CREATING YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE
The first step to creating your Facebook Page is to decide on the name/title of the page. Once you create the page, the title is permanent and cannot be changed. You will want to consider how the title will look a) on the Facebook Page, b) in the newsfeed of fans, and c) in search results. There is usually more than one way that people will search for you. They may search by a full name of your brand, or they may use an acronym. The name of your brand may not include major keywords that your audience is likely to search on (i.e. “Melissa Cheater” is only going to work as a title if people already know my name – I would get better reach if I included words such as social media, higher education, consultant somewhere in the page title). When possible while still ending up with a name that will look professional as a title and in newsfeeds, try to include as many key terms as you can in your Facebook Page Title
Individual Facebook users are able to send private messages to each other. Facebook has not yet added the ability for users to send private messages to Pages.
In order to make sure you are as accessible as possible to your audience, I recommend including your email and phone number prominently on your Facebook Page.
I usually include contact information on the Info tab, as well as in the text/quote box in the left column of the page.
Facebook allows pages to set up facebook.com/customtext short URL’s. For example, Ivey’s main Facebook Page can be found at facebook.com/iveybusiness – rather than the long numerical URL that Facebook gives it by default. In order to set up your short URL (Facebook calls these usernames), your page needs to be published and have a minimum of 25 fans. A strong argument for jumping into Facebook and getting your page set up and published would be to reserve this short URL for your brand (similar to protecting a domain name).
When you are ready, visit http://www.facebook.com/username/ to set up your Facebook Short URL.
Hootsuite.com is a service that allows multiple people to maintain and monitor multiple social media profiles. I use Hootsuite to:
- Post updates to my brand’s twitter and facebook profiles (at the same time, or separately)
- Monitor keyword terms related to my brand
- Set up automatic updates from RSS feeds to my brand’s twitter and facebook profiles
- Track whether the links in my social network updates are clicked by my audience.
You can add other staff/team members and give them access to update accounts as well. Doing this through Hootsuite (or a similar service such as cotweet) allows you to work as a team to monitor social media properties, with less chance of tripping over each other.
Hootsuite is available on your computer as an HTML5 powered website, as well as an iPhone application.
AGGREGATE YOUR FEEDS
Facebook is great about allowing you to set up automatic updates to your page via an RSS feed. Unfortunately, only one RSS feed is allowed and sometimes you will want to have items from multiple feeds pushed through. Yahoo! Pipes and ChimpFeedr are two services that allow you to combine RSS feeds into a single feed. Key differences between the two are that once you create your combined feed with ChimpFeedr, you cannot go back and edit the source feeds – while on Yahoo! Pipes, you can edit the source and much more. Yahoo! Pipes is an incredibly powerful system (pro) and can be a bit overwhelming/complicated (con). If all you need to do is smash two or more feeds together, ChimpFeedr will do the trick nicely.
Hootsuite.com will allow you to link multiple RSS feeds to your social media profiles. Thanks to this, I no longer aggregate feeds in order to push them to Facebook and Twitter.
MONITOR PAGE CHANGES
Sometimes you will want to know each time a page somewhere on the Internet is updated. There are a few services that will let you drop in the URL of the page and then will email you each time the page is changed – here is one: watchthatpage.com
These last two are applications that can be added to your Facebook Page. You can add these by logging in, navigating to the page, going to Edit Page, and then scrolling to the base of the edit screen and clicking Browse More Applications and searching for the application that you would like to add. It’s a bit awkward and clunky, but that’s just how Facebook seems to do things.
This application lets you add tabs to your page that you can populate with your own custom HTML content.
This application is designed to monitor your page for offensive content posted by users onto your page. While Facebook allows users to be notified by email when there are new comments on their profiles, it does not offer the same notification service for pages. I use Defensio to provide this sort of notification. The application asks you what words you would like it to watch for and notify you about. I entered common punctuation as the words I want to monitor (.,-!?). The end result is that any time anyone posts anything to the page with one of these punctuation characters, I receive an email letting me know that there is new user content posted onto my page.