Facebook Business Page: Common Gaps by Small BusinessesAnita Kirkbride
Now that Facebook is a well-established platform for marketing your business, one might think every business owner out there knows perfectly well how to use it! One would be wrong! With all of the training and workshops I do, inevitably there is at least one business owner that is missing essential information on their Facebook Business Page. Usually, it’s more than half the class. While some feel social media has been around forever, it’s really still quite new to many business owners. And for others, using it for business is new.
So, for all those who are just now joining the social media revolution, and for those who are taking a business into the social realm for the first time, here are a few things to check out to make the most of the opportunity you have on Facebook.
Personal Employment Link
I have regularly referred to this as the biggest missed opportunity business owners have to promote their business on Facebook. Please ensure your personal profile indicates where you work! That link should go to your official Business Page when clicked. Many times in workshops business owners are clicking this for the first time and finding it doesn’t link to the right page at all! It is also recommended you make your place of employment publicly viewable, not just available to friends. If you have a common name and someone searches for you on Facebook, you may prefer them to follow your Business Page instead of asking to Friend you. A public link is also another little piece of info that Google can use to rank your business.
To find your employment link, go to your personal profile (click on your name in the top right corner of Facebook), and find the About section of your profile. If it’s linked properly, when you hover over the link you should get a pop-up preview of your official Business Page.
Many businesses still don’t have cover photos on their Business Pages! This is prime real estate that can really showcase your business. You can use this space to promote an upcoming event, new products, promotions or special sales, webinars, books and so much more. At the very least you must have a good quality photo that reflects your brand. It’s a good idea to switch up your cover photos on a regular basis. If you’re using them for promotions, that should be easy. If not, consider creating a new one each month, or each season. Twirp Communications Inc.’s Page has a cover photo for each of the four seasons, plus a few for special events.
Every time you upload a new cover photo, include a keyword based description of your product, service or promotion and a link to your website. This is prime meta data for Google ranking and Facebook’s own search function.
Add a Website Link
It’s hard to believe this one even needs to be said, but I see Business Pages with no visible link to their website ALL. THE. TIME. Huge missed opportunity.
Have you noticed the little black check marks appearing on many local Business Pages? This is Facebook verification. It means the business has taken the time to prove to Facebook that they are a legit company and the contact information is correct. To get verified, go to Page Settings and it should be one of the first few options you see.
Allow Fans to Engage
It’s really disheartening to visit a Business Page only to find they don’t allow comments, reviews or tagging. Yes, dealing with comments and reviews takes time and sometimes people post negative things. If the possibility of an avalanche of negative posts is your biggest worry, social media is not your problem. But I digress. The best use of a platform like Facebook is to engage with your audience. To allow them to comment on things and give feedback. Positive or negative, fans will tell you what they think of your business. And your business is only as good as what your customers think, isn’t it? So allow people to comment and take the time to moderate the comments and respond to reviews, positive and negative alike. It will build a much stronger community around your brand than turning off comments.
If you don’t have tagging turned on in your Page Settings, that means other Business Pages, and fans, cannot tag your page in their updates. You’re limiting the quality of fan testimonials by not allowing them to tag your Page. They can still name your business, of course, but tagging means their friends can click straight over to your Page and become a fan themselves. In the case of other Businesses, you’re limiting their ability to provide recommendations, testimonials or simple shout outs in the same way. Allow the tagging and remove any errant tags if and when they happen.
These are some of the most common gaps found in training small businesses and auditing their Facebook Business Pages. Are there any others you see that should be added? Add your thoughts in the comments below.