By Katherine Andes
A client with a home furnishing store called me a couple of weeks ago — I hadn’t heard from her in a long time.
“Kathy, I just saw the movie, The Social Network… I have to get on Facebook.”
She sounded worried — like the Facebook train had already left the station and she wasn’t on it. She continued, “I know you told me a year ago to get on Facebook … but now I know I have to get on it.”
I asked her if any of her competitors were on Facebook. She said, “No, they’re not.” I reassured her that there was no reason to panic. Yes, she needed to get on Facebook, but she still had time.
That call made me curious to go see The Social Network movie. Essentially, it’s about the people behind Facebook, but it also gives you a feel for the scope and impact Facebook has and will continue to have. I can see why my client was motivated to get her business on board.
My own experience with business Facebook Pages is that they can be awfully frustrating. For example, they used to be called “Fan” pages, which worked for me. But now they are just called Pages, which makes them harder to distinguish from other Facebook pages.
Be careful not to sign up for a Group page. I recently learned that one client had set his Facebook page up as a Group page rather than a Pages page. This is a problem for my client as Group pages are private. Businesses want to reach out to the public, so it’s important that they set themselves up on Pages.
A Pages page has to be set up from a personal account. For example, if you let an employee set up your page from his personal Facebook account and then he moves on, you’ll no longer be able to access it. Or if you decide to sell your business and the page is set up from your personal account, the only way the new owner could access the account would be through your personal (private) Facebook account and you wouldn’t want that.
As of this writing, there is no way of transferring a Pages page to another personal account. So I recommend creating a fictional persona and giving him an email address. Then set this persona up with a Facebook account. From that account, you can create your Pages page.
What to post on your Facebook Pages page is a challenge. You don’t want to constantly post sales events. You do want to interact and build a relationship with your followers. I recommend a blend of sales specials, helpful information, personal tips, and funny stories from you and your staff.
I’ve recently started promoting some of my clients’ businesses on my own Facebook Page. My clients really appreciate it.
There’s no reason why you couldn’t promote your customers’ businesses as well. For example, “We recently redecorated the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig, owners of Ludwig Realty.” Include an image of the room you redecorated and a link to their website. They will be very grateful and become more loyal customers. At the same time, you’ll be promoting your own business.
If your customer doesn’t have a business, then promote their favorite charity.
Most importantly, remember that with Facebook and other social media there really aren’t any rules — other than be nice. So you don’t have to be afraid of making a mistake. Just get started.
Easy Furniture Web Tip #93: Get on board The Social Network with Facebook. Think of it as open frontier where you can be creative, experiment, and have fun.
Katherine Andes is a consultant who specializes in writing custom content for key web pages, including search engine optimization (SEO) — especially in the home improvement market. You can phone her at 559.589.0379 or email at Kathy@AndesAndAssociates.com.