Sorry, I Can NOT Be Your Friend on Your Facebook Business Page

Ok… before this gets out of hand and everyone gets the wrong idea… let me say that I’m, quite possibly, the friendliest guy I know. So what do I mean? I’m talking about your “Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page”, and the simple method used to become an interactive part of it. Actually, this is applicable to ALL businesses who have a presence on Facebook.The question: Can I “Like” it? Or do I have to click the “Add as Friend” button and wait for you to accept me? The difference is night and day… and can mean the difference between success and failure for your Facebook page.I did a quick Facebook search for “chambers” and I stopped counting after I found more than 150 Chambers across the country with personal pages rather than Facebook Business pages. Your next question is, “Why does it matter? I’m on Facebook!” Allow me to answer that.First of all, Facebook personal pages or “Profiles” are intended for people… not businesses. Technically it’s against the rules where Facebook’s privacy policy is concerned although they don’t appear to be cracking down on this at the moment.More importantly, here are a few key reasons why your Chamber needs a “Facebook Business Page”:SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Business Pages are indexed by search engines. Personal pages are not. So here, you’re missing out. Do a “Google” search for “apple valley mn chamber of commerce”. Note that their website is #1, and their Facebook page is also further down the list on page one. Now… do the same exercise for “destin fl chamber of commerce”. Note that their website is the top listing, however, their Facebook page with more than 3,500 “friends” is nowhere to be seen. I did a variety of searches for a variety of Chambers across the country. In some cases, their website had a poor ranking, but their Chamber Facebook pages topped the list! In this day and age, with the unfathomable amount of pages and websites on the Internet, you need to be doing everything possible to improve online visibility.
“Friends” verses “Likes”… or “Fans”: There is NO limit on the number of fans… or people who can “Like” your Facebook business page. However, there’s a cap on the number of “Friends” you can have on a profile page. That cap is 5,000. Do you really want to set limitations like that?
One “Profile”… many “Business Pages”: You can have multiple business pages… however, you can have only one profile page. Why is this important? Think outside the box for a moment. When I was CEO of a county Chamber of Commerce, I set up a business page for that Chamber. I also set up a page for our annual “Women’s Expo”, our “Leadership” program, and a page for each of the individual communities within that county. Within two months, those pages ALSO occupied listings on page one of the search engines. At one point, that Chamber occupied the first seven spots on page one of Google when doing generic searches for a variety of information regarding that area.
Statistics and Monitoring Activity: Everyone loves statistics… hits… visits… etc. Facebook Business Pages have such a thing. It’s called “Insights”. These powerful statistics display in a graph format and include “Page Overview”, “User”, and “Interactions”. How many people viewed your posts? How many people “Liked” your posts? How many people “Commented” on your posts? How many people “Liked” your page on a certain day? And much more! This information is invaluable when it comes to making your Facebook Business page more useful and successful! There’s no such information available on a profile page.
“Landing Pages” and additional “Tabs”: Technology exists now for you to turn a Facebook business page into a mini website. For example, you could integrate your business directory right into your Facebook business page. You could introduce an additional tab which might have printable coupons and special “Facebook Only” promotions. This could be a tremendous source of additional “non-dues revenue” for your Chamber. This is impossible with a personal page.I’ve really only touched on a few of the key reasons as to why it’s important to be using Facebook the right way. There are more. The reality is… you’re spending time on your Facebook presence. This is good. There are still Chambers out there who haven’t even started. But are you getting everything you possibly can out of it? If it’s a personal profile page, you’re not even close.So the truth is, I’d MUCH rather “Like” your Chamber Facebook page than become one of your “Friends”… because I hate to see you limit yourself while knowing that the same efforts you’re putting forth now could be so much more fruitful and lead to so much more success for both your Chamber AND your members!

Using Hashtags On Facebook Business Pages

Hashtags on social network sites are now seen everyday in a number of posts. Social network sites such as twitter, and Google+ were among the first to use hashtags within a post. More recently Facebook have joined the hashtag trend.But what are hashtags and how can they benefit a Facebook business page? Well hashtags are your posts keywords. These can appear anywhere within the text of a post. To create a hashtag the # symbol is placed before the word.There are many benefits for businesses when using hashtags for business Facebook. Some may find this hard to believe, but by using these symbols, effectively you are promoting your business.Once you have followed the instructions to create a business Facebook page or account, you are ready to begin promoting your business to the many users on Facebook.Hashtags are recommended for use, no more than twice within each post. Facebook have created a page specifically for hashtag posts. By doing this you are able to create your post. Each hashtag is provided with its own URL for users to follow. Your keyword becomes a clickable link to your business.The benefits of using a hashtag to assist in the promotion or advertising of your business can have a big impact on business sales.Hashtags enable you to attract a wider audience to view your Facebook business page, or company website. By using the names of products as your keywords, customers are able to find what they are looking for more easily.One key benefit to using hashtags alongside a business Facebook account is that you can track a specific conversation relating to your business. This allows for noticing where you’re progressing in terms of business growth, or where improvements could be made. Customer feedback is always useful and valuable in terms of sales and marketing.Hashtags are also beneficial to your business or company as they assist in the building of your social followers. They allow you to brand your business as well as being able to track competitive businesses.Using hashtags for Facebook business pages, can create new clients as well as keeping in touch with existing clients. Another key benefit is that hashtags sometimes bring in traffic from other social networking sites. This means your potential audience becomes wider, creating a lot more new clients.A useful tip when considering using hashtags is to start small. Aim posts in 1 niche, and, target a specific audience. Joining in with larger conversations about your business and product niche will give you an insight into what a client really wants.When selecting your business area, learn your client base. Add photos to your hashtag post. This will appeal to your audience and assist with the growth of sales.As with any business news or details on your Facebook post, remember to keep your hashtag posts friendly and informative. Be sure to allow room for conversation. A handy hint to promote your business is to be customer friendly and approachable.