Help your business page get found on Facebook

If your business has a Facebook page, or wants to have one to stay in touch with your customers, you should think about how customers are going to find your page when they’re on Facebook.

Many businesses find that their names aren’t as unique as they thought on Facebook. For example, I’m working with a coffee house called El Diablo. Searching for El Diablo in Facebook results in around 100 pages as there are many people and businesses calling themselves “El Diablo.” Unfortunately, becoming one of the top three El Diablo pages in terms of number of fans–thus putting them on the first page of search results–was not an option. The page was already named “El Diablo Coffee Co.,” and quite properly the owner doesn’t want to screw around with her branding. Besides, in order to change the name now the page would have to be deleted (at least under the current Facebook pages rules) and started over with zero fans, which would have been an unhappy surprise to loyal fans.

I did two things to help El Diablo become more findable for its customers.

First, I acquired the Facebook “username” El.Diablo.Coffee for them, which means that both
http://www.facebook.com/el.diablo.coffee and
http://www.facebook.com/eldiablocoffee
now point to El Diablo’s Facebook page.

Signage at El Diablo Coffee
Signage (and Jeff) at El Diablo Coffee

Second, I created a number of inexpensive (color-copier-on-cardstock) table and counter-top signs inviting customers to become Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Signs next to the register and the beverage pickup area also led to conversations with the staff about becoming Facebook fans which have helped educate the staff about the Facebook page and how to help customers become a fan.

Three weeks after acquiring the short name and putting out the signs the number of Facebook fans had tripled over the number added during the prior three months.

Lessons learned:

One: When first creating a Facebook page for your organization choose how to enter your company’s name with care. You may want to choose the “common” name (like El Diablo) rather than the official name (like El Diablo Coffee Company) if it is still unambiguously your company’s name, doesn’t conflict with your brand image, most closely matches what your customers will be searching for, and achieving a number of fans putting you into the top three results seems attainable.

Two: choose an easy to spell, remember, write, and print username.

Three: use signage to show your customers how to find you and show your staff how to help your customers find you.

In subsequent blog posts I’ll discuss how to use your website, blog, and other web properties to promote your Facebook page, and vice versa.

Links:

> Creating a page on Facebook.

> Creating a username for a page on Facebook (click on “Set a username for your Pages” at the bottom).

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