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Webucator's Free Introduction to Social Media Tutorial

Lesson: Facebook

Welcome to our free Introduction to Social Media tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Introduction to Social Media Training course.

In this lesson, you will learn how Facebook can be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about using Facebook for branding purposes.
  • Learn about using Facebook for sales opportunities.
  • Learn about using Facebook for SEO benefits.
  • Learn about using Facebook for support and customer service functions.
  • Learn about setting up an internal Facebook policy.
  • Learn about tools, services, and management.
  • Learn about tracking activity and results from using Facebook.

Facebook for Branding

Facebook offers multiple ways to engage with current and prospective customers. An internal decision will need to be made on how your company's brand will be showcased on Facebook.

Some companies prefer focusing on entertainment and lighter messaging. Check out this screenshot from Coca-Cola's Facebook wall. Most of their posts and interaction lean toward the fun side of the brand.

For an alternate view, check out this screenshot from Dell's Facebook wall. They take more of a promotional approach and share related product content.

Overall, it is important to keep your brand in a positive light. Some studies recommend having some fun on Facebook, but this decision must be an internal one. For example, if you are a very serious company, you might want to stick with that brand image even on Facebook.

Another main point to consider is how you will handle negative feedback. All companies are vulnerable to this, some more than others. The public perception is that social media pages, especially Facebook, allow customers a voice into the company. We'll talk about this more later in the customer support and policy lessons.

Using Facebook as Company

Another brand engagement tool Facebook has recently released is the ability to log in as your company. This feature now allows you to respond to wall posts on your company page as well as other company pages. The fun part is that this features adds a voice to your company's social media presence.

See the screenshot below for this setting: Once you change over to your company, you, in essence, are your company profile. You can now post away and your company will show up as the poster.

Facebook Branding

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will develop thoughts on your company's Facebook branding.

If you currently have a company page, what might you change about how your brand image is viewed on Facebook. If your company does not have a company page, how might you portray your company's brand on Facebook?

Facebook for Sales

There are some sales opportunities on Facebook, but mainly in the form of discounts and special offers. While companies can and should promote their latest product and service offerings on their walls, most consumers are looking for a deal. So, in exchange for having a user engage with your company page, here are some reward suggestions.

  1. Offer early access to your latest service for free (also plays into a research/development opportunity).
  2. Provide discount codes that are available only to your Facebook fans.
  3. Offer a discount or something for users liking your page (one-time discount, Facebook-only promo code, etc.).
  4. Promote your latest products/services on your wall every time a new one comes out.

Tip: For all links you post on Facebook, make sure you tag the links using the Google URL Builder so you can determine successes.

Here is a screenshot with an example from Famous Footwear's wall and their exclusive discount for Facebook fans:

Facebook Ads

As part of a discussion on how Facebook might result in sales, we must bring in a discussion on Facebook ads, which can be managed from Facebook's Ads Manager. This paid advertising portal allows companies the ability to reach specific target audiences. The ad platform is based on a pay-per-click (PPC) model or a pay-per-impression (PPM) model, at the choice of the advertiser.

Facebook ads do offer companies a unique marketing opportunity, because you can highly target your ads to Facebook users.

Facebook ads can direct users either to a specific company page on Facebook (to increase fans) or to an external URL, again, at the discretion of the advertiser. Facebook ads are brought to advertisers on a very user-friendly portal for both setup and tracking/reporting.

Tip: Studies are showing that Facebook ads can be effective, but because they need to remain fresh, companies need to be prepared to change their ads every couple days.

Facebook for Support

Since Facebook is a great content dissemination tool, it provides an additional opportunity to share your solutions to your customers' problems. With that, any customer service orientated blogs you've developed should be promoted on your Facebook wall.

Your support team should also be prepared to respond to issues on Facebook and then continue the conversation off Facebook if needed. Consider the following:

Facebook for SEO

Facebook can be beneficial from an SEO perspective. The actual text within a Facebook Business Page's title is searchable not only by Facebook but also by Google and other search engines. The About box and thecontent within each post are also crawled by the search engines. Consider the screenshot below.

Every time you post a Facebook status update that includes a link to content on your website - it's seen as another reputable link back to your site. This aids in the optimization of your website, in addition to the SEO opportunities of the Facebook Page itself.

In some cases, Facebook Pages show up higher than their associated websites in search engine results for keywords related to your business.

Finally, if a website has the Facebook Like Box social plugin installed, when the plugin pulls in the latest two or three posts, that content is seen by the search engines as fresh content with keywords. This concept is very similar to when you post a new blog post. Check out the screenshot below for an example of the social plugin.

Customer Support on Facebook

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will...

  1. Identify a negative comment or a question posted to your company's Facebook wall.
  2. Evaluate how the comment or question was dealt with.

Search through your company's Facebook wall, or if your company doesn't have a Facebook page, look at the wall of one of your favorite brands. Find two comments or questions from customers. How did your team respond? Would you have done anything differently? If no one responded, write a response that could have been used.

Facebook Policy

When we look at policy for Facebook, the same considerations as we discussed for blogging are important.

  • Point-of-Contact: Your company should determine one person or a team internally that can handle all Facebook interaction.
  • Content: Your company should determine a policy stating which employees post on behalf of the company to ensure that there is no confusion on who can represent the company's interests. This should also include a policy on whether or not employees are allowed to respond to posts through their personal profiles.
  • Comment Response: Your company should create a protocol on who responds to wall comments and how negative responses are handled. Some companies will not post negative comments; others see negative comments as opportunities to engage in a discussion that can change mindsets by posting and responding appropriately. If you delete negative comments, you might find that fans will lash out:

Tools, Services, and Management

There are numerous Facebook tools and applications that are available to companies. You can search for applications using the top search bar on Facebook.

Here are some of the more popular tools and services that companies are currently using:

  1. When responding to any comments, you can use the @ sign to highlight a user's name. You can also use this to mention other companies in your comments. A notification will be sent to the user's account indicating that your company has responded to them.
  2. Using HTML applications, you can create customized pages of content on your company profile (e.g., contest page, photo gallery, product profile, etc.).
  3. You can share your content form other social media platforms, including WordPress, Twitter, and YouTube using Facebook applications that they provide.
  4. You can use any of the numerous contest applications available. These applications allow your company to host Facebook contests ton engage your audience.

From a management perspective, here are some considerations:

  1. Make sure you have a specific policy related to who can post on behalf of your company.
  2. Encourage employees to help provide content for Facebook posts.
  3. Since Facebook is a fun platform, have fun with content development ideas.

Tracking Activity and Results

Results from your Facebook pages can vary from company to company and from category to category. There are two measurements you'll want to focus on:

  1. How much traffic are you getting to your website from Facebook? Google Analytics will provide you with this information, and we'll cover this later on.
  2. Are your calls-to-action working? If they are not, what can you do to change the engagement levels?

Facebook also has built-in analytics functions. These built-in reports (example shown below) will help you understand how users are interacting with your page, whereas Google Analytics will help you judge the success of driving traffic to your website.

Developing Facebook Posts

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will design a few original Facebook posts for your company.

Write three engaging Facebook posts for use in the coming weeks. Be sure to consider:

  1. The tone of your post. Is it conversational and friendly?
  2. The content of your post. Is it interesting and relevant to the promotion of your products or services?
  3. A call-to-action. Do you want users to click on a link or perhaps post a comment?