Last year, we touched upon the different options for businesses wanting
to set up shop on Facebook. You can read that post HERE.
Now we want to discuss why having a Facebook fan page is preferable to a profile for your business. There are three big reasons to have a fan page: unlimited fans (profiles have a limit of 5,000 friends); the pages are crawled by Google, which improves SEO; and, the fan pages are public so your customers can connect immediately without waiting for you to accept a friend request.
If you have a profile set up for your business and you want to convert to a fan page, here are the steps:
1. You must have some kind of Facebook profile set up in order to set up a fan page. You can use your personal Facebook page if you would like (the fan page does not link back publicly to your personal page). Once you log into your account, you can access Facebook Pages on the left hand of your screen.
2. Click "Create Page." You would then choose whether your fan page supports a local business, brand/product, public figure, cause, etc. Facebook takes you through the steps to name your page, add information, upload a photo and invite your friends to be fans.
3. If you already had a Facebook profile page for your business and you are now switching to a fan page, you can post the link on your profile for your friends to see. You can send messages with the link as well, although sometimes people get frustrated if they feel they are getting too many messages.
Once you have your new fan page set up, you would run it much like your business profile page. When you post on the fan page, you will be posting as your business name (for this example, we will use "ABC Company"). You can choose to "Use Facebook as ABC Company" and visit other fan pages to leave posts. You have to be careful about posting too many things on other fan pages. Some pages don't appreciate advertisements. But if your business is located in Los Angeles, California, there is no reason you can't visit fan pages for the area and try a post or two to see if they are welcome. Just understand and respect their wishes if they ask you not to post anymore. You can't post in groups or on other profiles when using Facebook as a fan page -- only on other fan pages.
If brand recognition is one of your ultimate goals, then a Facebook fan page is one of your best bets. It will allow the general public to access your business instantly, which is what people have come to expect these days.
Do you use a Facebook fan page for your business? Tell us about your business and how you connect with your customers on Facebook.