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Archive for August, 2010

Indianapolis Social Media – Creating a Page for Your Business on Facebook

Posted in: Blog, Tech Tips by admin on August 26, 2010

Last week Online Architecture provided pointers on getting started with social media and the basics of Facebook. This week we’ll take the next step: turning Facebook into a marketing tool.

So you’ve built your small network of Facebook friends for your personal profile, and that’s great. But what about your business? How do we harness the power of Facebook and generate exposure and a following? The easiest way to do so is to build a page for your business (formerly known as a Fan Page). Fortunately, setting up a page is a lot like creating your Facebook profile, so it’s pretty easy.

Start by going to Facebook.com.  If you’re not logged into your account at the bottom of the page underneath the green sign up button you will see “Create a page for a celebrity, band or business.” After you click on the link, select “Local business” from the options and add the page name for your business. Make sure you check the box verifying that you are the official representative for your business and click the “Create Official Page” button.  On the next screen you’ll be asked to sign in with your personal login (all pages have to be connected to a personal profile).

Now you are ready to build out your company profile, adding as little or as much detail on your business/company as you choose. Start with the simple things. Add your company profile and contact information. Post some relevant pictures of yourself, your staff, or images related to your business. Start a discussion and encourage others to participate.

Once you’ve taken the time to build a page, build a following by getting others to “like” it. The more users you can get to like your page, the more you can utilize it as a marketing tool. Then, use the page to post interesting articles, polls/surveys, and other items to engage your followers. Keep them informed on subjects that may interest them or spur them to action. Give them content that keeps them coming back, and pushes your business through all the clutter to the front of their minds.

One important point.  Many people have contacted us asking about adding other tabs and gizmos to their page.  That’s certainly helpful, but our recommendation would be to wait until you’re putting a steady stream of posts on your page, and until you have a good base of people who have “liked” your business.  People will “like” your page because of what you post, the rest is bonus material.      

The easiest part is setting the page up. But don’t forget to promote it outside the Facebook network. Add a link to the page from your website. Include it in your email signature. Get the word out and build your following.

Indianapolis Social Media – Dipping Your Toe in the Social Media Pool

Posted in: Blog, Tech Tips by admin on August 16, 2010

When others mention social media tools like Facebook and Twitter do you feel overwhelmed? Confused? Intimidated? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Technology often improves our lives, but not without a little first-time anxiety. In July, Facebook announced that membership had exceeded 500 million users, meaning that it’s not just Generation Y that is plugged into the internet’s largest network.

So you want to plug in, but you don’t know where to start. Or you’re ready to start but you’re afraid of getting immediately bombarded by everyone you ever knew. Fair enough. The good news is that you don’t have to jump into the deep end. You can wade into the shallow end of the pool and build your confidence first.

The first step: Set up a Facebook account. You need to know your name, gender, email address and birthday, that’s it.

Once your account is set up, if you really want to keep a low profile to start, click on Account (upper right hand corner) then Privacy Settings, then Application settings uncheck the box to disable public search. Doing this removes your name from Facebook and other search engines. So you can roam around Facebook and choose who you want to connect with.

Here are some suggestions on where to go from here.

“Like” a Page. Probably one of the simplest actions you can take on Facebook, clicking the “Like” button does two things. It shows support for the organization, and any posts made by the organization will appear on your personal News Feed. “Liking” pages is a great way to track your favorite places and organizations.

Family First. When you’re ready to connect with others, start with those you know best, your family. Chances are there are children, grandchildren, siblings, even grandparents that are plugged in.

Friends/Co-workers. The next logical step is connecting with those you interact with everyday. Do you have a friend you haven’t seen in a few years? Facebook is an easy way to stay informed when time and distance don’t permit.

Destinations. Do you have a favorite restaurant or watering hole? Another local business you frequent? You’d be surprised how many businesses are now on Facebook. A great example is Schuler’s Restaurant, a family-owned establishment in Marshall, Michigan that has served the community for more than a century. Close to 900 customers and fans stay informed on upcoming Schuler’s events, activities and specials via Facebook.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Go to your favorite website(s) and find an interesting story, “like” it and see how it is added to your Facebook wall. Post a comment that includes a url, or better yet, use your newfound knowledge of bitl.ly to post a shortened url! Practice makes perfect. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to turning laps in the social media pool.