Monday, May 9, 2011

Facebook Secrets!

This series of mine recently appeared on the Martial Arts Business System page.

Three amazing tips and five incredible tricks to amaze your friends and impress your customers
Part 1 of 3

Getting on Facebook is easy. Leveraging it to grow and market your business can be tough, though – especially because Facebook is often-changing and not always clearly documented. I’ve put together some of my favorite tips and related tricks – skills I’ve learned doing Facebook-based social marketing on a daily basis – that make my job easier and more successful.

Tip #1 – Business Pages are for Businesses
First up, you MUST have a Business page. This isn’t a trick, it’s just a fact, but it leads to a trick and it’s insanely important. If you’re using a “personal page” as your business, you’re in violation of Facebook’s policies and could be shut down at any time. Think they’ll never find you? Do you have competitors? Because there’s nothing to stop your competitors from outing you to the Facebook police. Besides, business pages are so far superior to personal pages for social marketing it’s just crazy not to use one.

For instance, did you know there’s a 5000-person limit on personal pages? Fan pages are unlimited (and you WANT that to be a problem, don’t you? You WANT 5000+ fans all generating leads and “buzz” about your school, right?). You get to add applications to your fan page, too – including a “Landing” or “Welcome” page that can even have embedded functionality – that means it can be used as a lead-generation tool! Personal pages cannot do that! Also, Business pages count for SEO (search-engine optimization) purposes, which means they’re growing your “Brand” on the internet. Personal pages don’t do that, either.

“But Mike,” you might say, “I already have a Personal page that I’ve worked hard on over the years. I’ve got lots of Friends, pictures, videos. It’s already the face of my business. I can’t just give that up!” All true. Luckily, you don’t have to.

Trick #1 - Migrate Your Personal Page
It’s time to get you off that personal page of yours and move you to a full-featured Business Page – without losing your hard-earned “friends” or all of your content. When it comes to Facebook secrets, this one’s about as secret as they come.

First step – download all of your Facebook account’s information. Go to “Account” in the upper-right, then “Account Settings” and click “Learn” next to where it says “Download your Information.” Click the “Download” button, then click it again in the box that pops up. It may take a while to receive your email from Team Facebook, but once they’ve gathered your data, packed it up, and asked you to verify your identity, they’ll send you a compressed “zip” file with all your data including all of your posts. It’s important that you complete this process, including receiving the file, before you continue with your migration, or it may (will) be lost.

Next step – the actual page migration. It’s pretty easy, actually, and all begins on this page: https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=19691. Click where it says “here” and proceed to set up your new business page. When it’s done, you’ll have all the functionality of a business page at your disposal. Remember, this process is irreversible, and be sure to set your own personal Facebook account as an administrator. Which actually leads me to…

Trick #2 – Posting on Your Own Business Page
Another poorly-documented feature of Facebook is the ability to turn off the requirement that business page admins always post “AS” that page. Sometimes you want to post as the “face” of your business, but other times it makes more sense to post as yourself. To have the choice, you simply have to uncheck a box in your page’s settings. Click the “Edit page” button in the upper-right of your page, then choose “Your Settings” from the menu at the right. Uncheck the box next to “Always comment and post on your page as” and save your changes. Voila! You now have the choice to post either as “Sensei Napoli” or as “Five Star Martial Arts” – you’ll see a link on the right-hand side of your page that lets you “Use Facebook as Five Star Martial Arts.”

In parts 2 and 3 of this series, I’ll explain how to make your business a Facebook Place, with all the advantages thereof, and I’ll explain how Tagging isn’t just for graffiti artists anymore – it’s an integral part of a thorough Facebook Social Marketing Strategy!

Mike De Lucia is a writer, accomplished business executive, and martial arts enthusiast. Mike is currently the Director of Business Operations for Five Star Martial Arts in North Syracuse, NY. His martial arts background includes dabbling in Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Iaido, Goju-Ryu, and Kenpo Karate, which he practices along with his wife and children. Mike blogs at www.virtualvellum.com.

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