Are You Using Facebook For Your Health Coaching Business?
It’s hard to believe that four short years ago facebook was just another struggling startup internet company. No one could have imagined that in such a short period of time they would be approaching 1 billion (yes, with a B!) registered users. Not only are more people on facebook, they come more often, stay longer and visit many more pages than any other site on the web. This means that pretty much anyone who wants to do any online marketing needs to start using facebook for business. Recently Google released Google + in an attempt to jump on this social media bandwagon. While it looks promising, they are not really opening this up for business use quite yet and it is probably better to let all the techies work out all the bugs, figure out the easiest way to do things and then teach the rest of us.
Facebook has been making alot of changes lately. A couple of weeks ago I began to start noticing advertising banners pop up in all sorts of strange places on facebook. Right now they are gone again, so my assumption is that Facebook is in the middle of testing and we should be expecting to see more advertising soon. I guess this is good and bad news for those of us that are running our own business. So far, advertising on facebook is considerably cheaper than buying pay per click (PPC) traffic on google, bing or yahoo.
Using Facebook Fan Pages For Business
Marketing on facebook is a whole new type of marketing that will work in favor of people that are running heart centered businesses that are truly looking to serve their clients. People come to facebook looking for connection, not to be sold. Of course with these kinds of numbers every major corporation is desparately trying different ways of using facebook for business. Go ahead and search for some of your favorite products and check out what they are doing. Some have figured it out. Facebook is the perfect place to build your tribe, have people talk about your product and introduce people to your brand.
The trick comes in how to market your product. The answer, keep your outright sales messages to a minimum on facebook. Use facebook for what it’s good at, to build your tribe.
The default fan page is not very exciting. You land on the wall and can see what people are saying about the company and what their messages are, but that’s about it. At the bare minimum you should brand yourself with a custom banner showcasing your business. The image needs to be 200 pixels wide and can be as long as you want it, but not so long that it pushes your tabs below the fold. 600 pixels is a good height, but make sure to leave a little room around the border so when facebook crops it nothing is lost. You will need to decide if you want your logo or picture to be what is shown when you post as your page, this gets cropped out of the top third of the page. You can look at my facebook page and see that I need to shrink my photo in the banner so it shows up better. There are also lots of other things you can do on your fan page. Another thing that many folks are doing is to change the default landing page. Typically, when a new visitor comes to your fan page they land on your wall. You can change the default landing page to anything you want. Designing a custom landing page allows you to control the message all your visitors see when they arrive.
There have been a lot of changes this year in the ease of doing this. Last year, you could put up a simple FBML (facebook markup language) tab and edit it with an HTML editor to get a nice looking landing page. Then in March of this year, facebook changed to iframes, which allows you to embed external webpages into your facebook page. This sounds great, but is a little tricky unless you are technically minded. There are more and more tools arriving on the market, but if you want to try a free one (for 1 tab on 1 fan page), go to www.lujure.com. It’s a bit cluncky, but if you play around with it, you can have a free custom tab that does what you want. Then go into edit page and change the default landing page to your new tab.
Beware of all the applications out there allowing you to embed your website or pages from your website into your facebook fan page. This worked well for a while (if you could format the page to fit in the little box on facebook), but then facebook started to tighten security. Have you noticed that some pages now ask you to permit access? In October, facebook is going to require all iframe apps hosted on external sites to be hosted on secure sites. Basically, this means you need to have an https://website.com instead of the standard http://website.com. This is not a big deal for larger companies, but if you are not selling products on your sight, setting up a secure server is probably a little more trouble than you want to go through. I’m pretty sure lujure is hosting on a secure server, so there should be no security issues with facebook once the changes take place.
It’s Time To Start Using Facebook For Business
Hopefully I’ve given you a couple of tips to get you motivated to start using facebook for your business. Make sure to share your new facebook fan page with the community. If you already have a fan page, start thinking of ways to build and engage your ideal clients. As soon as you have 25 fans on your page you can create a custom fan page url at www.facebook.com/username, then go find some groups and pages in your niche and start engaging them. Head on over to our fan page or leave a comment below.
There are so many people that need your help to start living a more balanced and healthy lifestyle and facebook is a great place to start connecting with them.
By Geoff Young