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7 Key Items to Review to Grow your Facebook Page [Podcast]

halftime-blog-header

Smart businesses are seeing the value of Facebook.

The fact that Facebook users spent enormous amounts of time on the platform is not going unnoticed by marketers!

During Facebook’s 2013 second quarter earnings call, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg shared that were about 18 million business pages on Facebook and 1 million are being added every *month*.

InsideFacebook.com broke this down and noted that means:

  • 33,333 pages created every day
  • 1,368 created every hour
  • 23 created every minute
  • 1 created every 3 seconds or so

The point is that smart marketers know Facebook is a great place to be to engage with and reach current and potential customers.

In this podcast episode of Halftime Mike, I dig into 7 key items that are important for companies on Facebook to review on their page.

Subscribe on iTunes: Halftime Mike on iTunes   |     Subscribe via RSS   | Listen on Stitcher.

Halftime Mike Podcast Background:

My podcast is titled “Halftime Mike”.  You can find my podcast episodes easily by bookmarking this page or going to www.HalftimeMike.com.

 What’s with the “Halftime” theme?

I’m a Hoosier native from the state of Indiana where basketball is HUGE!  I love basketball and believe it has parallels to life that are relevant for those seeking an edge in business today. Social Media has transformed business.  Today’s business must be socially savvy, digitally relevant, and able to:

  • Respond quickly
  • Adapt each day
  • Understand the opportunities
  • Execute with excellence

All of these skills are also necessary in basketball.  So my podcasts reflect me.  No nonsense, straight, practical talk on social media and business marketing. I’m a student of the game of basketball from coaching my kids teams, to watching high school, college and pro basketball, I love to watch, learn, adapt, and coach others implementing the best strategies to help them improve.  I bring this over to social media marketing and business consulting for digital success.  I firmly believe that the “game” of social media marketing is in full swing and savvy marketers need to stop at “halftime” and take 20 minutes to reflect on the “first half”.  Then, based on the learning’s and insights gained in each “Halftime Mike Podcast“, go out and execute the things learned to achieve success!

This Podcast:

How long has it been since you REALLY stopped and reviewed your Facebook Page?

Are you keeping up with the latest Facebook changes and features?  It’s critical that Facebook Page managers take time to regularly audit their Page and ensure that they are not missing out on new features.

This Facebook Page Check-up List outlines 7 key items to review to help maximize your Page’s potential.

Facebook changes often—audit your Page to keep up!

 1. Maximize Use of your Cover Image

The latest key change is that the 20% rule for text is gone!  Facebook recently updated its guidelines and loosened the restrictions on the amount of text you can display on your main Page cover image. (View updated Facebook Guidelines.) This prime cover image location now lets you display items such:

  • as your web address,
  • a call to action / special offer
  • a featured product
  • a coming event

Since the 20% max rule is dead, Facebook Page Admins should use the cover image well.  Best practices would be to feature something each week (product, event, news), and to direct fans visually to your key tab apps on the page.

summer-sale

Great use of Cover image to promote a offer by Mari Smith taking advantage of the freedom to have more than 20% text

 

Be careful, however, to NOT make your page busy with all sorts of combinations of messages.  Rather use the cover image to highlight and focus ONE key message or ONE key item along with your logo for branding.

If designed creatively, cover images now afford Pages a powerful new opportunity to communicate key pieces of information to visitors. Make sure to take advantage of this change.

Here’s a FREE Cover image PowerPoint template that’s free to download and can help companies easily create custom cover images.

 

2. Convert Leads and Sales by Maximizing Use of Tab Apps

Tab apps are great ways to boost engagement on your Page. They offer interactive and incentive options that can draw visitors to your Page and boost engagement.

A great way to boost traffic, engagement, and leads via Facebook is to use a tab to host a contest or promotion.  In fact, using a third-party app is the only way to run a contest or deal that meets Facebook’s promotion guidelines.  At a minimum, Pages should feature a tab app that lets visitors sign up for the company email newsletter list.

Ideas for Real Estate Professionals >

Tips for Hotels, Resorts, and Bed and Breakfasts >

Read more about how Contests can boost marketing and reach for Facebook Pages >

 1www_facebook_com_ThomasBeachVacations_app_440942075933019

 

Another idea is to add a key page from your website to your fan page via a tab.  Using a tool like TabSite’s WebSite ReSizer, it can take less than 10 minutes to add your website listings page to a custom tab and have it fit perfectly!

 real-estate-listing-onfacebook2

This adds a great dimension of functionality to your fan page. When people are on Facebook, they want to stay on Facebook, and this allows them to do so by giving them the featured listing right on the Facebook page tab. Simply share a post about the property and include the Smart (mobile friendly) URL in the description so users can easily access it.

Make sure that your apps stay up to date and that your most important apps are visible in the three slots below the cover image.  More about this in the next item below!

3. Review your Content Posting Type and Frequency

Are fans interacting with your content?  How often are you posting?

Content posting is critical on Facebook!  The majority of time spent on Facebook is users surfing their News Feed.  This is where they scan posts from friends and pages they follow.  So this is the key place where you would capture the attention of a fan, and it comes down to your posting.

Tips for Posting:

  • Craft posts that inspire interaction and sharing!
  • 80% content, 20% promotion
  • 80% add value to help others, 20% to promote yourself (you can earn loyalty by becoming a trusted resource!)
  • Use a mix of post types including images and videos, links, and simple text status updates to boost engagement
  • Frequency matters!  At a minimum, most pages should be posting at least 2-3 times a day.  With the average post being seen by 10-22% of your fans at any given time, regular posting is important in order to be seen. For a great page study on this, visit JonLoomer.com.

 

enagagedpost

 

How are you responding and engaging to comments others make?  This is key to loyalty and being someone others want to follow and connect with.  Take time to go through your past few weeks of posts and note your responses against this criteria:

  • Have you enabled Posting Ability by Others (see image below) – First, make sure others can post!  This is important in order to be “social.”  Yes, there are times and places in mega-popular or controversial pages where you may want to limit to comments on posts you make, but for the majority, enabling posts by others is important
  • Always be courteous – Take time to respond professionally and with helpfulness.  Yes, others can be in the wrong but you will not help by fighting back publicly.
  • Allow Photo tagging of your page.  This can help extend reach of your photos to others.
  • Use @ Tagging in replies to alert the user to your reply.  (see image below) This personalizes your response and makes it clear on mobile view who you are answering.
  • Never delete posts by others unless they violate clear terms you have outlined.  It is always best to respond professionally and attempt to take the conversation offline.  This shows others you do respond and how you respond.  If you have built loyalty, fans typically understand that a disgruntled person is just that, and not representative of your customer base.
  • Try to always give commenters a response.  At minimum, give them a Like but typically it is even better to take the time to reply.  This humanizes your company and builds respect and loyalty.

pam-moore

 

4. Review Your Category, Especially if You’re a Local Business

Facebook offers quite a variety of category options, many of which are similar and some that offer different features for your Page. One of the biggest feature differences that any local business should take advantage of is the Check-in option.

If your business has a physical brick-and-mortar location where you want potential customers to visit, be sure to change your Facebook Page category to Local Business.

This will allow users to check into your location, which is helpful for at least two reasons. First, it can raise awareness of your business and location with friends of the user checking in. Second, check-ins can be part of Graph Search results, so that if a Facebook user is searching for a restaurant in Chicago that friends have visited, check-ins appear in results.  Be aware that there is a trade-off, as businesses categorizing themselves as Local Businesses do not have the Short Description option.  However, the value of the check-in feature for local businesses in my opinion surpasses the short description value.

local-business-selector-facebook-page-category

To check or change your Page category, go to the Admin Panel and select Edit Settings. Then go to Basic Information, and find Category at the top of the list.

Review and update your Short Description and complete the About section.

 

5. Optimize the ‘About’ Section for Graph Search

Be sure to review and complete the remainder of the About area, which has subsections such as Company Overview, Description, General Information and Mission. The About area is indexed by search engines, so make sure it contains your keywords. The exact subsections you see will vary depending on the Page category you have chosen.

Complete the Company Overview, Mission and Products fields to help optimize your Page for product searches. Include your address, city, state and zip code in General Information to optimize you Page for local search.  Now that Graph Search is rolling out to all users, the About section becomes even more important because it is indexed by Facebook and can return in Graph Search results for user searches on Facebook.  Learn more about Graph Search.

local-business

Graph Search result with check-ins of friends listed.

 tabsite-about

6. Customize Your Facebook Page URL

If your Facebook Page URL still has “pages” and a set of numbers in it, it’s time to move up to a custom URL!

You can customize your Page web address by selecting a unique username that contains letters or numbers but no dashes, etc. Your Facebook URL can be changed only once, after it is originally set, so choose wisely.

Adding a username to your Page makes it easier for people to find your business on Facebook, and your Page’s custom url can be used in marketing communications and more!

Long and Hard to Remember:

Above: Example of a Page that has not set its username.

Above: Example of a Page that has not set its username.

 Simple and Concise Custom URL of TabSite after securing the username:

custom-url

TabSite’s custom URL and username for their Facebook Page is simple and easy to remember!

 

7. Activate Replies to Comments

Replies is a newer Facebook feature that was released in March 2013. When the feature is enabled, it allows Pages to offer their community the ability to reply to a specific comment in a thread. This threaded comments feature allows for more specific and richer interaction around a comment.

Previously, adding to a discussion required you to tag someone (using the @ symbol and their name) and hope that other readers understood which of the previous comments it related to.  No need for that now, as each comment will have a “reply” link to reply specifically to that comment.

reply-in-use
The new Replies feature shown in action.

The Replies feature is activated by going to the Admin Panel. Select Edit Settings and then Manage Permissions. Toward the bottom of this section is the Replies area with a checkbox to activate. Be sure to click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

 

Facebook-Replies

Admin area to activate Replies feature for Pages.

posting

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of items to audit for your Facebook Page. Hopefully these 10 items can help you review your Page to ensure that your information is up to date and that you are utilizing Facebook’s newest features.

 Thanks again for listening!  

Subscribe on iTunes: Halftime Mike on iTunes   |     Subscribe via RSS   | Listen on Stitcher.

 

Additional Resources:

Cover Image PowerPoint Template Download

12 Ideas for Great Cover images

Facebook Page Image Dimensions for Cover Image, Posts, and more