Facebook Best Practices for Service Providers
Please Note: Three new Facebook best practices are added each month. Please subscribe to the Noodle News e-Newsletter to be alerted when new best practices have been posted. To create an Official Page for your business, please visit: www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
1. Configure your Page’s “Settings” to maximize participation.
A Facebook Page can be a great tool for building online buzz about your business and the services it provides, but only if you optimize your Page for maximum participation. This will mean that you are going to have check your Page more regularly for rogue comments, but that is a small price to pay for increased online interaction and ROI (Return on Investment).
To allow maximum participation on your Facebook Page, go to “Settings” on the home view under the “Share” button and:
1) Default View for Wall :: All Posts
2) Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else :: Wall
3) Auto-Expand Comments :: Check
Check :: People who like this Page can write or post content on the wall
Check :: People who like this Page can post photos
Check :: People who like this Page can post videos
Check :: People who like this Page can post links
2. Use your business logo as your Page picture.
Your logo a.k.a. avatar has never had more value than it does in the Era of Social Media. People will often recognize your logo from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, ServiceNoodle, etc. before their brains even begin to process the name of your business.
Make sure the use of your logo/avatar is consistent on all your social networking profiles. A logo is increasingly becoming a necessary expense for small businesses to be successful on the Web. Ideally, you should have a vertical version of your logo for your website and blog, as well as square version of your logo that functions as avatar on social networking sites.
3. Select a vanity URL that matches your business website.
Once your Facebook Page reaches 25 Likes, you can go to www.facebook.com/username to create a vanity URL for your Page. Ideally, your vanity URL should match your business website URL. For example, www.facebook.com/servicenoodle matches www.servicenoodle.com. It’s worth noting that many people make the mistake of creating a vanity URL to match personal profile on Facebook. Make sure you “Set a username for your Pages.”
4. Add and use the “Links” App.
The Links App allows you to add links to your Status Updates. The Links App comes with all Facebook Pages automatically. Don’t delete it and use it with every Status Update.
5. Add and use the “Notes” App if your business does not have a blog.
The Notes App essentially allows you to run a blog on your Facebook Page. Like a blog, notes are listed chronologically and those that “Like” your Facebook Page can post comments and give thumbs up. This App allows to your business to easily create and publish content to Facebook (and the Web in general) on a regular basis. The Notes App comes with all Facebook Pages automatically. Don’t delete it!
6. Limit your Status Updates to one or two per day.
Posting more than one Status Update a day on your business’ Facebook Page and you’re dangerously close to getting un-Liked, or at the very least “Hidden”. Some well-loved business can get away with two Status Updates a day as long as one is in the morning and the other is in the afternoon. The law of diminishing returns kicks in after that. Ideally, you should be posting only 4-5 times a week and you should make sure those posts are interesting and link to good content.
7. Post special sales and discounts in Status Updates.
The number one reason that users “Like” a brand’s Facebook Page is to receive notifications of special discounts and promotions. For example, post a Status Update that says: “Mention our Facebook Page at time of purchase and receive 10% off!”. This will help grow and retain your supporters base on Facebook.
8. Have more than one Admin for your Page.
Protect your business by making sure that you have at least two staff as Admins for your Facebook Page. If a staff person leaves, and there isn’t a second person named as Page Admin, then you have essentially lost access to your Facebook Page and your hundreds/thousands of fans.
9. Add Twitter, YouTube and/or News Tabs to your Facebook Page.
Involver.com is a new start-up that has some pretty amazing Apps that you can add to your business’s Facebook Page. Your first two Apps are free and if you want to later upgrade, their fees are very reasonable. I recently added the Twitter and RSS Feed Apps to the ServiceNoodle Facebook Page. The Apps allow you to then create Twitter, YouTube, or News Tabs on your Facebook Page that pull in and nicely display all your Tweets and videos from Twitter and YouTube. For instruction on how to add the Tabs, please see: HOW TO: Add Twitter and YouTube Tabs to Your Facebook Page.
10) Use the “Favorites” function to build business partnerships on Facebook.
Each Facebook Page has a link under the logo on the home view named “Add to my Page’s Favorites”. Use this functionality to build and foster business partnerships on Facebook. If your customers or business partners have a Facebook Page, then add their Pages to your “Favorites”. Be sure to then post a comment their Page’s Wall letting them know you did it. Hopefully, they will return the favor. On the ServiceNoodle Facebook Page for example, we favorite service providers that advertise on ServiceNoodle.com. If your business advertises on ServiceNoodle.com and we have not favorited your page, then please e-mail email@example.com and we will promptly add you to our Favorites.
11) Drag and Drop your most important Tabs.
The default setting on Facebook is that your Wall and Info Tabs must remain and be in the first and second position on your Page’s Tabs, but the remaining four Tabs can be dragged and dropped to feature your most important Apps and content. For example, on the ServiceNoodle Facebook Page, we currently feature News, Twitter, Noodle Careers and Photos in our Tabs. Keep your Tabs fresh and change them around every once in awhile!
12) Update your Facebook Page Note Box at least once a month.
Located directly under your Page logo on the left side of your Page is a Note Box. Make sure you update this box at least once a month with content that is timely to your business and interesting to your Likers. It could be used to promote a new ad campaign, product launch, or special promotion. Again, see the ServiceNoodle Facebook Page as an example.
Webinar: How to Successfully Use Facebook and Facebook Apps to Promote Your Business
Service Noodle Best Practices for Small Businesses
Twitter Best Practices for Service Providers
YouTube Best Practices for Service Providers
Foursquare Best Practices for Service Providers