With over 300+ million members worldwide, Facebook is 2nd most trafficked site in the world, sitting only behind Google. With stats like these, it’s no wonder businesses are turning to Facebook for marketing.
With the right set up, you can effectively use Facebook to gain more brand exposure, traffic and sales and in this article I’ll guide you through how I personally use Facebook to do this, along with some other alternatives.
See First Hand Examples
Before going on you may want to see some examples first hand of how you can use Facebook as a promotional tool. Below you will find my pages.
- Add me as a friend on Facebook.
- Join the Just Creative Design Facebook Group – you can promote your own services, links and design work in this group.
- Join the Just Creative Design Fan Page to keep up to date whenever a new article is published.
Set Up Your Profile
Let’s start at the basics, you’re going to need a Facebook profile. I’ve personally got two profiles, one for business and one for private life. The choice here is yours but you must realise that your followers are going to see photos from you on the weekend, along with other personal details. For this reason, I keep both private and business lives seperate, though I do make my business profile a bit personal too.
You could also split your one profile into two by utilising Facebook’s lists and privacy settings. How to do this is explained in the article How to use facebook for professional networking.
Fill Out Your Profile + Add Links
This may sound like common sense but not everyone does it. Fill out all of the fields that Facebook provides, taking special note of the sections that get the most visiblity (as highlighted in the picture above). You can see on the left side of my profile I’ve linked to my three websites, along with my other social networking profiles (Twitter & LinkedIn).
As for your own profile picture, ensure that it is the same picture you use on the rest of your profiles. As you can see the picture I use for Facebook is the same I use for my website and other social accounts.
Set Up A Fan Page
After you have set up your profile you will want to set up a “fan page” (see mine here) for your business. A fanpage is essentially the way your client base can keep in touch with your business – basically a Facebook version of your online presence. As quoted in Mashable’s Facebook Fan Page Guide, a fan page provides a place to provide:
- An overview of your company
- Website and contact info
- Press releases
- Blog RSS
- Twitter updates
- Company news and status
- Customer interaction
To set up your fan page, log in to Facebook, scroll to the bottom and click on Advertising. Then click Pages and Create a Page. Select the type of business you own and start filling in all the details. The more info you add, the better your page will be and remember: Google thinks highly of Facebook in its search engine results. Ensure you set up a vanity url for your fan page.
Below you can see an example of how users have interacted with a blog post that was posted to my Fan Page.
Set Up A Group
You may be wondering, why do you need both a fan page and a group? In short, they both engage with users in different ways. The group allows users to interact on a more personal level where as the fan page is more focused on your business & brand. For further clarification, read this article on what’s the difference between Facebook Pages & Facebook Groups?
Anyway, you can set up a Facebook Group here. As an example you can see the Just Creative Design group here. Notice how users have added photos of their work, linked to their profiles and other news? Just another way users can interact with your brand.
Automise Your Twitter & Facebook Promotion
After you have set up your profile, fan page and group, you will want to automise as much of your marketing as possible to save time and hassle.
Feed your blog to Twitter & Facebook: Whenever I write a new blog article, I’ve set it up so an automatic tweet goes out to all my Twitter & Facebook followers. I’ve done this via the use of the Twitter Feed service though there are many other options.
Send your tweets to Facebook: This may not suit everyone however the way I use Twitter is basically to share quality links with others, which in turn brings more followers, thus maximising the visiblity and exposure of my brand.
Whenever I send a tweet, I’ve got it set up (short tutorial for set up here) for all my tweets to go to Facebook as well. This allows interaction on both platforms. For example, see a recent tweet that went to Facebook below.
There is also a Selective Twitter Status Facebook App that allows you to choose which tweets get sent to Facebook.
Something else worth mentioning is the tool called TweetLater which allows you to pre schedule Twitter posts in advance. Very handy for promotion while your away. For more Twitter tips, visit this Ultimate Twitter Guide.
Promote Your Facebook Pages
In short, getting traffic and exposure from Facebook is relative to how you use it, how you promote your profiles and how you go about integrating Facebook with your other marketing efforts.
I always keep this in mind: do to others as you would like done to you because what goes around, comes around.
I also recommend reading this article: 9 rules of facebook promotion for small business.
More ways to promote using Facebook
There are many other ways to implement Facebook into your online marketing. Although I have not yet ventured into these areas, they are defintly something to consider.
- Paid Facebook Advertising
- Get Facebook Widgets / Badges for your site or blog
- Integrate Facebook into your site using Facebook Connect
- Build Facebook-enabled iPhone apps
- Create an application that runs inside Facebook
For even more Facebook resources see this massive list of 100 Facebook tools and tips.
Your Facebook promotional efforts will be ongoing, so plan to dedicate a few hours each week to getting new fans and updating content. You’ll quickly appreciate the instant ability to connect with customers and future customers through this valuable social media tool!
Think of your Facebook profile as a digital asset and grow the equity in that asset over the rest of your life. Also be sure to monitor your brand’s reputation.
If you have any further Facebook promotional tips, questions or comments please leave them in the comments below.
This article was originally published on November 2009, however due to our hosts doing a runner on us we lost a number of posts and comments. I’ve salvaged what I could from Google cache. Below you can find the original comments.
- Shurandy Thode (@shurandythode) on Nov 25, 2009 said:Great post! Nice tips, I’m definitely going to have a look at some of them on my facebook account.
- Geeee (@geeee) on Nov 25, 2009 said:very detailed and informative post as usual but I think that setting up your twitter to post to your FB account is not necessary anymore because most of the desktop applications can post separately to multiple account either fan page or personal account like TweetDeck & Seesmic. Thanks again for the good effort; you keep adding more value to our career
- Preston Lee (@prestondlee) on Nov 25, 2009 said:Great post, Jacob. Thanks for sharing! Branding in general is something we all need to worry about whether via facebook or other means.Perhaps your readers would also be interested in this post:
- Ricky Salsberry (@rickyaustin) on Nov 25, 2009 said:Wew hoo – I made it in a screenshot!Nice post.
- David Korona (@DKRM) on Nov 25, 2009 said:Lots of great pointers here, definitely a reference when I publish a Fan Page. Thanks for the post.
- Mike Hallaron (@mh1webdsign) on Nov 25, 2009 said:Good stuff Jacob and timely. Just launched our FB business page and still learning new ways to make the page more useful. I agree with your point that it’s best not to overplay the promotions while seeking fan count. Our plan is to continue to add content and attract more fans. It’s more about a pull strategy than a push strategy. As fans grow we’ll gently begin periodic fan emails. Thanks!
- Abounding (@abounding) on Nov 25, 2009 said:I love the tips, especially about automation. That is a really important point for people who are producing content for multiple sites/accounts. Busy people need to maximize efforts and publish as widely as possible.
- Kamila – Darc Vanilla Design (@darcvanilla) on Nov 25, 2009 said:Very good post. I was about to write similar I’ve just launched my Darc Vanilla Design fan page and I’m still learning how to make it more attractive to potential readers.
Facebook is indeed a great tool to quickly increase traffic on the website. Who of you designers don’t have facebook fan page integrated with your blog – I suggest to do it right away.
- Dave Sparks (@dsparks83) on Nov 25, 2009 said:Hi Jacob, another informative post although managing two accounts it is actually against Facebook user policy – no matter what the usage of the account is.
Facebook recommend setting up a page for your business and encouraging users to follow that which is what my company has done http://www.facebook.com/armitageonlinesolutions. It’s not quite the same but it does the job and stops you falling foul of facebook’s user policies.
- Ann Edwards (@annedwards) on Nov 26, 2009 said:I already spent over 30 minutes on Facebook because of the 2nd section. Lol.Great post, as always.
- Kiren on Nov 26, 2009 said:I like your Facebook page because you blend business with your personal stuff, which I think is the right way to go. So many people just post random links to articles with no social interaction.
- Aaron (@photoshopcandy) on Nov 26, 2009 said:Great article. Thanks for sharing.
- frankzhu on Nov 26, 2009 said:nice article for me ,thank you very much
- The Pro Designer (@theprodesginer) on Nov 26, 2009 said:Hey Jacob, this is a really great post, another area which people do not take advantage of enough is adding a landing page on facebook. So when someone lands on my facebook page, they go here: -Landing Page – http://www.facebook.com/thepro…..7146470109
Free Web Graphics Page – http://www.facebook.com/thepro…..4949752878
Hope you find it useful!
- Naomi on Nov 27, 2009 said:Great post, great information. Thanks.
- Michael Martin (@problogdesign) on Nov 27, 2009 said:Nice post! I’ve set up a Fan Page for Pro Blog Design and so far, it’s gone down pretty well! Haven’t quite made the jump to a personal profile as well. For now, I’m keeping that to just people I’ve met. Not sure how I’d keep up with it all otherwise (And I won’t even imagine how you do both plus a group!)
- Cort on Nov 28, 2009 said:Ive been thinking alot about this topic lately.
Thanks for the suggestions!
- Rebecca Wong (@rwsdesign) on Nov 29, 2009 said:Great Article! So much to learn and so much to do! Thanks for the tips!
- Autonomy (@autonomydesign) on Nov 30, 2009 said:Thanks for the tips Jacob, great post!
- Bradley Pearce (@bradleypearce) on Dec 1, 2009 said:Ha, just noticed we have the same birthday. Great article and advice as always
- Laurent JOUVIN (@migratedesign) on Dec 1, 2009 said:Thanks for this post Jacob. I have been using Facebook as well for my business for the past 6 months (http://www.facebook.com/MigrateDesign). It has definitely helped my main site (http://www.migratedesign.com) and increased traffic. The result is a better ranking within search engines.
- Tyler Maynard on Dec 2, 2009 said:Great info Jacob. Social-Networking sites are great for exposing your business. Big or small, there is nothing like free media outlets!
- logo design (@bruceslogos) on Dec 2, 2009 said:Thank you for sharing and that was a useful tips and most of us is using facebook as form internet marketing promotion
- Mindy (@mindysteen) on Dec 3, 2009 said:Hi Jacob, excellent post. I will definitely be referring back to this one.Any idea if there’s a way to make the automatic Twitter posts update the fan page, but not your personal page? I’ve tried this so many times, but I haven’t been successful. I tend to use Twitter just for professional stuff, and don’t want those tweets on my personal facebook (my non-design friends don’t care about the CSS link I posted).
Thanks, as always. Excellent stuff.
- A Design Student (@rmdesignstudent) on Dec 3, 2009 said:I think this is a really great post! Really helpful, and just goes to show what you can actually do with social networking sites. Thanks Jacob. Please read my blog and follow me on twitter.
- Benjamin Rama on Dec 4, 2009 said:yeh FB is gonna be big with brands as GV and From the couch had th e forsight to see
- Hesham @ FamousBloggers (@FamousBloggers) on Dec 7, 2009 said:I have some difficulties on changing my photo at Facebook for branding reasons, but I think it’s better to do it now before more time pass and there will be no return back! thanks Jacob for this awesome post!
- Goji on Dec 8, 2009 said:Great post, great information!
- Jeromy on Dec 10, 2009 said:Thanks for the tips, especially about protecting your brands reputation.
- Facebook Application Developers (@facebokguru) on Dec 11, 2009 said:Well don Jacob, you don very well. I have also try to explain this process by slides. If visitors like to see this too.
- Facebokguru (@facebokguru) on Dec 11, 2009 said:This article is great, however some new things are added in the following slide.
- Stephen Emlund (@stemlund) on Dec 11, 2009 said:This post is a great resource for how to successfully get yourself or business on Facebook.One thing I might suggest to anyone wanting to customize their Facebook fan page even more: Install the Facebook app called ‘Static FBML’. It allows you to add multiple tabs to your page where you can place custom HTML. I’ve not implemented it yet, but you can find more info on Static FBML is here – http://www.facebook.com/note.p…..9520642788
Has anyone used Static FBML?
- Chotrul Web Design on Dec 13, 2009 said:Yeah, as mentioned in several comments, thus far I’ve kept my professional life well clear of Facebook, which is strictly for social activity. It’ll be interesting moving the former into the latter, so that my web design and seo work doesn’t suffer from whatever quirkiness there is in my private life .. much food for thought in your article … many thanks for that!
- Marja Bonn (@bonweb_tweets) on Dec 15, 2009 said:Great article, once again!
- Dan on Dec 17, 2009 said:Great Stuff! I’ve debated on whether or not to Twitter but the automation helps.
- viettel adsl on Dec 18, 2009 said:Great info Jacob. Social-Networking sites are great for exposing your business. Big or small, there is nothing like free media outlets!
- Azterik Media (@Azterik) on Dec 18, 2009 said:Excellent article. This information is really helpful, I have to say I was slow to warm up to using Facebook for business but it really is a traffic driver. With the correct cross promotion of Facebook, Twitter and your main website it can be a real boon to overall business. Thanks for posting these tips!
- Benjamin Rama on Dec 18, 2009 said:yeh twitter only has 11 million users which is really nothing compared with 200 million – i had a fan page but cant find it anywhere so ill make new one – its just a new way to communicate with your readers and with people whic is really important – there arent too many ways to do this apart from comments its very faceless, happy holidays anway
- High Internet Savings Account on Dec 18, 2009 said:Great articles, It is right that facebook is the most popular site and its traffic is very high.
- Eko Setiawan (@camp26team) on Dec 19, 2009 said:This information is very useful for us, we just make a fan page, and try to give the best for the customer.
- Amna on Dec 28, 2009 said:Great Post! very comprehensive. Thankyou!
- Bob on Jan 1, 2010 said:Great article.
- Anime (@anassin) on Jan 2, 2010 said:Thanks a lot! I am going to use this!