Since this Friday I am teaching a webinar for ActiveRain University titled Customizing Your ActiveRain Blog that it was time for me to share about the importance of building your brands across all social media platforms. Instead of writing a 3,000 word novel to cover all of the different platforms that exist and tips to customizing each, I figured I would break this down into a series.
The first network I want to talk about today is Customizing your Facebook Page. But before I get into what to customize and how, I first want to share the difference between the three main categories Facebook offers. The first is a Facebook Profile. A profile is your personal page on Facebook. It is where you have "friends" and can connect with people on a personal level. What many do not realize about these profiles is that Facebook frowns heavily on you doing any business on them. In fact, section 4.2 of Facebook TOS says this: "You will not use your personal profile for commercial gain." Pretty self explanatory.
A Facebook Group is the second category of Facebook that I wanted to discuss. These pages are limited to the number of members you can have. Also, they normally require each person to be accepted into the group. They also have several limitations to the customization end of things. So while these might be good idea, they have some major limitations when it comes to being effective for business.
The third Facebook category which I want to talk in detail about is Facebook Pages. These are designed for businesses. They allow many customizations and also unlimited number of fans. Many times though, when I look at Facebook Pages, I see so many things that could use some improvement.
Here are my 4 most important things to do when customizing a Facebook Page.
1. Fill in the about me section on your main page. Facebook pages have a small about me section on the main area of your page. Make sure you fill this area in with a brief description of what the page is about. The other thing that is good to do here is add a link to your website. You can do so by just typing out the full URL to your site.
This is a quick and easy way to share a little bit of information about the purpose of your page and also your business. Like I mentioned, keep this brief. Don't try to get into a sales pitch here or you will lose the consumer before they even take the time to click to become a fan.
2. Custom avatars- Did you know that you can create your own custom avatars for your Facebook Page? Instead of using a standard 200x200 photo, you can actually have something that is up to 540 pixels long! One of the big advantages to the larger custom avatars is that they will stand out from your competition when someone is searching for pages to join. If the logos for all the other pages are small and yours is over twice the size, you have a much better chance of them noticing you. Here are a few ideas for other things to incorporate into your avatar. You can add additional text, graphics, & colors to it. While the links you add are not going to be able to be clicked, you can give people valuable information like a quick reference to your phone number, twitter account, etc.
Here are a few that I recently designed for clients. You can see what I mean:
The key though to making these larger avatars is that you have to keep in mind the logo that will show up on your thumbnails on the wall. So it is important that you use the correct spacing, sizing etc for your main logo/image. If not, you will end up with half of your head, or logo showing up on the thumbnails and that doesn't always look the greatest. If you are graphically design challenged, I can help.
3. Integration of Blog- There are several ways to integrate your blog into your Facebook page. While some work better than others, you have to go with the process you prefer. I personally like mine coming in as an RSS feed through social RSS, but you can also use the notes function if you wish. The key though is to feed in your blog information so that there is a steady stream of content other than just your regular wall posts. One word of caution though, remember when you set up the RSS feed that it feeds everything posted to that domain. So if you set it up & then place a blog post that is off topic or slightly offensive, it will be visible to your Facebook page as well.
4. Custom Welcome Tab- This is by far the most effective thing you can have on your Facebook page. You can set this to be the tab that greets every single guest to your site. That way they can get to know you immediately. Our Facebook Page which was built by Mike Mueller, has a nice welcome video from myself & Jason Crouch that greets every single fan to our page. We kept our video under a minute and just thank people for visiting & encourage them to become a fan. In less than 10 days, it has been viewed 100 times!
These custom tabs can also have all types of things added to them. Including good keyword rich content, links to pages of your website, links to other services you offer. If you know FBML, you can really do some awesome things on a page. But, if you are like me and are not an expert on FBML (Facebook Markup Language) then I would HIGHLY recommend you contact Mike Mueller to build your page. He has done over 200 of them & is really up to date on all the changes in specs to the pages. That way you do not have someone build a great custom page for you to find out the next week that Facebook is making major changes to size allotments & other specs. If you want a page, contact him here. Also, because he likes me so much, he told me I can offer a 10% discount if you mention my name. So tell him Jeremy sent you!
Take these 4 simple steps, place them into action, and you can really have one really awesome custom page that is branded to your business. This means that if they find you on a website or on Facebook, it doesn't really matter because both sites look, feel & act in very similar manners. If you don't believe me, take a look at our website & Facebook page. You will definitely see the correlation in our branding between the two.
If you want to learn more about how to customize your Facebook Page, feel free to contact me directly or register for our workshop on 3/17/10 at 2PM EST. Mike is going to teach you more on how to build awesome custom Facebook pages like ours!
Let me help you find your next dream home here in Myrtle Beach.
I am also the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors. I have traveled the country as a social media speaker. If you would like more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog, please contact me directly. We specialize in social media training, online consulting, and the creation of your own custom WordPress site.
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