I see a lot of businesses and nonprofits on Facebook. But not all of them get the account with the Like button.
From what I’ve seen, it’s usually a lack of understanding of how to make those pages. So some maybe don’t want to go through the effort. Or some get confused on what type of page to make and make a group page instead. There are some who discover they made the wrong kind of page (“Hey! Where’s my Like button?”) and just give up and go with what they have.
A while back, I wrote an article on how to make the Facebook fan page. There, I explained the difference between group pages and fan pages.
Maybe I should have first explained why you want a business page. There are actually good reasons to make the page with the Like button, over the other options Facebook offers.
1. Search Engines
Because business pages show in search engines, that’s one more way people are likely to find you. Depending on how your site ranks, Facebook may even show up before your site. Also, Google and some other sites base your ranking on how highly ranked other sites are that link to you. Facebook is a high ranking site. What do you think that will do to your rankings?
At the bottom left of every business page, there is a Share button. You don’t see that on personal accounts. These buttons allow people to easily share your page with other people, either by posting it to their own wall or sending a Facebook email to others.
Depending on a person’s privacy settings, other people can see when someone “likes” a page. Most people leave the default setting on. So if someone clicks the Like button on your business page, all of their associates viewing news feeds will see them Like you. This just greatly increased your exposure to other people. They may also decide to come Like your page. They may even join your organization or buy a product or service. That does not happen at all with personal accounts or group pages.
With the business page, you can use the “Find us on Facebook” button you see to the right of the page. Facebook does not allow that button to be linked to non-business pages. Also, you can add a like button to your own website, boosting the chance people will like something and their friends, family, and colleagues see it. You can also add widgets to your site so visitors can see the activity on your Facebook page. That’s good cross promotion right there.
Facebook business pages give you the ability to customize your page in ways group and personal accounts do not. For example, take a look at this Facebook page for the children’s performers, The Wiggles. At the time of this writing, they have a Favorite Picks tab on their page where Australians can vote for their favorite song to be played at their next concert. This page has a custom design that ties into their brand much better than the standard Facebook page. There is a Tour tab that also uses their branding. Take a look at the Connections tab on the GeekArtist Facebook business page and see how we customized it. What would you do on your Facebook business page if you had one?
That’s right, you can see the demographics of those who visit your page! How many are male or female, what age groups, how many active visitors you have, how many liked something of yours this week, and so on. This information allows you to better tailor your Facebook page and posts to be attractive to your target demographic, and tells you if you are even reaching them at all. This is another feature group and personal pages don’t give you.
That’s right, you can have a discussion boards tab on your Facebook page. No need to make a group page. If you don’t want the hassle of forum software on your site, and/or don’t need a full-blown forum, you can just use the one Facebook provides. If your nonprofit members or customers spend a lot of time on Facebook, this can be a good way to interact with them.
Facebook is making changes to how the business pages work. Coming soon is an optional tab that allows people to write reviews about your organization and/or page. Another excellent promotion tool. Considering that online reviews impact your Google ranking and how you show up in Google Local business (item #1 on this page) it is possible that Google may start adding Facebook reviews to their system.
Facebook gives you the ability to add apps to your business page that provide lots of interactivity for site visitors. Mashable has a great article discussing 8 good apps and showing screenshots of organizations that make good use of their Facebook pages.
You just look more polished when you’re using the right page type. Using the wrong kind of page says, “I really don’t get this whole Internet thing”. Even if you don’t get it, sound business practice involves putting your best foot forward and pretending you do.