I started a Business Page, sometimes known as a Fan Page, on the 17th September 2011 with a view to finding out how to grow my Facebook presence and also determine what that presence could do for my site, LayStar Magazine .
This is a 'self-discovery' write-up of the experience.
The Page is named, I Remember That, which was first checked by using a Google search to see if it existed already. There were a number of similar named pages and there was an exact match, but that page didn’t look to be active. So this is the name I went with.
Having created the page, at first I couldn’t change any of the detailed page configurations, such as disabling the ability for visitors to write on the wall. However, I was able to upload a Profile Image (that I later changed).
I posted 8 or 9 topics for discussion on the theme of, ‘I Remember That’, and then invited one of my existing friends to ‘like’ the new Page. This seemed to enable me to then update the Page configurations to get it secured down a bit. There is a nifty feature that detects foul language being posted into comments and such like, ideal for brand protection.
Promoting the Page
I continued to post at least one topic a day onto the Page through the first week and into the second. I also read available information on how to enhance a business Page (I used Google searches). This led me to enhance the imagery and change the Profile Image to a slightly longer image (could have gone longer again) and also to use the wall image samples that run across the top of the Page to give a visual sense of belonging to my business; LayStar Magazine in this case.
Having got the page looking more or less how I wanted it, I continued to post topics and tried to engage others in the topic conversations with a view to increasing ‘likes’.
I tried to ‘invite my friends’, but this seemingly did nothing and no invites were sent, even though the recipients were greyed out when I re-opened the pop-up window, as though they had already been invited. I read a few articles suggesting that this Facebook feature is not what it seems and that Facebook really want Page Admins to engage with their advertising services. So I abandoned that.
I also read that getting your business website engaged and integrated with your Facebook Page is important. I created a dedicated web page on the LayStar Magazine site, which is linked by all the main magazines pages. I used a Facebook’s plugin on the page to show live Facebook updates and, as a result, I gained a couple of ‘likes’ in my second week.
The trouble was, I couldn’t easily tell what people actually see in Facebook. For example, if I put a comment or a ‘like’ on one of the Page articles that appear on my own personal page, this did not get mentioned in my personal profile, so none of my personal friends could see that comment.
(a-z, A-Z, 0-9 and period – no hyphens or other characters)
After two weeks, one Saturday morning, although I had read that you can’t ‘vanity’ change your URL until you have 25 ‘likes’, I thought I would go through the motions. It appeared that I could actually change it, but because I wasn’t able to use the page name I wanted, 'I Remember That', in any of the guises above, except with a number (appeared to be a duplicate, but I couldn’t find it on Facebook or Google), I had to use another name. I couldn’t think of one at that time so parked it. Later that day, I went back in and found that I had been barred from creating a ‘vanity’ URL, suggesting I should come back later.
So it seems that there are windows of opportunity to create a vanity URL. Maybe this is based upon recent activity and the number of ‘likes’, which would make sense. If you are pouring effort into your business Page, why not reward Admins with certain privileges.
I asked my wife to be the 4th ‘like’, now into the third week. This confirmed what I had feared: the ‘like’ didn’t show up in her profile, and so her friends saw nothing of this activity.Also, when she ‘liked’ and commented on individual topics, these activities weren’t mentioned in her profile
Another tactic I tried was to ‘share’ the link of a topic when it showed up in my personal Facebook home page. This appeared to be shared with my Facebook friends and with the, I Remember That, link intact on my Profile page. A bit later I got a comment back from one of my friends, but the linkage to, I Remember That, had disappeared.
Later in the 3rd week I posted a topic that I knew would appeal to my wife – something she and her sister remember well as children. I got her to ‘share’ the link with her Facebook friends. On this occasion, no reference of, I Remember That, or of the topic write-up was displayed - only the link to a YouTube video I had included in the topic was shared. A great opportunity missed because it generated a great deal of amusement and comments with her friends, except me and, I Remember That! Her ‘share’ post and further comments didn’t turn up on my account (yes, I am fiends with my wife on Facebook).
Now I was thinking, what is the point? I know you can’t get something for nothing, but it seems that Facebook are masking quite a bit of underhandedness, presumably to get you to sign up to their ad campaigns.
I’ll carry on with this project over the coming weeks to see what else I can do to promote my business Page. It does however seem to me that this is becoming an addicted distraction away from my business. I could spend the time doing other things to promote LayStar Magazine.