From Blog World & New Media Expo in New York City. The Blog World & New Media Expo is the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for bloggers, podcasters, web TV content creators and social media innovators.
Amy began her presentation by urging the audience to have two presences on Facebook: a personal, profile page and a second business focused page. She explained, “Both platforms offer very different capabilities.” For example, on a personal Facebook page, you can only have 5,000 friends. On a business page, you can have hundreds of thousands of fans. Amy did offer that to extend the reach of your personal profile you can add the “Subscribe” button which will make your public posts available to everyone, which goes far beyond your original 5,000 friends. It is important to have a personal page however because, according to Amy, “People feel a stronger connection to you through your personal page.”
With a business page you can be very targeted with your posts. Amy shared, “You can’t be everything to everyone on Facebook. The more specific you get for your target audience, the more loyal fans you’ll receive.” She also added that you can use Facebook ads (for a small amount of money) to drive fans to your business page. You can’t do this with a personal profile.
Once you have created both of your Facebook profiles, shift your focus to the branding. Amy says, “Spend the time to have impeccable branding on your Facebook pages. Put in time and effort to shooting, creating and selecting your cover photos and profile photos. You only get one chance to make a first impression.”
Amy suggested having a Facebook cover photo strategy for your business page. Have an image you use in between campaigns, but when you are promoting something specific – an event, a webinar, a discount, a partnership – change it out.
Another consideration when branding your business page is – What is the next step? Do you want these first time visitors to the page to sign up for something? A class, an email newsletter, an event registration page? Do you want them to leave a comment on the Timeline? Make the call to action on your business page very clear. More on that in a minute.
Amy spent quite a bit of time talking about the new Facebook Timeline cover photo. Since this is the first thing new visitors see when they arrive on your page, it’s important to put thought into what’s on display there. For starters, the dimensions of the cover photo are 851 x 315 pixels. Make sure you take this into account when selecting a photo so that it’s the right size and doesn’t appeared stretched or grainy.
Keep in mind that Facebook intends for the cover photo to actually be a photo, not an advertisement. You are not permitted to include pricing or purchase information, contact information, promotions or your website URL.
For those who are a bit more advanced in their use of Facebook, Amy advocates custom apps for your business page. Create a custom app that promotes your YouTube videos, your webinars, your email newsletter. You can have up to 12 apps on a business page, but Amy recommends stopping at eight. She says, “Eight apps per page seems to be the sweet spot. You don’t want to overwhelm your fans with options.”
You can also create a custom image for the app which will appear on the Timeline. That dimensions for that image are 111 x 74 pixels.
Once you’ve created your custom apps, name them on the Timeline with calls to action. Once the app is live on the page, hover over the app, hit the pencil icon. Select “edit settings” and then change the name of the app. On Amy’s page she has changed the names to “Sign Up” or “Watch!” or “Enroll Now!” Give your fans a clear call to action that drives your business.
We couldn’t help but smile when Amy said, “The secret to fan engagement on Facebook is taking up more real estate.” Imagine that! She went on to say, “Photos, videos and highlighted posts take up more space and make you more noticeable.” Rather than post status updates that are just text or text and a link, really focus on sharing “bigger” content like photos and videos.
Amy rounded out her presentation by talking about Facebook fan engagement. At the end of your posts, in addition to your link, photo or video, also put a clear call to action. For example, “Like this post if you agree” or “Tell us your favorite XYZ” or “Click like if you’re excited.” Tell your fans what you’d like them to do or what you’d like to hear from them.
Amy shared that in Facebook’s Edgerank (which decides what gets seen in the newsfeed) comments are weighted more heavily than likes, so the more you can encourage your fans to leave comments on a post, the more people will eventually see that post in their feed.
That was a lot of information! Let’s review the high points: