Sunday, 11 August 2013

Facebook and your business

Your organization can only stay in business if it sells products or services. And you can only sell stuff if people know what it is you have for sale. One way of achieving this is to use Facebook as a way of communicating with the public, and letting them communicate with you.

The first thing to do is to create a Facebook Page for your organization or product on Facebook – and you probably already have one.

One thing that Facebook introduced recently is the “Boost Post” button at the bottom of a post:

If you click on “Boost Post”, you’ll see:

Boosted posts are seen by existing fans and their friends. There is a facility for targeting by location, age, gender, and language, but not by interests or category. The posts are visible in news feeds on laptops and smartphones. Of course, you may not want to pay to get your message to people who have already liked your Page.

The advantage of using this technique is that you don’t need to understand how to create adverts, and you can set your own budget, whereas, if you’re advertising, you pay per click.

You can set a price limit for a boost – as long as it’s over $5. It’s possible to reach lots of people for a small amount of money. And you may find that other posts on your Page are being read by those friends of friends.

The alternative is to try Page Post Ads. Page Post Ads allow you to promote a post that you made on your Facebook Page, and they come in two types – there’s simple Page Post Ads, and Page Post Sponsored Stories. You have to use the ads create tool. The first thing to decide is whether you want to advertise a Page, event, app, or Web site. Facebook now provides image customization for Page Post link ads.

Before you start boosting posts or advertising, you’ll want to know how many people are actually looking at your Page. And you may be a little confused by some of the technical terms used by Facebook, when you look at the admin panel for your Page. Page ‘Likes’ is fairly obvious – the number of people who’ve liked your Page. But what about ‘Reach’? According to Facebook, Reach measures the number of people who received impressions of a Page post. The reach number might be less than the impressions number since one person can see multiple impressions. OK, you say, so what’s an ‘impression’? Again, Facebook tells us: Impressions measure the number of times a post from your Page is displayed, whether the post is clicked on or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, a fan might see a Page update in News Feed once, and then a second time if their friend shares it.

At the bottom of a post you’ll see:

‘Like’ allows people to say they like the post. ‘Comment’ obviously allows people to comment, and ‘Share’ allows people to share the post with their friends. And these numbers are shown on the Admin panel.

‘People Talking About This’ is defined by Facebook as the number of people who have created a story from your Page post. They add that stories include: Sharing, liking or commenting on your post; Answering a question; Responding to an event; and Claiming an offer. Finally, ‘Engaged Users’ is the number of people who have clicked anywhere on your post.

As well as looking at the ‘Reach’ figure, you can look at the bottom of each post to see how many people have seen a post. If you move your mouse over this, you’ll see a pop-up window showing how many ‘Organic’ and ‘Viral’ views there have been.

Organic is the number of people who saw a Facebook Page post through their News Feed, Ticker, or on the Facebook Page itself. It’s usually the highest number.

Viral counts the number of people who’ve accessed a Page post from one of their Facebook friends. Cute animals and ‘uplifting’ phrases are often shared by people, and so the viral number can increase.
Paid Reach is the number of people who saw a post in an ad or sponsored story.  All three types added together give the total reach for a post.

And how do you get people to visit your Page and like it? Here are some suggestions:
•    Post frequently – at least once a day
•    Post pictures – they’re more likely to be commented on and shared
•    Post short comments rather than longer ones
•    Post questions – so people will answer them
•    Ask people to like, share, or comment on posts
•    Run contests to get more likes
•    Try to be entertaining and educational.

Whatever you do, you want people to come to your Page and you want them to return regularly, and, most importantly, you want them to buy your product or service.

And while we’re talking Facebook, click on the link and Like the iTech-Ed page at

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