Social Media Marketing – Facebook

Grab a Vanity URL for your Facebook Page

Set up a vanity URL for your Facebook business page (available when you gain 25 likes), ideally named after your brand, e.g. Facebook.com/yourcompanyname where ‘yourcompany name’ is your username. This will make it much easier for you to tell people how to find your Facebook page. Think about it carefully, as you will only be able to change it once in future, otherwise you will have to delete your page and start over – not good if you’ve built a big fan base!

To reach the 25-fan threshold quickly (and give your Page and its content its first audience), invite your e-mail contacts and current Facebook friends – a community of people who already care about you and your brand – to visit and “Like” your Page via the “Build Audience” menu at the top of your Facebook Page.

Follow the steps below to change your Page’s username:

1. From the top of your Page, click Edit Page.

2. Select Update Info.

3. Click Change username in the Username section.

4. Enter a new username and click Check Availability.

5. If the username you want is available, click Confirm to save it.

Fill in business info accurately and employ the ‘About’ section trick

Be sure to fill in all of your business’ essential information when setting up your Facebook Page, including name, address, contact details and website – it rubs off well on your business and is good for SEO, as the text is indexed by Google. Use relevant keywords to describe your business and what it does.

Note: Restaurant owners! Make sure you mark down as many types of foods you serve as possible in your page’s set up, to encourage visibility in Facebook search.

If you did not categorize your page as a Local Business when setting it up, website URLs added to the ‘About’ box (not website box) will viewable and clickable right from the Timeline (otherwise, your opening hours, address, and telephone number will be displayed instead). My Facebook Page is not a Local Business, so the About box has links to my book on Amazon and includes a call to action to encourage people to go and buy it. Two lines of ‘About’ text are immediately on show via Facebook on desktop, but up to seven lines appear via the Facebook mobile app, so don’t be afraid to use it all up.

Create a well-branded Facebook cover photo and adhere to the text-on-your-cover-photo rules

Use the large Timeline cover photo Facebook gives you to effectively communicate your brand or message in one simple image (the ideal size is 851×315 pixels), and reinforce this brand identity with the smaller profile photo. Have fun and experiment to see what works best for you – maybe a fancy collage of products or even featuring a customer enjoying your product or service? When someone likes your fan page, a large part of the cover image, along with your profile pic will show in the News Feed of that person’s friends, inviting them to ‘Like’ too, so do your best to make the design as compelling and visually representative of your brand as possible. Keep users engaged by periodically updating your cover photo and profile pic. Ask fans to submit their own photos for consideration too!

Facebook most recently amended its rules about cover photos in July 2013. If you break the rules, Facebook has been known to remove cover photos without warning, so best stick to them. They read:

Prior to this latest update, Facebook told users that the cover photo could not feature text that covered more than 20% of its entire area. This restriction has now been removed, which means that you can include call to actions, contact details, and pricing and purchasing information about a product in your cover image to whatever extent you like. While this is mostly good news for marketers, I would still advise caution. Too much text can make a cover photo look spammy and unprofessional, so I would recommend at least some restraint, as the instant visual impact of a great cover photo cannot be understated.

While the 20% text rule has been removed for cover photos, it still applies to Facebook ads, like images in promoted posts, sponsored stories (more on these later), and if your ad includes posting a photo of your cover photo to news feeds.

Add a call to action, offers, and links in the cover design and description

When you upload a cover photo and are asked to include a description, write a short blurb and add in a call to action and related links to your website, a product, an offer, a Page tab, or feature a discount code as a reward for clicking. Lots of Facebook Page visitors click on cover photos for a closer look, and this strategy is just one more little way to capture more leads.

To encourage more clicks on your cover photo, design a “button” as part of your cover design with its own call to action, e.g. Get 10% off your next purchase with us – Click Here!” Not only will people who land on your Page see this message, but whenever you change your cover photo, the new image will appear as an update in the news feed of your fans. If the design features a “Click here!” button to one of your offers contained within the cover photo description, you’ve essentially created a clickable banner ad for news feeds that a significant percentage of your fans will see.

As an example, my Facebook cover photo has featured a message to “Click here!” to receive a free download of an ebook. When viewers click the cover photo, the image description thanks them for clicking, and provides them with a link to sign up to my newsletter to receive a free ebook in return.