Many shop owners are really lagging behind on the social media angle. Let face it, time is short and so much to do. Fact is, so many things to promote your ecommerce business cost money, this one is free… Just a bit of you precious time to get free promotion for your online shop. There are some very good business reasons to spend a few hours creating your business’ Facebook fan page.
Did you know that someone else could steal away your business name for their own fan page?
We talk with shop owners about a great many things, one thing we advise on frequently is protecting your brand. Now I know you are not Coca Cola or Gieco, but your brand is the heart of your business. It may not seem important now, but what if I told you that if you do not act, when the importance of brand protection smacks you in the face it may be too late?
Yes, too late. There are some things you just MUST do to protect your brand, NOW…. Not later.
Register the alternate spellings, TLDs and versions of your domain. This might cost you $50 a year, but it’s probably one of the best investments you can make. What will you do if years from now, when hopefully you are knee deep in success, a competitor has a misspelling of your domain?
You will lose traffic is what you will do…. To your competitor at that. A great example is a client of our who registered a domain with a number in it. The number 4 instead of for. His competitor using the “for” domain, grabs a great deal of his traffic…. and sales, as they sell very similar products. Hell, he even gets phone calls for the other business…. Imagine how many of his customers are calling them.
Another recent situation involves a shop owner who has the .NET version of their domain only. Now this is a bad move to start with, but if you have the .COM as well, no worries as you can redirect them. Like we do PRO-Webs.com. This client has only the .NET and the .COM houses a VERY adult website. Many returning customers will not only be lost, but very likely offended as well.
Facebook and Twitter are important for the same reason. They both have vanity urls, like http://www.facebook.com/prowebs and http://twitter.com/prowebs. Once someone else registers YOUR business name, that’s it…. Gone.
So while I realize you are long on work and short on time, spending a few hows setting up your Facebook fan page… and your Twitter account as well, is a damn good investment. In the future we will see these social media profiles and pages become an active part of your business’ equity and domain worth. Not to mention, how awful to find that your customers are being stolen away by some look-alike business using your rightful Facebook url. Worse yet… Find out there is nothing you can do, because you failed to spend a few hours when it counted.
Interested? Let’s set up your Facebook fan page.
You probably noticed that Twitter, unlike Facebook gives you a personalized url right off. Facebook requires an act of dedication on your part to get your personalized fan page url. There have been many numbers for the amount of fans it takes, but currently you need 25 fans before you can secure your own url. We’ll talk about getting those fans in a bit.
Here is a pretty easy video to make your fan page, no excuses here =-) For my readers, check this very good tutorial to create your fan page.
I have some additional tips to share with you, so you can maximize your time and effort.
While Facebook has a pretty standardized structure, they do have some cool aps to help you promote your page and build your followers. One in particular, profile HTML is a very handy ap which will allow you to add custom HTML to your profile or fan page.
Very important to add your RSS feeds for your store and/or blog to your fan page. This is really a snap to do an only take a few minutes… Then it will work automatically for you.
Adding RSS to Facebook
Facebook allows you to quickly and easily import an external blog from another website.
- On your notes about me page, click the Import a blog link on the right side of the page. (hard to find in the new layout — But here’s a link)
- Enter the URL (web address) of your blog into the text box, and check the box underneath that states that you agree to FB TOS. This is the whole URL, like http://pro-webs.net/blog/feed/
- To complete the process, click on “Save Settings.” Once you do this, your previous posts will appear as notes and any new posts you make will automatically display.
See easy! I also highly recommend the Networked Blogs ap for Facebook.
Going through the settings and such are pretty logical, just read and fill them out. Believe it or not, your teenager is a great resource for this! You can spend a few minutes a week to post tips, coupons and other business related items in a snap.
Now for the important part…. Getting the fans required to get your personalized url.
- If you already have a Facebook profile page, send a note to all of your friends and ask them to click the “Become a Fan” link to your page. <– Selfless promotion =-)
- Include your fan page link in the signature of all your emails
- Add the “Become a Fan” widget to your site and blog
- Offer additional savings or promotions specifically for your Facebook fans
- Beg…. LOL
Once you have the required number of fans (currently 25), you will see a link on your home page, but here’s a link to grab your personalized Facebook url and protect your brand!
This isn’t so hard, and even if you choose not to promote it actively… at least someone else won’t =-)