Optimize that Facebook (The Business Side)

That’s right. In today’s social media world, Facebook Business pages are becoming THE next hot thing in strategic marketing. That being said, it’s apparently important that organizations discover ways to effectively optimize their pages.

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Because of social Media/Marketing’s very nature, much of the added exposure provided by these outlets isn’t immediately seen. That being said, in order to witness a tangible level of successful: marketing, engaging and informing, organizations must focus on not only building their business pages, but also optimizing them for their needs. Here are our top 10 suggestions for optimizing your page:
1. Create the perfect profile picture
Facebook recommends that profile pictures should be 200px wide, while height can vary as needed. You’ll find the system crops images when generating a thumbnail, losing information around the edge. Also bear in mind that regardless of the shape of your profile image, Facebook thumbnails are square (with rounded corners), and sized based on the length of the shortest side of your image. So when designing rectangular profile pictures, make sure to keep your desired thumbnail imagery within a square boundary. Most importantly, as with any other fragment of social media, is relevancy. Make sure your picture is relevant, and ask yourself the question: what do I want potential clients to see the first time they view my page, is this right impression?

2. Display different content for Fans and non-Fans

Public Profiles now allow separate default landing areas for Fans and Non-Fans. This allows brands to display a “Become a Fan” incentive in an FBML box or Tab. A common request we’ve heard from brands is “Is there a simple way to display different content for Fans and non-Fans?” This allows for some interesting scenarios, from displaying a simple “Thank you” to people who become Fans, to incentivizing visitors to “Become a Fan to see exclusive content/promo code/offer.”

3. Define a publishing schedule for your content
-You can spread updates out so that you carry on a persistent but unobtrusive dialog with your Fans. Post too often and your page updates will start being hidden, or you’ll lose fans. Too seldom and you’ll be forgotten. Try to mix up different update types – a status update, a Link, a Note, a Photo or video update.

– By creating a calendar, you can also schedule moderation periods for comments if you feel this is necessary for your brand. Most Interaction activity (including comments) will occur within 24 hours of an update before it drops out of Fans’ news feeds. A prefect site for this would be Twaitter.com.

4. Use RSS Feeds.

It will be a great load off your shoulders to know that every time a new article is put up on your site, it will appear automatically on your Facebook Page. You can bring RSS feeds to your page by do adding Applications in the edit area of your page. The one I recommend is Simply RSS. It’s quite reliable and does the job well.

5.Use the Status Feature.
Since the redesign, Facebook now has given Pages the opportunity to update their Fans without having to flood them (the old Facebook page’s version of statuses that went into their own separate inbox which often became overwhelming). Since the newest version of Pages include statuses, you can update your fans that will appear in their News Feed, which will make your publication’s Facebook page that much more visible than before.

6. Use multimedia to make your Facebook a mini website.
Consider putting the main slideshows and videos you put on your Web site onto your Facebook Page too. This content can then enter your Fans’ News Feeds. The NY Times’ Facebook Page is a good examples of this.

7. Be human.
Transparency is all the rage these days, so why not use your Facebook Page as a means to get with the game. Just got out of an editorial meeting? Update your fans about it in your status: “The Whit just had a really productive meeting about how we’re going to better cover X” People enjoy getting what is an inside view of your inner workings. You’d be surprised at how quickly your Facebook Page will be more active once Fans realize there is a human behind it all.

8. Start Conversations.

This goes back to the whole “being a human” thing. When people leave comments or explain how they enjoyed a particular piece, respond! People like to know that this isn’t just some page you started just so you can “seem cool with the kids.” Make sure you mean it.

9. Update Your Fans.

The feature from the old version of Facebook pages can still be effective, so don’t overlook it. Some Facebook users have a tendency to ignore updates when they are sent to them but not all. Updates also allow you longer form communication with your Fans.

10. Link!

This should go without saying but make sure that the possibilities are endless for visitors of your Facebook page to reach your Web site. Use photos, video, articles, anything; just make sure that they are getting a teaser for the fuller version of a great product they can get on your Web site.