Facebook is like the head honcho of all social media sites when it comes to reach, growth and influence. It’s also the site that your friends, networks and customers are likely to be on.
Facebook accounts for about a fifth of the time users spend communicating on their smartphones, according to Mashable, and that’s just slightly less than texting, including checking Facebook’s website 13.8 times a day, on average!
Facebook is the perfect platform to build relationships, offer value to your audience, and increase your visibility as the content is shared so easily via photos, videos, text and articles – as you saw in Day 2 of the Social Media Challenge which broke down which tool you should be using and why.
How to use your Facebook Personal Profile
When you first started out on Facebook this is where you used to spend all your time, connecting with friends and people around the world, joining groups as yourself, liking other peoples’ pages and even poking people – admit it, you did!
It’s now an excellent tool to build up not only your persona – as a real person, friend, sister, father and such, but also from building your professional brand, depending on what you do.
I personally have seen a real shift in how my Facebook profile connects me with my fans and community, as much as it does my friends. In fact a lot of my friends have come to know more about me and my work (since I live and breathe the Suitcase Entrepreneur values) as a result of Facebook.
Here’s how to best use your Facebook profile:
- Use a great photo of you as your personal profile that will be seen in all Facebook groups and anytime you interact on pages and with friends
- Create a great cover graphic that says more about you, or speaks to what you find important in life
- Create lists that you add friends to once a week that make sense to you and then selectively choose which posts might be more relevant for them
- Talk about what’s going on in your life (to a point) such as the work you’re doing, events you’re attending, and opinions you have on latest current affairs or trends
- Post photos of what’s going on in your life, or videos or updates
- Post links to relevant articles, quotes or videos and that you are interested in, and you think your friends would be too.
- Mix in updates from your own work like your latest blog post, video, podcast or an exciting update on a client you’ve just started working with, or opportunity you’ve had – so that people can keep up and celebrate in your milestones and work
- Turn on the subscribe feature so people can subscribe to your public updates, so your posts come up in their newsfeed, even if they’re not your friend.
- Link to your Facebook page (if you have one) from your personal profile
How to add the Subscribe option to your Facebook Profile
With your Facebook profile you can `only’ have 5,000 friends. However you can have an unlimited number of subscribers. If you would like to add the Subscribe button to your own Facebook profile, go here.
Before you do that, it may be a good idea to double-check that only stuff that you really want to share with non-friends is public.
To do this, go your Facebook profile page, hit the “View As” button and then click the “public” link to see what updates in your profile are public. You can change this in your settings by selecting what you do and don’t want seen as public.
Also you can create lists, choose what’s public and not etc by clicking on Timeline Settings – as shown in this image below.
How do you balance personal and professional?
I get asked this question a lot so I just wanted to share my own personal opinion on this balance of how much to divulge, share and keep private on Facebook.
I know when I started building my reputation through my blog and business, many more people I didn’t know sent me Facebook friend requests. For a time I would accept them if I knew they were in my community.
Now I can’t even keep up, and my policy is I only add friends I know (so that’s where I find having activated the subscribe feature comes in handy, as people can still feel included and involved).
That made me also think twice before posting something that may seem less than professional, and while I am still very much me – open, transparent and sharing, I tend to be slightly more guarded on photos and posts from my personal life that may not be appropriate for everyone to see who aren’t my close friends.
I’ve created lists over time with my friends that include entrepreneurs, Ultimate Frisbee, travel hackers, family etc – and I can choose to (but very rarely do) to just post to those lists rather than all friends.
Also I tend to post a mixture of personal and busines posts, sharing blog posts, videos and podcasts to my personal profile of my own and others that I know my friends and subscribers will enjoy. I think this creates the right mix of personal and professional.
How to use your Facebook Page
Think of a Facebook page as a mini website for free – well almost free. Facebook have made many changes to their platform whereby it pays to advertise (if you know what I mean and I do recommend a strategy around this) to be seen.
But there are still many ways you can use your page, without advertising to really engage with your fans, generate new leads and send traffic to your website and blog.
It’s all about creating a consistent content and promotional plan that sees you posting daily (one to two times is more than enough) with interesting, relevant and topical images, videos, articles and posts – from you and from other people who do great work.
For a great example take a look at Social Media Examiner who schedule out posts with titles that clearly show what it’s about so their fans get used to it like `[NEW PODCAST], [LATEST VIDEO]. Or Amy Porterfield
You can do this yourself with a fact of the week, tip of the day so long as it relates to what you do.
Here’s how you can use it:
- Create a page for your brand that acts as a mini website
- Ensure you have consistent branding with your Facebook thumbnail image and your company information
- Create a compelling cover image with a call to action such as an opt-in offer, URL, pricing information, or sales copy – recently made allowed by Facebook!
- Add tabs and applications to enrich your page and promote your products + optins and create more functionality
- Create a consistent promotional marketing schedule for your page that sees you updating once a day
- Post time-sensitive content, like an offer that is ending or call to action – you can also use Facebook Offers (a paid service that you’ll see as an option when posting on your page) to give this more visibility
- Use Facebook advertising to gain new likes, increase engagement and promote specific products
- Post pictures instead of links as they’re more likely to be shared.
- Ask questions on your Facebook Fan page – Questions formed with ‘Would…?’ get the most engagement.
- Create polls and have your audience answer easy questions.
- Run a contest using an app like Woobox to gain more ‘likes’ and comments
- Engage with your fans and reply to their comments to build trust and a relationship
- Check Facebook Insights regularly to measure and track your analytics, growth and goals
Facebook Page Applications to use
Twitter for Pages brings Tweets onto Facebook. The application allows you to pull tweets based on multiple user names and search terms, and supports republishing.
YouTube Tab from TabFusion, lets you easily add a YouTube tab to your fan pages. While it’s not free, pricing is a reasonable $10 per year. It’s a very versatile tab that can be easily customized to fit your needs, and is already used by a number of high-profile brands, including DC Shoes, Nissan Japan, and Peugeot.
Static HTML for Pages allows you to render HTML in a Facebook iFrame, use this app to create a custom “welcome” page (often you can just paste in the code from a landing page on your website and it looks almost as good, including email optin code).
Tabsite is a fan page platform that lets you easily customize your Facebook page. It uses widgets to let you customize the content that appears on your custom tabs. Widgets available include everything from images and text content to YouTube channels, RSS feeds, and contact forms. They offer a free plan with up to 2 tabs per fan page and paid subscriptions start at $5 per month
Scribd For Pages
Display your catalogues, sales presentations, lesson plans, and big ideas on Facebook in a PowerPoint Deck format from which they can be found and shared
Using Facebook Insights
I’m going to cover how to track and measure your success on social media in the last day of this challenge but for now know that you must use Facebook Insights – their free analytics tool that comes with your Facebook page.
It’s got so much fantastic information for you to dig into and see how your fans are engaging and interacting with your page, such as Weekly Total Reach, which is a measure of how many total people have posted something about your page, how many news organizations within Facebook have referenced it, and how much viral distribution the elements of your page have generated.
Key resources to read
How to Set Up a Facebook Page for Business | Social Media Examiner
How to Use Your Facebook Cover Image to Generate Leads — Amy Porterfield
Facebook Influence 2.0 – this is Amy Porterfield’s COMPLETE Roadmap for Creating And Leveraging Facebook to Drive Traffic And Build Your Brand! I think it’s the best $97 you will spend.
Review of New Facebook Insights | Social Media Today
The Suitcase Entrepreneur book – Chapter 8 is all about using social media as your marketing, sales and customer service tool.
Day 3 Challenge to accept:
1. Write a blog post response to this question
How are you using Facebook to build your brand and business?
2. Share your blog post response, and leave a comment to be in to win:
Share your blog post far and wide from your own blog using your own share buttons and the hashtag #SMC AND post a short description and the URL right here in the comments.
3. Embed the 10 Day Social Media Challenge badge in your blog post using this:
<a href=”https://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/socialmediachallenge”><img src=”https://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/wp-content/themes/suitcaseentrepreneur1/socialmedia/socialmediachallenge.jpg” alt=”Social media Challenge” /></a>
4.Click to tweet this: How are you using Facebook to build your brand and business?. Find out here. #socialmedia #SMC
Also if you feel so inclined you can also:
Join the Social Media Club for free where we share tips and strategies for using social media.
Follow the Social Media Tips Pinterest board.