Think about what your target market is going to love the most. If you are a dog washing business, adorable pictures of dogs and puppies, tips about caring for and training your dog and other interesting information is going to be exciting for your Followers. Remember people go to Facebook to stay connected and be entertained, if they wanted dry or boring information, they would not go to their favorite social spot on the web, so keep that in mind. Be shocking, create feelings of joy or give people great tips that will help them in their everyday life.
Videos and images will go a long way to keep Followers engaged. People are becoming much more visually conditioned and catching their eye long enough to make sure you get their interest is going to come through images and videos over words any day. Create videos of how your products or services work, create videos of the little league team your business sponsors, or the company holiday party, or summer picnic. Keep the videos under four minutes long and moving at a rate that will keep viewers captivated. You can also share compelling videos from YouTube instead of always creating your own.
Images can be of your products, employees, topics relative to your products or services, or just about anything that you believe your target market will love to comment on or share with their friends. Facebook etiquette is very specific about tagging images and if people such as staff or customers show up in your pictures, make sure and let them know before you tag them. Better yet, ask them to tag themselves. When someone is tagged in an image, the image will show up on their Facebook page as well. This is a great way to get exposure.
Keep a good sense of humor. If you can keep your Followers laughing, and especially if you can help them get their social media friends laughing because they could share what you offered, you are going to develop a loyal group of Followers. Make fun of your business in a lighthearted way and share images of goofy moments. Share the daily escapades of the office adventures with your Followers and allow them to feel like they are part of your business. Everyone loves to feel like they are a part of something and the more they feel as if they are a part of your brand’s culture, the more they will want to do business with you.
While Facebook frowns on contests and promotional events being hosted through your business Facebook Timeline page, you can still have some guessing games, or ways of keeping Followers engaged that is not a formal contest, yet will still be highly popular. Giving away a $5 gift card to someone for answering some random trivia question or coming up with the best caption for one your business images is a fun way to celebrate your Followers. The $5 gift card is well worth the investment when Followers stay engaged hoping they will become the next $5 winner. It will also create more Followers when winners brag to their Facebook Friends about how they won something from your business Facebook Timeline page.
Remember to ask questions about business ideas you are considering as well. People love to give their opinion. When they feel as if you are interested in what they have to say about the way you do business they will gain trust that you are a great business to give their patronage to. For example, if you are a car wash, you can ask customers what scent they prefer for the interior of their car and why they like it the best such as “New Car Smell”, “Pine Fresh”, or “Fruity Scents”.
With all the ideas for posting content that will keep your Followers engaged, responding to them is the most important practice to keep up with. Respond as immediately as possible to comments or wall posts from your Followers. Use open ended questions when possible to keep the communication flowing. When your Followers see that you reciprocate with responses to their activity they feel as if you value them and will become more inclined to stay engaged. They will also feel more inclined to recommend your business to their friends and associates because they will feel as if they have a personal relationship with you. That alone can convert Followers into customers more than any promotional or sales item you may have to offer.
How to Use Facebook Timeline Page Insights
Keeping track of how your business Facebook Timeline is producing is important in order to adjust and create new campaigns. It also helps you know what to test for different types of content, ads and marketing events in order to get the full potential of having a business Facebook presence. Facebook makes getting all the information you need to track the progress of all your business Facebook Timeline page activities comprehensively with “Facebook Insights”. You will see the initial Insight graph on the Admin Panel of your business Facebook Timeline Page. In the upper right hand corner of the Insight’s graph, you will see a blue link that says “See All”. When you click on that link it will bring you to a page that highlights Facebook insights.
The first view you will see is the overview of your page including day to day information including total likes, friend of fans, how many people are talking about your business Facebook Timeline page and the weekly total reach that your page has been exposed to. You will also notice that there are other tabs including Likes, Reach and Talking About This.
To break it down more thoroughly, total likes are the number of people who have clicked on the “Like” button for your business Facebook Timeline page. Friends of Fans is an accumulative amount of friends that your Followers are friends with. This number is important to know because it gives you a potential of exposure you have for running sponsored stories. People Talking About This reflects the number of Followers who engaged with your Timeline page in any way. Finally, the weekly total reach is the total amount of Facebook users who have been exposed to any content associated with your Timeline page. This number includes ads, sponsored stories or shared posts.
Underneath the graph that is associated with the above information are “Page Posts” records reflecting how Followers engaged with each specific piece of content. These records include the date each post was created, the type of post (video, image, link, etc..). The reach column reflects how many people actually saw the post, engaged users reflects the number of users that clicked anywhere within that post to Like, Share or Comment on it. Talking About This shows the number of people that created content from your post. The last column, Virality denotes the percentage of people who talked about the post divided by the amount of exposure it received. Obviously the higher the percentage of the virality, the more popular that particular post was.
Past the overview page, each tab has another breakdown of information that is helpful in gathering analytics for your business Facebook Timeline page. The Likes tab breaks down your Followers by age, gender and location for you to see how many Followers fall within your target market demographics. You will also see what the top sources of how your Followers Liked your Timeline page.
The Reach tab reflects information about the total amount of people that saw any content posted on your business Facebook Timeline page. This includes complete demographic breakdowns and referring pages. The referring pages are important to see where people are finding your Timeline page from other places on the internet such as search engines or your own business website. The Talking About This tab includes a breakdown in demographics about who created a story about your Timeline page.
Exporting all of the information in Facebook Insights is easy and can be included in any type of analytics reporting your business reviews in order to create new campaigns, make adjustments to what is posted and how often, or other activities to build your business Facebook Timeline page and overall business success.
You will see the “Export” button in the upper right hand corner of the Insights pages. It will allow you to export date ranges, what file type you want the export to upload as, and the specific data you want to export. When you export your first Facebook Insights report for your page you will notice there is more information that shows up to help you review your Timeline page progress.
When you review the Insights report pay close attention to the demographics and specifically what activity at your business Facebook Timeline page they seemed to Like, Share or Comment on the most. This will give you a roadmap in knowing whether your Followers appreciate images, videos, or content more and what types. For example, if you are a candle making company and you posted a video about how to decorate your bedroom with candle sconces. You see from the Insights report that there was a spike in activity all based around that video which would tell you that your Followers enjoy learning how about to decorate with candles. Creating additional posts that are similar to what is popular will keep your Followers engaged. In contrast, if you see no activity based around a particular type of post, you will know that those posts just do not work well with your Followers and you are better off avoiding them in the future.
Review or export your business Facebook Timeline page Insights on a weekly basis to for the best results. This will help you create a content plan for the upcoming week that will capitalize on what Followers seemed to enjoy the most, while avoiding what they seemed to enjoy the least. If you do this consistently, you will notice a substantial increase in the popularity of your Timeline page.
Facebook Ads that Sell
Facebook ads for marketing and advertising and creating other calls to action are a successful and surprisingly affordable advertising medium. Facebook has created a variety of flexible options for creating ads and they are very easy to set up. While they can be most successful in encouraging Facebook users to Like your business Facebook Timeline page, they are not as successful to sell a product unless they are strategically thought out.
Creating the most successful ads require that you set goals for what you want the ads to accomplish. Facebook ads are the same and also require that you plan your approach with your target market in mind. Goals for Facebook ads can be much the same as any other sort of advertisement and can also be to increase traffic to your own business website, promote specific events, or generate leads or sales.
When you have goals for what you would like your Facebook ads to accomplish, you will know what ad options to choose from. A standard marketplace ad is the best if your goal for the ad is to grow your base of Followers. These ads allow Facebook users to Like your page directly from the ad. Sponsored story ads are great if you already have a lot of Followers. These ads highlight Followers that have Liked your page.
The targeting ability with Facebook ads is outstanding. It allows you to specifically target the demographic that is most likely to take action on whatever your ad is proposing. Targeting friends of your Followers that have not yet Liked your business Facebook Timeline page is easy to do. When you use a social context such as this for your ads, you are 68% more likely to leave a memorable impression and twice as likely to have people remember what the ad’s message was according to studies done by Nielsen. People are also four times more likely to convert to customers when the ads have a social context.
One of Facebook’s newer marketing tools is “Sponsored Stories” which help advertise word of mouth referrals about your business that are showing up in your Timeline page news feed. These seem to be very effective because people are more likely to become engaged with your business when they see that other people like it and are talking about it.
It is especially important to pay attention to Facebook Insights and other forms of analytics that you run for your business in order to evaluate the effectiveness of each ad. This will allow you to make adjustments to get better conversion rates. For example if you notice that your ad generated 100 new Facebook Timeline page Likes, but none of those 100 become qualified leads or customers, then you might want to adjust your ad to better appeal to those who are more likely to need your products and services.
When you are creating your Facebook ads you will see that you have the choice of targeting very specific demographics including age, sex, education level, location along with other very specific audiences. This will allow you to minutely hone in on exactly who is most likely to convert to a lead or sale for your business. With this in mind, appealing to a small quantity of highly targeted profiles is going to be much more effective than targeting a large general audience and hoping one or two of them fit into your ideal target market. For sales ads, it is usually more effective to target people who already follow your business Facebook Timeline page than it is to try to sell an audience that have never heard of you. And, if you are a primarily local business, targeting your local population is going to be more effective than targeting someone who will never be in your locality to purchase from your business.
When you are targeting for location, keep in mind that not all Facebook users even list their specific location. Many users will leave out the name of their city, but include their place of employment or what school they went to, which will let you know if they are in your area or not. Targeting through zip codes is also effective.
A hugely successful targeted campaign is to target people’s birthdays and create special birthday ads that will show up about a week before Facebook user’s birthday. Offering the person a coupon or some other promotional item for their birthday is a great way to introduce your business to Facebook users who may not be familiar with your business’s products or services. Remember to use festive images and videos to further create a party atmosphere for birthday ads.
Using eye catching images and compelling text in your ads is not just important for birthday ads, it is important for every ad. Studies have shown that you have less than five seconds to capture someone’s attention and when your ad is included into their Facebook page that is filled with all sorts of other interesting images and content it makes it even more important to stand out and capture their eye right away.
Knowing you have limited time and are in competition to gain your target market’s attention through your Facebook ad means it is especially important to be strategic with your ad. Facebook ads allow up to 135 characters, and it is not always the best idea to use all those characters. Sometimes a short bold statement is enough to prompt users to take action. Just make sure your ad includes a very clear call to action so users know what they should do.
While you may have great success on your first Facebook ad, chances are you are going to want to plan to run a variety of them for each campaign. Being able to test different ads to see what is most successful for your business is an important part of getting the best results from Facebook ads. Sometimes even the smallest change to an ad can take it from average to outstanding results. Create and change ads often until you feel you hit on the exact formula that seems to produce the highest result for your ad goals.
When you test different styles of Facebook ads targeting different demographics within your target market, you will find some ads work better than others. You will also be able to accomplish a variety of diverse advertising goals with a variety of different ad types. When you combine testing the ads with studying analytics reports, you will find that Facebook ads are a worthwhile investment of your marketing budget.
How to Generate Leads from Your Business Facebook Timeline Page
If generating leads and converting them into paying customers is the lifeblood of your business’s products and services, then you will want to utilize your Facebook Timeline page in order to generate as many qualified leads as possible. There is a variety of ways to do this and some will work out to be more effective for your particular business model than other ways are. It is best to continue to test and try out all the methods you can think of, keep an eye on your analytics and make adjustments accordingly until you find the perfect mix of ideas for your business to generate leads on Facebook.
Facebook ads are certainly one avenue to exercise when you want to generate leads for your business. Create specifically targeted ads to the demographics that are most likely to need your products or services. If you offer something for free such as a white paper or eBook that will attract the interest of your target market in the ad, interested potential customers will click on the ad in order to receive the free product. At that point you can have them fill out their name, email address or any other information you want from them. If you make sure the product is something that qualified leads would want, then that will help qualify them. For every person that requests the free product, you have a lead to add to your lead list.
Another way to generate leads is to get personal with new Followers of your business Facebook Timeline page. Make sure this message is not marketing or advertising or it will immediately turn off whoever just Liked your page. A welcome message letting them know that you are happy they are new friends will be excellent. Make sure and include a link to your website and the offer to your free white paper or eBook. If they sign up for the free product, you will know they are interested in learning more about your products and services.
Offer free events such as free ½ hour to hour long webinars that will talk about information that you know people who need your products or services would be interested in learning about. For example if your business is involved in the diet industry, a webinar about the latest quick and easy ways to get in shape, featuring an expert in the diet and fitness industry, would be a well attended webinar where you can collect all the information you need to generate leads from the webinar attendees.
Another way to create qualified leads is by starting discussion groups that your target market would be interested in participating in. Having an ongoing dialog will help you find leads through finding out who is in the market for your products or services.
By utilizing Facebook ads and creating events and interactive activities for your business Facebook Timeline page Followers, you will be amazed at how many qualified leads you will be able to generate. Remember not to blatantly advertise or market for leads though until you know for sure someone is interested. Then you can encourage them to sign up for a free product or sign up for your email newsletter. After you get the initial sign-up, you will be able to further advertise or market to them from that point, away from the social activities on Facebook.
Facebook Promotions and Contests
Promotions and contests for your Followers, and to help encourage more Followers, is a popular way to market and advertise through your business Facebook Timeline pages. Promotions can be anything from offering coupons for discounts off your products or services or anything else you think your Followers would take advantage of. Contests can be for small gifts such as a $5 gift card or for larger gifts. They can be in the form of drawings or image or video contests. As long as you abide by Facebook policy for promotions and contests, the sky is the limit in regard to what you can do to run these events through your business Facebook Timeline page.
Facebook expects you to abide by all laws governing business promotions and contests. They also insist that you administer promotions and contests within Apps on a canvas page or an app on a page tab. These are not allowed to be run through the Cover Photo on your business Facebook Timeline page. Facebook also requires that each participant sign a release form that acknowledges that Facebook has nothing to do with the promotions or contests and accepts no liabilities from them under any circumstances.
Your Facebook Timeline promotions and contests also need to include fine print that states that Facebook is not a sponsor, does not endorse, administer or have any association with the promotion or contest you are running. This fine print should also state that the participant’s disclosure of information is received by your business and it is not shared with Facebook.
Your Facebook promotion or contest cannot utilize any Facebook features, or ask participants to use any Facebook features. What this means is that you cannot tell people “Like this page for a chance to win” or have them Like or Share contest information in order to get “votes”. You can however have participants vote on your own website after registering through a Facebook app registration form.
Finally, you cannot use Facebook to notify winners. You can announce the winners on your Facebook Timeline page after you have emailed, phoned or otherwise contacted the winners to let them know they won. Also, do not use any Facebook images, logos, or other Facebook owned content within the promotion or contest. Reviewing the guidelines before you create the promotion or contest will help you learn more. You can find them at www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php.
Once you are familiar with what Facebook requires, you can easily create promotions or contests that will be in compliance with Facebook and help explode your business Facebook Timeline page with activity revolving around the contest or promotion. Using your Facebook Timeline page to announce and allow participants to register, and then using your own business website to help administer and blog about the contest will create some valuable cross posting opportunities. For example, if your contest includes having participants create images or videos using your products or services, they could email them to your business to be uploaded to your business website, then people can vote on them at your website. You can post links to the images and updates about the contest on Facebook to keep Facebook Followers engaged in the contest. This will benefit both your business website and your business Facebook Timeline page.
As you gain Followers, get used to succeeding with Facebook ads, and learn to post content to keep your Followers engaged, you will start to find out why more than 82% of marketers rely on Facebook for such a high percentage of their marketing and advertising success. Hosting Facebook promotions and contests, creating discussion groups and other engaging activities will build a strong and loyal community that will be sure to purchase your products and services over your competitors. This will be because you took the time and effort to build brand loyalty through your business Facebook Timeline Page.