FACEBOOK: THE RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Facebook is a crafty seductress. Those 500 million+ users are very tempting to anyone trying to reach today's consumer who, on average, are spending 55 minutes every day there chatting with their friends. Not only that, the fastest growing group on Facebook today is 55 and over with the 2nd fastest growing group being 35 and over- our industry's sweet spot.
However, there are critically important facts you need to know about running a Facebook Page for your business. It's a bit complicated, but stick with me. I will do my best to help you understand (and this is a long post, I know, but I hope it will be helpful to you).
First, a few definitions for you (and this is very confusing because, in FB lingo, a Page is a formal definition)
PROFILE- Facebook lingo for what an INDIVIDUAL creates. Profile is an interchangeable word for individual.
PAGE (with a capitol *P*). Facebook lingo for what a BUSINESS creates. Page is an interchangeable word for business.
FRIEND - what a Profile is to another Profile. This has nothing to do with whether or not you know the person. It is simply Facebook lingo for the action of a Profile who is requesting to connect with your Profile.
LIKE - what a Profile does to a business' Page. This used to be called *Fan* but it is not called this any longer. Now, Profiles *like* Pages, they do not *Fan* a Page.
WALL - the blank space where you post the information you want to share.
NEWS FEEDS - the stream of information a Profile sees when logging onto Facebook. Getting Page information into the News Feed of Profiles is the key to success with Facebook.
CONTENT - A synonym for information. Posting *content* means the same as posting *information*
You cannot have a business *Page* on Facebook without having an individual *Profile* first. *Profiles* are the administrators of a business' *Page.* Only give people you trust access to your *Profile* password. Once they have access to your *Profile* password, they control your *Page.*
You CAN make someone an administrator on your Page without giving them access to your Profile's password.
Facebook does not allow for Page to Page connection. In other words, if your business' *Page* wants to *Like* another business' Page, you cannot do this. Only *Profiles* can *like* *Pages*. What does this mean? It means this: if you comment on another business' Page and you think the admin of that Page will see your business, they won't. Facebook doesn't allow for it. The other business' Page admin will only see your Profile's information. Take care with what that Profile looks like if you are going to be using it to communicate B2B on Facebook.
Next, and critical to understand for Facebook success:
You may have 200, 500, 1000, 2000 Profiles *liking* your FB Page. It doesn't matter. Facebook Pages are not about the number of *Likes* you have UNLESS those Profiles *liking* your Page that first time consistently engage with your Page
Why? Read closely.
When the administrator of your business' Page posts content to your Page's *wall* it is NEVER SEEN (but there is an exception so read on) in the *News Feed* of Profiles.
Ok, let me say that again. Whatever the admin of your business' Page posts to your Page wall is not seen in the main News Feed by the Profiles who like your Page. That's right, it's not seen! Where does it go? It goes to the left hand side of the Profiles' FB screen in the *Messages* box and then, when you click that link, you will see another(!) dropdown link for *updates.* That's where everything you post to your FB Page wall is going!
Unless...and here is the key to success with a Facebook Page:
Unless...the Profiles that have *liked* your Page - originally - keep engaging with your Page and liking, commenting on and/or sharing your Page content with their friends. It is ONLY in this way that your Page content will ever have a chance in showing up in the News Feeds of your Profiles. The algorithm that allows for your Page's content to show up in your Profile's News Feeds is controlled by Facebook and secret.
YIKES! Yep, yikes is right...
The people that *like* your Page originally will never see anything else you post to the wall on your Page (unless they check that *two click away* update box) if you don't give them content that makes them continually want to check in with your Page.
Does Facebook really work then to drive sales and viral sharing? YES. YES. and YES, but, does it take work? Yes. Does it take time? Yes. Is it free? No.
Your business has to actively drive traffic to your FB Page via every consumer facing touchpoint possible or your Page will die on the vine no matter how many Profiles *liked* it originally because very few people will ever again be seeing your Page posts.
Again, why? Because most Profiles do not check their updates link on the left - they pay attention only to their News Feeds and, to be successful, you have to show up in the News Feeds of Profiles who have *liked* your Page because this is what most Profiles see everyday. FB controls this. FB wants engagement by Pages and they reward Pages who work hard to engage their Profiles by giving them access to the Profiles' News Feeds.
What works best for continuous engagement? Coupons, special deals, polls, questions and fun pictures and videos. What bombs: marketing messages without a special deal for the Profile that has taken their time to come to your Page.
One last thing:
There is a LOT of information coming at all of us today. I encourage you to think of this question. Why would YOU go back to a business' FB Page? Post the content to your Page wall that adds real value to people (hint: your ads do not really add value) and you will be well on your way to success.
And soon, if you are consistent and sincere, the Facebook community you grow on your Page will really become your new best friends - and they will bring their friends along for the ride. And what could be better than that?
Still have questions? Come see us at @WorldMarketCtr Las Vegas this week where we will be managing the Hotspot: Social Media Bar or tweet us @tkpleslie or @tkpsev. Underwritten by World Market Center Las Vegas, modeled after Apple's Genius Bar and free for registered attendees, make your half hour appointment to see our team to get your questions answered on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday 9-5 in Bldg. C-1096. For appointments on the half hour, email firstname.lastname@example.org.