On the morning of Friday 1st June, Natalie Sneddon and I went along to the Facebook for Business seminar provided by Facebook in association with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
The event was held at The Studio on Lever Street in Manchester city centre. Despite our confusion with driving around the one way streets we arrived on time for coffee and networking. Attendees were predominantly delegates from SMEs around Greater Manchester looking for advice to optimise their Facebook presence.
Chris Fletcher, Deputy Chief Executive of GMCC, gave a welcome speech and introduced the event. The guest speaker was Tony Lloyd MP, the current Labour MP for Manchester Central. He spoke of the huge audience available through Facebook and the capacity of information to be gained.
Facebook representatives Oliver Sewell and Nagy Moubareck then took centre stage to talk us through the features of business pages. The reality is Facebook users are not only connecting with friends but with businesses too. Facebook has been making improvements to the business page experience and there are now more ways to interact with customers and potential recruits than ever before. Photos, polls and sponsored stories to name a few.
Oliver gave some basic tips to improving your business presence on Facebook:
1. Build your page and claim your place – making it easy to ‘like’ and ‘check-in’ at your business.
2. Set your profile picture – make it scalable and recognisable as your business (i.e. your logo).
3. Choose your cover image – use this to add personality to your business, there is less need for this being scalable as it is not shown on news feeds.
4. Post regularly – important posts can be highlighted or pinned to the top of your page for up to 7 days.
5. Use the timeline features – set your business milestones to show fans where it all began and the significant moments since.
6. Stay relevant – engage your audience with questions and photos.
7. Create Facebook adverts – these can be highly targeted and as they are pay-per-click, you can set the budget. It is recommended that you create multiple ads to target different markets.
8. Use Sponsored Stories – these are adverts combined with social elements. Facebook users will see the ad if their friend has liked a particular page.
9. Review your Insights – these are the statistics collected for you by Facebook to discover who is connecting with your business by age, gender and location.
10. Facebook Small Business Boost – qualifying entrants receive £20 worth of Facebook adverts and another £60 if your page gets 100 new fans during the program.
Nagy told us all about a new product Facebook have been developing, a Page Manager app now available on iPhone and iPad. It provides detailed Insights on your Facebook business pages. It was confirmed that they are looking to release this for other platforms.