A Facebook Walk-through
Facebook - step by step through the options
I was honored to be the first speaker - the "opening act" if you will - for NaperLaunch Entrepreneur's Week, and in the 2-hour session I spoke all about Facebook. Here is a run-down of the event.
Instead of just dumping a powerpoint file here, I thought it might be more helpful if I gave you the slide content and notes in easy-to-read text format. Besides, I usually use PowerPoint slides for images and then talk about them, so without hearing me talk, they wouldn't make much sense.
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I've been building websites since the web began - quite literally - and I joke that I taught Al Gore how to invent the Internet. As websites evolved and new platforms like Facebook, twitter, yelp, instagram, and so many others sprang up, I was there looking at them and helping people use them for business.
Our team helps many of our clients with their "Internet Presence" which includes their website, social media, directory listings, industry-specific group websites, you name it. We train some, coach others, and ghost write it all for even others, and we're in there doing it every day.
That's how we know all the different tools and techniques in Facebook.
We chose FB since the NaperLaunch people asked for it, and rightly so. If websites were like countries, Facebook's population surpasses China in size. Pretty much everybody is on Facebook. And as the Little Mermaid (a la Disney) tells us, you want to be where the people are!
Each Facebook Part in Turn
Here's the meat of the presentation. I went from point to point and for each, demonstrated where on Facebook you click, and then gave some of our experience in best practices.
- Make a Facebook page
- Inviting people to see it
- Posting Status, Pictures, Videos
- Posting Website Pages
- Liking, Commenting –AS-
- Sharing your Co’s Posts
- Post THROUGH, NOT “TO”
- Tagging other Pages
- Scheduled Posts
- Facebook Ads
Let's look at each one in turn
Make a Facebook page
You want to make a page instead of using Facebook as just you. Lots of reasons that lots of people have covered before. The simple question is: what kind of page do I start with?
Local Business – if you have a shop
Company – otherwise
Brand – if you’re a product
Artist,etc – or author, actor (selling you)
Entertainment – book, song, album, tv show
Cause or Community – NOT Non-profit
Pick one, then fill in the blanks. It's that easy.
To see your new page, whenever you login to Facebook, look in 1 of 2 places for a link to the new page: either in the left column near the top, or look for the tiny down-arrow on the top-right of each page. Click it and you should see your company page name.
Now that you have a page, add a cover photo and profile picture. The profile picture should be your logo or a simplified version of it since it appears very small on Facebook. The cover photo should be relevant to your product or service. Are you an interior designer? Then a well-decorated room shot would be good. A sports coach? Some of your students performing their sport.
Inviting people to see it
On your page, under the big banner photo (called the cover photo), look for a button called "more" and click it. You'll see several options. some of them help you get people to see your page:
Invite Friends – from your friend list
Suggest Page – from your address book
Share – on your timeline
Keep inviting people to your page. That way, more people see it and like it. After they like it, they'll get some of the items you post. And that's how you start being seen.
Posting Status, Pictures, Videos
At the top of the section of posts you'll find a blank area. That's where you can type something. Think of a clever or witty or timely thing to type, then type it in. Under your message you'll see a Post button. Click it. You've posted your first status message.
Do you have a product picture or your product or service in action from your phone? Copy it to your computer and click the link Photo/Video above that same blank space. You'll get a pop-up asking for the location of the photo. Give it, then click Post. You've posted your first photo.
If you have a video clip, either from your phone or a camcorder or something you created on your computer, you can upload it to Facebook. But it'd be better if you uploaded it to Youtube, and THEN referenced it on Facebook. You reach two audiences with one effort that way. Youtube is the #3 search engine in the world. Lots of people are looking for help there. So put your video there for those searching for what you offer.
Posting Website Pages
When you post something, anything, this is the best type of post. I call it POWER POSTING. When you post a web page link, Facebook turns it into a picture and title and - most importantly - a link to the website.
That means you can direct traffic to whatever page you want, like, your own website! That's where you have complete control. You have your menu, your product or service page, your contact info. When you get people to click on this type of Facebook post, you've set the hook!
Liking, Commenting -AS-
Facebook is not all posting. It's also liking and commenting. You should do that as much if not more than original posts. For one, it's easier. But more importantly, it's a way of engaging with your audience. Do you have a company you want to sell to? Look for their Facebook page, then like or comment on one of their posts. If it's appropriate and not too pushy, offer your help. Otherwise, at least offer your opinion on the subject of their post, and maybe just "like" it.
It's important to check who's doing the like or comment. Underneath their post you'll see a space for your comment. Who's profile picture is there? Yours? If so, look to the right of the post for a smaller version of your profile picture and a drop-down arrow. Change who's posting AS, from you to your company.
Sharing your Co’s Posts
Once you post a status, video, web page on your company's Facebook page, share it with your Facebook friends. They know you have a business, right? So let them know what your business is saying. Ask them to share the message with their friends. It's how these posts spread and increase their reach.
It's helpful to see how your page and your particular posts are doing. At the top of your business page, you'll find a few menu items. One is "Insights". Click the word and you'll see the statistics that Facebook is keeping for you.
Don't get hung up on the number of likes you got this week. If it was only a couple, no worries. Instead, scroll further down the page and look to see how far some of your posts have traveled. Which ones travelled the farthest? Those are likely the ones where other people thought they were relevant enough to like or comment or share them. Keep doing posts like those. The opposite is true too. Stop posting messages where there is little to know engagement.
Post THROUGH, NOT “TO”
Stop helping the Huntington Post or the NY Times! Help yourself instead.
Say there's a big story going about. I use the story of Facebook allegedly tweaking the trending news (found in the top of the right column of your news feed) to suit their purposes. To a website developer and social media expert, that's important, so I want to share that.
So ACME website writes something about it. Instead of just sharing their link, which simply sends my reader to ACMEs website, I jump onto my website and write a blog post, giving my slant on the story. Then, I put the ACME link at the bottom of my blog post in case my reader wants to go read the original.
Now, I grab the link to my blog post and paste it onto Facebook, a la Posting Web Pages above. Now, people see a post from me about this trend scandal, but instead of loosing their eyeballs to the ACME company, I instead focus their attention on MY website.
Tagging other Pages
When you post a new status or photo or video, name drop. Put in a Facebook friend's name. As you type a name, Facebook tries to match it to a friend on your list. It's great to use this technique, because your friend gets the post in his/her timeline and may then share it, thereby growing the post's reach.
But what if the name dropping is of a business page? Start the business page name with "@" and Facebook will drop the page name into your message like it does your friend's name.
One of the most powerful of the tools in Facebook, scheduled posts let you line up all your messages at one time and saves you from coming back to Facebook constantly throughout the day, or for that matter, having to be on Facebook at a specific time to catch your audience.
Right up there where you type in a status message, to the right of the Post button, you should see a drop down arrow. Click it, and you'll see the Schedule function. Simply set the date and time you want the post to happen, and Facebook will post it for you at that date and time.
When a post is especially good, you'd like more people to see it. You have your followers, but you want more people to see it. Notice on your posts, the blue Boost button appears in the bottom right. It's pretty obvious. They WANT you to find it. For a little cash, Facebook will show more people. Possibly WAY more people. You can say what gender, what age range, what location or range (e.g., 10 mile radius of Naperville, IL), and what interest. Then you specify how much you'll pay, and Facebook will tell you how many people it will show your post to. You can get in from of thousands of people for $5, $10, $20. Not bad advertising price.
This is good ol' fashioned advertising. You've probably seen a sponsored ad in your news feed. You too can make one, and advertise on Facebook. But you have some high-tech controls, like gender, age, coverage area, interest, and duration. You get great exposure for little money.
You build an ad by going to Ad Manager. The link is in the top of the left column. Your ad is composed of a picture, a title, description, status line and a button. Your picture can't be all word, like a picture of the phrase "BUY NOW". Put a picture of the product, or a happy person using or after using the product.
Here's a little trick we've used to get more reach for the money. Make the image, title, status and description explicitly clear as to what is offered. Then choose the "BUY" button. Then only those about to buy what you have will click. That's great! Since pricing is based on a pay per click system, you'll end up showing the ad to more people. This is especially great if the ad is for an event where the audience can pay at the door. We doubled attendance at a theatre with walk-up traffic with this technique.
Go Get 'em!
Start at the top of this list and work your way down. If you see any difference from what I've described, please add a comment. We can all learn together.
Update - May 12, 2017: I have given this talk to numerous organizations over the last few months and am about to give it to a group of authors, so I added a few slides specific to them. I'm including a link to that powerpoint file just in case they want to download it.