The Web For Business.com Blog

Internet marketing observations, perspectives, tips and tricks for your education and enlightenment.


Community Pages in Facebook - Indestructable but Avoidable

Mark Kawabe - Monday, June 06, 2011

So if you've tried to update your personal Facebook profile with your employer, chances are the business you work for doesn't have a Facebook profile (also known as a business page). This is often true if you have your own business and are just getting started on Facebook.

Lucky for you - Facebook will automatically create a page for your business!

Now's about the time I wish there was a "sarcasm" font - because Facebook's auto-generated pages are generally useless for business owners.

You get none of the many benefits of having a business page. (See my previous post.)

More importantly, people may be fooled into thinking that this auto-generated [email protected] is your actually Facebook business page when really, you have bigger aspirations.

What can you do?

A couple of suggestions.

  1. If you're reading this article and you don't have a personal profile on Facebook yet, don't add your employer until you've created a proper business profile for your company.

  2. If you're already saddled with an auto-generated page for your business, quickly create a proper business profile and then change your employer information to link to the right page.

  3. If you're stuck with an auto-generated page that people actually like, then set up a proper page and then message the people who like the wrong page and give them the address of the page they SHOULD like. They'll probably switch.

There. That ought to be enough work for a Monday : )

Why I'm Not Friends With Your Business

Mark Kawabe - Friday, June 03, 2011

I've probably said this before, but since I keep seeing people making this mistake, I'll say it again.

Your business should not have a personal profile on Facebook. It should have a business profile - more commonly referred to as a "page".

How can you tell?

If you get a request to be a "friend" of a business, then that business has a personal profile.

If you get a request to "like" a business, then the business has a page.

Why should you care?

Here are the benefits of business page vs. a personal profile:

  1. Pages can be accessed by anyone online. You have to be logged into Facebook to see a personal profile.
  2. Pages are indexed by search engines. Personal profiles may not be depending on privacy settings.
  3. Pages allow administrators to invite people to "like" them in bulk.
  4. Pages have discussion boards.
  5. Pages can be promoted through Facebook ads.
  6. Pages can have multiple administrators.
  7. Pages can use Facebook Applications.
  8. Pages can have customized with HTML landing pages that better showcase the brand.
  9. Pages have metrics to help you measure how effective your marketing campaign is.

And just in case that wasn't enough...

  1. Using a personal profile for a business violates Facebook's Terms of Service (TOS). Why would you want the potential risk of having all your hard work building relationships thrown out?
  2. You can't integrate your Facebook personal profile with your website. Want a like button? Get a page.

It's so easy to create a page and there are so many advantages to doing so that it's hard to understand why business owners don't think to do it.

I guess it comes down to the old DK or DE again - Deficiency of Knowledge or Deficiency of Execution.

So, now that you know, there's no excuse for YOUR business. Wishing you success online!

Social Media Marketing 101 - Seminar New Date Announced

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, March 01, 2011

If you missed our first seminar of the year because of the bad snow, fear not - round 2 is coming soon!

Announcing the 2nd Social Media Marketing 101 Seminar, scheduled for Friday, March 18, 2011 from 1~4 at Keith's Restaurant in Fonthill (Corner of Pelham St. and Hwy. 20).

If you can make it, please R.S.V.P. as there are limited seats available.

We're also in the planning stages for Social Media Marketing 201 so stay tuned for more details about that!

Businesses are NOT my Facebook Friends

Mark Kawabe - Monday, November 15, 2010

I received yet another request from a business on Facebook to be a friend. Here are six reasons why I don't recommend businesses use personal profiles on Facebook to market themselves.

  1. It's against the Facebook terms of service and if someone complains or Facebook decides to enforce their rules, all your work will be for naught.

  2. There is a limit to how many friends you can have (5000) for both personal profiles and groups. There is no limit to how many can "like" your business. What happens when you hit your limit? (Think WHEN, not IF.)

  3. You can't message all your friends at once. You can contact everyone who likes your page in one fell swoop. This makes communication much easier.

  4. Facebook pages for businesses can be customized through the FBML application. Profile pages and GROUP pages can't be. For a business trying to put its best face forward, this is important.

  5. Pages also give you demographic information as well as usage information. Profiles and groups don't. If you're going to put effort into your Facebook marketing, shouldn't you have some ability to measure how you're doing? If so, then a Page is definitely for you. If you're a Google Analytics user, you can add tracking code to your main marketing page. You can't track the wall of your page - only the FBML page you've created - but it's better than what Facebook provides.

Marketers know that measuring results is vital. How do you know if you're succeeding otherwise? Pages give you the ability to directly market and measure. If you have a personal profile AND a business page, you'll be able to reach people in two different ways on Facebook and it's the combination that in my opinion provides the best value for marketers.

Happy Marketing Monday!

Social Media Tea Party Sessions

Mark Kawabe - Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I like talking about social media. I also like tea. If you're interested in learning about how to implement social media strategies over a tea, please let me know. I'm thinking we'll meet every 2nd Tuesday of the month for an hour or so to discuss ideas and refine implementations. Cost: $20 / person or $15 / person if there are 5 or more people in attendance. Bring your laptop if you have one.

Location: my favourite tea shop in Niagara Falls - LM Teas.

Time: 10:30 a.m. ~ 12:00 noon

Start Date: November 9, 2010

Tea is on me : )

R.S.V.P. required.

Facebook, FBML and Your Business Page

Mark Kawabe - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Did you know you can create custom landing pages for your business on Facebook?

If you have a "fan" page for your business, you can use FBML or straight HTML to add a customized tab on your fan page, essentially allowing you to build a website within your fan page. You can also set this tab to be the first thing new people to your page will see, so if they don't "like" you yet, they'll go there instead of to your wall.

Important note: This doesn't work for groups or individual pages - only for fan pages.

What does this mean to you?

If you have a business, you don't want to set up a group. You want to set up a fan page.

Getting Engaged

Mark Kawabe - Friday, September 17, 2010

So I just added my Twitter feed to my Facebook profile and fan page and my website. Big whoopee, right? I mean, what's the point of all this "social media" crap?

That's a great question because it's not like we don't have better things to do with our time as business people. There are a couple of benefits to all this integration.

  1. You look like you know what you're doing. That is, if you keep up with it. Having a blog that's been abandoned for a year isn't helping your cause much. Same with a dormant Twitter feed. Or a Facebook fan page. Congratulations - you've hopped on the bandwagon. Now you have to feed the monster.
  2. Integration saves you time. Feeds are broadcasts of content added to services like Twitter and blogs. That broadcast can be received by other services like Facebook or websites and displayed there. So, you can update one service which will update one or two or more others. Not a bad deal.

  3. Social media can help engage and retain prospects. I'm going to pick on Facebook for a moment because it's the one social media platform most people seem to think is the latest-greatest thing for business. The same reality holds true on Facebook as it does on the rest of the internet: if people aren't interested in you, they won't pay attention to you. It doesn't matter how many times you interrupt them - they're still not interested. Unless you work on building a fan page or group around a shared interest (i.e. your industry, product or service), you're still marketing with a shotgun instead of a rifle.

    If you're choosy, your Facebook "friends" are really friends. For many though, a "friend" is just someone they are mildly acquainted with and not a true friend. I got a "friend" request from someone who had 2,199 people listed as friends on Facebook. I know full well those people aren't friends, and the reality is they're probably not very engaged with that person or his brand.

    The same is true for "fans". If you're ASKING people to be fans, then they're not really going to do you much good, or at least, they won't do you much more good than they would have done for you otherwise. If 20 friends become fans it looks like you're popular but those friends aren't going to refer you more business than they would have without Facebook. When you can attract fans through your own merits and non-solicited word-of-mouth marketing, you know you're dealing with people who really appreciate you and are more likely to become customers.

Okay - enough of the rant. IF you've done a good job of engaging people on Facebook who are truly interested in your business, then there's value in using Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Otherwise, you should face the facts that your efforts are primarily just to wave the flag and let people know you exist. Awareness is good, and over time, the awareness you generate can lead to engagement with prospects. Just remember it will take time and effort get get to that stage where you reach enough people generally to make people with a specific need take more interest in what you're offering.