Reflections on Facebook Company Pages: What the New Changes Mean for Businesses
Since Facebook’s recent changes to company pages there has been a flurry of discussion in and around the blogosphere. In particular, people have been talking about the pros and cons of using Facebook as a Page (the ability to post on another company’s page as a business instead of a personal profile.) Alyssa Gregory has a helpful blog post on this subject where you can learn more about switching between profile mode and Page mode, and what you can and can’t do as your page.
Some people have worried about businesses posting as a page for their own promotion and engaging in more spam-like activities. In any case, the changes have given businesses an opportunity to reflect on why they’re on Facebook and what their values are about Facebook engagement.
In the spirit of crowdsourcing, we reached out to businesses and asked them a number of questions: e.g. how they feel about Facebook and the recent changes, and what they think constitutes good practices. We were also curious to know how businesses feel about the issue of ROI and whether the time and energy they put into Facebook meets their expectations.
We think you’ll glean some interesting perspectives and find new ways to think about using Facebook. We’d also like to know your thoughts on these issues. You can use the comments section below.
How do you use Facebook for your business?
We use Facebook to advertise networking seminars and events, my client’s videos and to advertise my services. We also post other business partnership events information. It is a great way to build relationships by sharing and posting other business owners events. Most people will answer our post, they don’t post on our page. Facebook has proven to be a great way to establish our brand and get the word out about our services and events. Last year’s series of networking/seminars was very well attended due to people seeing the event on the Facebook page and sharing the event with their friends. Now that our business colleagues know what we do we are getting sales from the pages and forming partnerships directly from the pages. Derek M Guest, Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services, Inc., Facebook
We post everything from new products and fans-only promotion codes to information on new retailers and new collaborations. However, to keep everyone engaged, we must also post on non-business related items that have more to do with our lifestyles. This is when we get the most “thumbs ups.” Deb Morris, Barkeater Chocolates, Facebook
Sharing news articles or products you use are a great way to create a conversation. When you share, ask a question at the end of your post. That way you try to get a response other than “like.” Derek Barney, Deyga Media, Facebook
What are your thoughts about good Facebook etiquette as it relates to posting on another company’s page?
Good etiquette for posting to other business pages is to avoid a direct-sales pitch and keep it relevant. If it makes sense to post because you have a relationship with that business, you are promoting that business, or because someone else commented on their page on your business, then by all means, do so! Deb Morris, Barkeater Chocolates, Facebook
Good netiquette on social media is the same for any format and has been for over 20 years that I have been on the Internet. Businesses should not put ads on other pages. They need to engage in the conversation, giving wisdom and insight, even telling a joke or two, thus letting people know of their existence. Then folks will click to their Fan Page and see their offers and coupons and conversations with their fans. Jube Dankworth, Net Media Consultants, Facebook
Good etiquette is not posting too many times on someone’s page. It also means, posting relevant information that would interest your readers. Though the more you post, the less impact your message will have. Also, refrain from anything that might seem distasteful. Judy Sultan, Xtremelashes, Facebook
With the new features of being able to post as a business, it could get spam-like, but remember, you are in control. And with any business its best NOT to ignore your competitors. What’s that quote from the God Father? “…keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” If I were to post on a competitor’s website, it would be to congratulate them! Derek Barney, Deyga Media, Facebook
I think most businesses are happy to see another business post on their pages IF THE POSTS PROMOTE THE PAGE ON WHICH THEY APPEAR. It’s horrible form to make an appearance on another business page and shamelessly promote yourself. Deborah Becker, Deborah Becker State Farm, Facebook
Post things that fans want. The rule is out of 100 posts, 99 should be about the top 5 topics your audiences wants to hear. Also, out of every 100 posts only one should try to sell the audience. Rob Rohena, DIR Incorporated, Facebook
What do you post on other business pages?
I have been cautious in my posting as to not come across as spam, and have only posted a couple of things on walls of companies where I know the owners personally. Or simply “liking” posts on other companies walls, where I want to remind them that we’re here but not be intrusive by posting to their wall. Mike Walker, WalkerTek Interactive Marketing, Facebook
So far, I am simply finding businesses who either like us or just joined the site and welcoming them to our company. I’m also commenting on other businesses links and videos. Amanda C. Brandon, MustHaveMenus, Facebook
When other businesses have posted on your page has it seemed at all spam-like?
As long as the posts on my page are value-added to my clients, I encourage them. I believe a functioning social media ecosystem relies heavily on outside influences. Eric Sedransk, The Early Birdie, Facebook
This will be the death of Facebook if businesses start spamming each other and their fans…Just because businesses can now go around Facebook as their business, does not give them license to spam. There will be many companies that will do that because they still have not understood the environment of social media, thinking it’s just another way to get their ads out to the public. This will be the death of their brands. Jube Dankworth, New Media Consultants, Facebook
The businesses that frequently post on our page have a relationship with us already, like a TV station or a radio station promoting an interview or contest with our company, or at least tell us how they love our chocolate and that they are a new fan…The links have been relevant. Deb Morris, Barkeater Chocolates, Facebook
Other businesses and consumers post on our wall but in a very positive way. It helps promote communication between our business clients and consumers. It also promotes a brand connection between other luxury businesses or even media contacts that would be interested in our company. Judy Sultan, Xtremelashes, Facebook
Are you concerned at all about ROI with Facebook?
That is one of the first things company asks and I turn it around a couple of ways. First I ask them what their ROI is of their cell phone or networking at a Chamber event and they can’t produce it. The cell phone is just another tool in your business tool box. The next one I ask is to turn ROI around to IOR and think of it as Investments on Relationships. There are some things you can look at. You can see how much traffic your social connections are bringing to your website, which I feel should be the “main hub” of all your communications. I think the New York Times said they get 10% of their traffic from Twitter. Ask a marketer who does direct mail and ask them if they would like to get 10% to their website if a direct mail piece went out. They get excited over 3%. But you need to remember to have a great landing page or Call to Action when they get to their website to keep them engaged. Derek Barney, Deyga Media, Facebook
The ROI of Facebook has been positive for us. I think the biggest impact has been the increase in brand recognition and brand loyalty. By staying more connected with and engaging our direct clients and general consumers, we’ve seen our client retention rate increase with measurable results and built a larger fan base for the brand. We’ve also been able to track the referral source of new clients and we’ve seen a significant amount of new clients come to us after finding us on Facebook. Judy Sultan, Xtremelashes, Facebook
What do the new changes to Facebook pages mean for your business? How do you feel about using Facebook as a page?