How to Market Your Business – Facebook Page

Check out Trada’s other posts in our online marketing series: How to Market Your Business on FacebookHow to Market Your Business on TwitterHow to Market Your Business With a Blog , and  How to Market Your Business with Video.

Most small businesses have Facebook pages, but once they set it up, they don’t know where to go next. We wanted to create a look at how to market your business with a Facebook page. We also wanted to see what the best practices were, so we polled the experts. We interviewed experts from a Fortune 50 company (Pepsi), a social network (Daily Burn) and a top social media agency (Room 214).

Meet the Experts:

George G Smith Jr. of PepsiGeorge G. Smith Jr., a Senior Manager of Brand Engagement: Social Strategy and Execution (among other things) for a Fortune 50 Company. Check out his company’s Facebook page and follow him on Twitter at @georgegsmithjr.

Brandon Whalen of Room 214Brandon Whalen, a social web marketing strategist  at social media agency Room 214 working on clients such as Hello Kitty, Vail Resorts and the Linux Foundation. Check out his agency’s Facebook page and follow him at Twitter at @Brandonsings.

Kate Brown of Daily BurnKate Brown, Community Director  and Health Expert at the fitness tracking social network Daily Burn. Check out Daily Burn’s Facebook page and follow her on Twitter at @invinciblekate.


How can companies get the most out of a Facebook fan page?

Brandon Whalen: If you want to get the most out of your page, you have to use it! This seems really basic, but too many companies create a page and then never find the time to make updates. If you don’t have the time or resources to manage the page and update it daily, find someone who can, or you could be wasting your time.

Second, you need to have a strong understanding of all of the functions. Sure, you can head to your wall and make updates, but do you take full advantage of geo-targeted updates, photo albums, questions and events?

Once you have a good handle on the tools, you have a strong content strategy, and you have dedicated resources for management, you can think about customizing your page with a cool tab. We have built several custom Facebook apps for our clients: Sanrio/Hello Kitty, The Linux Foundation and Vail Resorts.

George G Smith Jr: Companies can get the most out of a Facebook fan page by understanding what they want to get out of a Facebook fan page. A Facebook page is just an opportunity to engage with people who have opted in to your brand – goals and a creative approach will allow you to accomplish almost anything.

Kate Brown: There are a few things that companies can do to get the most out of their Facebook page. The first is offer great customer service via your Facebook page by utilizing a helpdesk that integrates with Facebook. We use assistly. Every time a question is asked via our facebook page by a DailyBurn user, a helpdesk ticket is auto-generated by assistly. It helps us manage customer issues, plus the solution is played out in public on our Facebook wall. It’s a great way to show prompt and helpful service out in the open. Second, companies should be giving exclusive content to people who like them on Facebook. Zappos does this really well. You have to like their page to access certain tabs.

What type of content receives the best feedback?

George G Smith Jr: It depends on the brand, in all honesty. Some passionate fan bases ONLY want to hear about brand related stuff. Some brands are more lifestyle. The key is to track how your audience is reacting and start adapting. And never stop experimenting! Your audience is constantly changing so you should always look to try new ways to engage.

Kate Brown: When we ask our community a direct question, we get the most feedback. People like to talk about themselves. Rather than pushing content, we get more feedback if we ask a personal question that has to do with featured content.

Brandon Whalen: Each community is different, but photos are by far the most popular content on Facebook. This is not only true for the standard user profile, but on fan pages as well.

How do you encourage engagement from your fans?

Kate Brown: We ask direct questions, we ask people what they think, and we ask people about their experiences with different health topics that we write about. For example, if I post a link to a blog post that I wrote about juice detox diets, I’ll ask, “HAve you ever tried a juice detox diet? What happened?” Then I’ll leave the thread alone. This usually starts a dialogue between fans on the thread.

Brandon Whalen: To truly understand how to engage your community you have to listen. In large communities, it is difficult to respond to every person, but if you pay close attention you will notice the trends and changes in the reactions from fans.

Our client Sanrio noticed that fans were consistently posting photos of their collections, tattoos, etc. Instead of ignoring this trend Sanrio found ways to interact with the fans by reposting fan photos to albums, and launching a custom tab where fans can share their photos.

George G Smith Jr: Asking for it and incentivizing it.

How do you measure the success of your Facebook fan page?

Brandon Whalen: We are big fans of Coca-Cola’s view on measuring social media success. They focus on building “expressions” rather than impressions.

Impressions are more of the connective tissue, which holds everything together, while expressions are specific valuable instances where someone has chosen to interact with your brand. Our CEO Jason Cormier recently wrote up a great article on this very subject.

George G Smith Jr: We try to measure success based on fan engagement – the number of active fans – in addition to many campaign specific goals.

Kate Brown: We look at organic likes, of course, but we measure the real success based on engagement. Monthly active views is the number that I watch. This is the number of people who interacted with or viewed the page or its posts. You do not have to like the page to be counted in this metric. This metric shows active, engaged fans plus people that they shred your content with. This is the true measure of what is happening in your page.

Do you think companies should pay for fans?

George G Smith Jr: Depends on your goals, but I definitely think paying for fans is important.  You’re not paying for the specific fans – you’re paying for awareness that your brand has a Facebook Page.  It’s still something that people opt into.  You need to make sure people know of your page in order to capture everything that could potentially be interested in it.

Kate Brown: No. I know that a facebook like is basically an opt-in facebook marketing opportunity, but paying for facebook likes is not a viable social media strategy. Your marketing budget would be better spent paying a blogger to write great content combined with a great SEM campaign. Who cares if you have more likes if you don’t have the high quality content needed to fully utilize facebook as a marketing platform?

Brandon Whalen: It’s easy to set up ads and get some traffic to your page, but if you don’t create real fans out of those ad dollars, your money is going to waste.

Before you run Facebook ads to grow your page, make sure you have a strong plan for managing this community. What value are you giving to your fans? Why would anyone want to be a fan of your page?

Make sure you can answer those questions yourself before you throw money into advertising.

Anything else you think social media marketers should know about using Facebook?

George G Smith Jr: We’re entering the age where creativity will play an important role. You can’t just succeed by being there – you need to stand out from the ever increasing crowd.

Kate Brown: Facebook is the perfect platform for learning about your customers and testing marketing campaigns before you launch them. Want to know if contests work? Try a small one on facebook and gauge response quickly. Facebook is great for fast feedback.

Brandon Whalen: There are a lot of good reasons for brands to add Facebook into their marketing mix. I read this morning that more US citizens are on Facebook than have passports.

With 700 million Facebook users the opportunity is hard to ignore. The real question is whether you really understand how to use these tools, and whether you can dedicate the time, money and resources required to run a Facebook community.

More Helpful Facebook Marketing Articles:

Leave us a tip of your own for how to market your business with a Facebook page, and the best comment will win a $75 Amazon gift certificate. Woot! Comment must be entered by 12 am MT, Wednesday, Aug. 10.

To stay up-to-date with Trada, join us at Trada’s Facebook Fan Page.


19 responses to “How to Market Your Business – Facebook Page”

  1. Brandon Richard Whalen

    Thanks for including me in the mix!

    1. Trada

      Brandon – thanks for providing so much great content!

  2. Mark

    Ok, the best thing that I have found that can be a major way to bring targeted Likes to your Page is through being able to have people text in their Likes from their mobile device. It allows you to use your other marketing collateral to give them an easy way to like your Page. For instance you can add a “Like freedomims to 32665″ on the back of your business card to give some a way to Like your Page from anywhere, even if they ARE NOT Online.

    1. Trada

      Mark – This is an excellent tip. I had no idea you could do this!

  3. YellowWebMonkey

    I have used contests on my own website where we used Facebook LIKES for votes.  This had contestants marketing for us to go to our website and like our content.  Each time we have done this, our total fans grew as well.
    We also use @snapengage Facebook app to offer live chat to people that make it to our page

    1. Trada

      I like the idea of using Facebook likes as a voting system.

  4. David Rogers

    Good article Elaine.

    In my opinion SMBs really struggle to maintain their Facebook efforts because it’s hard to correlate a financial return on those efforts. If the SMBs knew that they made sales that they could directly attribute to their social media efforts we would see much more FB engagement. For brick and mortar businesses there is no “click” to track and the ROI is largely anecdotal. 

    Most SMB’s don’t have marketers on staff or agencies representing them so the GM/Owner/Bartender is torn between operating the biz which is their core competency and directly tied to revenue or engaging in a marketing effort that they aren’t skilled at and “know they should do” but can’t justify why. 

    For Local off-line businesses to be able to measure performance of their marketing efforts we need to close the loop with some form or transaction tracking (digital wallet/FB credits) tied to a CRM – The SMB Holy Grail.

    IMHO, ROI is too distant a concept in Social right now and why such a small percentage of small businesses invest “significant” efforts in their social media.
    Dave Rogers

    1. elaineellis

      David – I definitely see that a lot myself. I think the above examples work for tracking ROI if the volume is manageable. One of my friends did financial management of a hotel and she would do Facebook only deals so they would track ROI that way. Would love to hear more examples on tracking ROI.

  5. Molly MacGregor

    Tahoe Dave’s likes to post special deals to our facebook customers- they have to come in the store and mention a specific phrase – this is how I can track sales. 

    1. elaineellis

      I love that! Is the volume manageable enough that works for tracking?

  6. Peter Garian

    You said it right off the bat. Most businesses have already set up some kind of social media accounts or at least know they need to get started with social media, but don’t know how to make it work for them. I enjoyed this article, thank you. Having a panel of social media experts, each offering their opinion, very informative!

    Peter Garian

    1. elaineellis

      Glad you liked the article!

  7. Darren Davis

    Great Blog Elain! People only go to the web for two reasons: to be entertained and/or to solve a problem. By presenting yourself or your company as an expert in your field, someone will find your content compelling enough to listen to your campaign more often because you can help solve their problems.
    TIP: Connect your Blog RSS feed to your Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts. Blogs are a great flexible platform for organizations to educate their followers.

  8. Darren Davis

    Great blog Elaine! Here’s how I’d position it. People only go to the web for two reasons: to be entertained and/or to solve a problem. By presenting yourself or your company as an expert in your field, someone will find your content compelling enough to listen to your campaign more often because you can help solve their problems.
    TIP: Connect your Blog RSS feed to your Twitter, Facebook or other social media accounts.
    Blogs are a great flexible platform for organizations to educate their followers.

    Hope that helps someone here! Oh and $75 in Amazon would be sweet too, there is a book or 3 I want :^)

    All my best,

    1. Elaine Ellis

      Darren – Awesome suggestion! Thank you.

    2. elaineellis

      Darren – Congrats! You won the Amazon gift card! Email me at elaine at trada dot com with your address!

  9. SocialMarketingNewbie

    My client has a huge objection with anything social marketing related because he feels Waste Management / Recycling which is the industry the business is in can’t do much when it comes to Social Marketing.  What are your thoughts on this on ways I can get some traffic going on with the social marketing pages I’m trying to run for them and how can I change his views on  how social marketing will help his business?  It’s a family owned local business that’s been around for over 20 years now. 

    1. Elaine Ellis

      Lots of people put up objections, so that’s understandable. I’d advise you to work with your client to figure out what they want to get out of social media – increased awareness of their services, more customers, etc. and set your plan from there. Sharing recycling tips via Facebook and Twitter could be a great way to build awareness for your services.

  10. John

    Very cleverly explained. Good job.

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