Posts tagged "Facebook Business Page"

Preparing your Facebook Business page for Timeline on March 30th

Facebook is switching all Facebook Business Pages to the new Timeline design.  This change rather crept up on me, but I managed to get ready in the end. I thought I’d blog a few notes  for those who are still trying to figure out the changes that have been made, especially other small businesses owners like me without a lot of time on their hands.

First of all, to see how your page will look you have to activate Facebook Timeline Preview. There should be a Preview tab at the top of your page – if not, go to Introducing New Facebook Pages and press the green button to preview your page. Ta da!

What you will probably notice immediately is a gap at the top of the Page where you should put your Cover Photo (just click Add Cover Photo or Change Cover Photo and upload or select from your photos on Facebook). This image should ideally be 851 x 315 pixels in size and I recommend that you make this a priority before all the Pages are switched over on the 30th of March. Businesses are not supposed to put any promotional material or text on here. It’s quite hard to come up with the right image if you are a business selling all kinds of different products, so I settled for a collage (made for free in Picasa and edited with Gimp). I’m going to adjust it seasonally to show off different products from my range.

Your Apps will be displayed below the Cover Photo as square buttons rather than tabs as they were before. The default Photos folder always comes first on the left. You can change the order they come in by clicking on the little pencil icon on the top right hand corner of each button. An option to swap places with another button will come up. You can also customise the ‘cover’ for each App, if you like, by adding an image.

For a business, it makes more sense to add Milestones than it does on a personal Facebook Profile (where it often feels like bragging – at least, to me!). Milestones are new product releases, reviews, awards, important dates and so on – you can add them via your Status bar which displays just below your cover Photo. They will display on your Timeline at the appropriate date once you have added all the details.

Don’t forget to check, and if necessary, edit your About section, which appears at the bottom left of your cover photo just above your Status bar, as it is very prominent int he new Facebook design.

‘Like-gating’ – asking Facebook visitors who are not fans to Like your page so they can get a special offer or promotion – is apparently something Facebook is not keen on, as they’ve made it more or less impossible to create a custom landing page for visitors. Instead, everyone arrives on the Timeline. It is possible to create a custom landing page for adverts, though, so you can create an advert for a particular promotion or offer for non-fans to entice them over.  I recently came across a helpful article on Alternative Tactics to Like Gating which explains some other ways to try and increase your Likes.

Importing your blog as Facebook Notes has been discontinued for a few months now, however it is still possible to import your blog using Networked Blogs, and I’ve switched to this in a bid to get a little bit of my life back! I’ve set mine to publish on my Timeline via Syndication.

When you are ready, press Publish – or you can just wait for Facebook to do it for you!

Please visit my Facebook Page and let me know what you think – or if you have any comments please leave them below.

Creating a Facebook Business Page competition using Promos

I have a Facebook Business Page for Mimimyne and am often looking for ways to improve it. I am a little behind at the moment as the change from FBML to iFrames means I will have to learn a new set of techniques which I haven’t yet found time to do. However, one thing I did want to do recently was run competitions for Mimimyne’s fans in a way that was consistent with Facebook’s competition rules. I found a great article by Mari Smith explaining Facebook’s promotions rules a little more simply which is a great starting point. Essentially Facebook do not want you to run competitions through Facebook via interactions with fans on Facebook – for example, they do not want you to offer prizes to fans for Liking your page, or contact competition winners via Facebook. This makes life that little bit more complicated for business owners with Pages on Facebook… sigh. So I went looking for an app that would allow me run competitions on Facebook without breaking their rules and found EasyPromos. This is free for the first use so I tried it out to see how well it works.

EasyPromos is a little tricky to install on your Page and it could do with more detailed instructions but once I had installed it it was quite intuitive to use. You set up a Promotion as a Draft and add an image, terms and conditions and a start and end date. The Promos page is also added as a tab to your Page. It works quite nicely in that it is easy to promote the page on your Wall so that existing fans will find it easily. You can ask for email addresses and images from competition entrants so that it is easy to contact them and choose what information will be displayed on the competition screen. I ran the competion and found that I quickly gained 43 new fans in a couple of weeks which was a great result for me. You can also display coupons to reward fans and set the Promos tab as a default landing page for visitors. Promos does seem quite a robust and flexible solution for small businesses although once you have run the first competition following competitions will cost $15 each. However, it will give business owners peace of mind knowing they are not breaking Facebook’s promotion guidelines and it does look professional.

Ways to improve your Facebook Business Page

Add a Shop Tab
I have been doing a bit of maintenance on my Facebook Fan Page and came across this excellent add-on, Shoptab. It’s only useful if you have products to sell but it is fantastically convenient and simple to set up if you do. I have a self-hosted ecommerce website but having a shop on Facebook too is great in terms of visibility and I think fans are bound to be more engaged if they can shop and view products directly from Facebook rather than having to go to a different site. It costs $10 a month at the moment, which I think you’ll agree is a bargain! I had to hack around with my Google Merchant product feed in order to upload it to Shoptab, but the results are worth it and meant 200+ products were uploaded in an hour or two. If you don’t have the ability to export a Google product feed from your own ecommerce site, you can create one manually using a spreadsheet or just type the products into Shoptab, one by one.

Build a Custom Landing Page
Another useful tip from Mashable is to build a custom landing page which will be my next project on my own site.

Customise your Profile Page Image
You can also hack the profile page image on your Facebook Fan Page which I’ve done on another Page I admin, the Dappers Fan Page. It’s a bit fiddly and only recommended if you are familiar with image editing techniques.

Creating Custom Tabs on your Facebook Page (including Newsletter and Youtube tabs)
I’ve used Static FBML (which is essentially simplified HTML) to create custom tabs on my own Mimimyne Facebook Page, including a newsletter sign up tab with code from Mailchimp which will provide you with ready made code, and a customised Youtube Tab with embedded Youtube Videos (I learned how to do this from this blog).

Apps are constantly being created to do jobs like these but it really is worth investigating Static FBML if you want to have control over your Page and how it looks.

There is a great round up on customising Facebook Pages on Techcrunch which links to Static FBML as well as some of the apps that can help you do this if you don’t want to mess around with code.

Tips on essential apps for your Facebook Business Page
Finally, here are some great tips from Matt Silverman on apps that can improve your Business Facebook Fan Page! It’s amazing what we can do with these pages nowadays, even if you are irritated by certain tricks Facebook pulls on Page Admins such as suddenly changing the size of images allowed in Pages, they have given us the opportunity to make Business Pages very engaging and entertaining.