I say to! Of course, I’m talking about Facebook pages for businesses – not your personal page.
While Facebook is still relatively new (and Facebook advertising is even newer) I still think most businesses need at least a Facebook presence.
On top of that, I recommend that all my clients start a Facebook ad campaign.
Does Your Business Need a Facebook Page?
Just from a branding standpoint, it’s worth it. The fact is, you can create a custom Facebook page with minimal effort – and even if you hire a professional, it comes at a fraction of the cost of a new website.
A couple of the totally free benefits of using Facebook for business:
- Your Facebook page can virally attract new fans. When your fans “like” your custom Facebook page, it gets displayed to every one of their friends – and those friends have the chance to “like it,” too. This is so valuable when it comes to branding yourself.
- Facebook pages can provide valuable, relevant links. In a recent YouTube video, Matt Cutts discussed how Google’s PageRank determinations come more from the relevancy and reputability of incoming links than the quantity – and that links coming from Facebook are highly reputable.
Communicating with New and Existing Customers through a Custom Facebook Page
Many of my clients (in fact, I do this myself) use their Facebook page to communicate with their own customers and clients. What better place to run contests, announce specials and keep a finger on the pulse of what your customers need?
Facebook pages allow room for discussion, too. If you pose a question in a friendly, approachable way (“At our staff meeting this morning, someone mentioned how amazing our customers are – so we decided to ask how we can reciprocate. What do you like about our products and customer service? What can we improve?”)
After seeing how Facebook pages are changing the business landscape, I think they’re one of the best (and least expensive) methods of marketing… even better than massive email marketing campaigns because they allow for interaction in a traditionally one-sided marketplace.
You’re not talking at your customers, you’re talking to them.
Designing Your Own Custom Facebook Page
Designing your own business Facebook page is free and relatively easy. With some basic graphic design skills you can really make it nice. Should you decide to add customized pages you’ll need basic HTML skills and a host server for the images and any stylesheets you plan on adding.
Using the free FBML (Facebook markup language) application, you can create custom Facebook pages which can be used as a landing page for new visitors. These pages may include an unlimited amount of text to describe your services and links to your existing web page if you have one.
Facebook Ad Campaigns
Once you have a custom Facebook page, you can patiently wait and hope it catches on. I’ve been helping clients build their brands for a long time, though, and with custom Facebook pages I always recommend that they try running a few ads.
Why? They’re cheaper than Google ads and the targeting and demographics are highly refined. You choose the exact audience you want to advertise your custom Facebook page to – including:
- relationship status
- likes and interests
- existing connections (friends or fans of other pages and groups)
It can be difficult to figure out exactly how and when Facebook is running your ads, but after a while you’ll get the hang of it. In my experience, it’s a worthwhile expense for most businesses.
Custom Facebook Pages in Conjunction with Facebook Ads
The fastest growing demographic worldwide is among people 35 years and older. Facebook started for college kids, and now it’s hard to find someone who isn’t using it. That means regardless of who your customers are, you can find them on Facebook.
About the author:
David Crockenberg is the owner of DEC Systems, a Rhode Island web design company specializing in custom Facebook pages, SEO and more. You can follow DEC Systems on Facebook and subscribe to David’s web design blog to get updates on what’s hot (and what’s not) in SEO, web content and web design.