A Beginners Guide to Facebook for Business

A Beginners Guide to Facebook for Business

With over 800 million active users, Facebook is a powerful platform to showcase your company and Facebook isn’t just a place to liaise with your friends and family, it is also a place where you can show support for a company that you like.

Facebook has Pages for all sorts of things – celebrities, television programmes, products, services, books, films – and you can Like these pages. Essentially, the pages are a profile like a personal profile, which allows you to share pictures, videos, links and updates in the same way, which are then shown to all your Likers.

To set up a Page, you must first of all have a personal account. In some cases, it is probably a good idea to start a second personal account for this purpose so that when you Like other pages and ask others to return the favour, it isn’t filling up your personal Timeline and your Friends don’t get annoyed – I have learned this from experience, and created a second account just for work purposes!

When you start your own Page, you have various categories that it can fall in to – Local business or place; Company, organisation or institution; Brand or product; Artist, band or Public Figure; Entertainment; Cause or community. Once that category is chosen, there are sub categories as well to help get your page slotted into its correct genre.

For a local business, you have many sectors that you can select, and then the opportunity to put your full business contact details. Then you have the opportunity to personalise your Page as you would a personal profile – with some information about your company, links, a profile picture, a cover picture and your opening hours if you so wish. All this can be edited at any time.

You have the option to personalise the URL for the page, so that you can add the link onto business cards and other company literature easily; Prosyn’s own company page can be found at www.facebook.com/busiessITsupport which is simple and reflects our business.

So, once you have your Page up and running, you are ready to get some Likers. First stop is probably going to be your own friends, and present or past employees of the business. You can Share the page on your own Timeline to other users. You can also post the link onto your Twitter feed and onto your LinkedIn profile, and also onto various groups that you think may be interested. It is also becoming more and more popular to share links to your social media pages on email signatures and on websites.

Now you have your page started, and some Likers – you must post some content. Our own page is updated regularly with links to our WordPress blog, pictures of hardware that we have purchased for clients, friendly welcomes to any new Likers that we gain and some light hearted content to make the page less formal. A mix between useful information and product/service spectrum is probably a winner, and setting a target for Likes with an incentive to win something is also a good option. Making your posts something that your Likers can interact with is very useful, especially if they share content on their own Timeline to their Friends, so it could bring in more Likes for you.

With a Page, you can see various statistics once you have reached 30 Likes. Your Insights show you an overview of your posts, Likes, overall reach, people talking about it and check ins – as your Page is a physical place, people can Check In and that number appears on your page as well as their own Timeline. You can see a breakdown of the demographic that Like your page, to see if your target audience are watching. It is useful as you can experiment with different types of post to see which are seen by your Likers and which have virality – where a story has been made from your own post by someone else.

Facebook have an option of paid-for ads that appear to your selected target audience, but there are other ways to push your page to gain more Likes. Many other business pages are in the same boat as you, and are more than happy to Like your page and for you to then return the favour. A Like will only count if it is from a personal account rather than a business page which brings me back to why I created a second personal account for Liking other pages as it doesn’t interfere with my own Facebook profile. There are various groups on LinkedIn where you can share your business page and also Like other peoples. This is a good way to expand your network on LinkedIn as well as gaining Likes for your Facebook page.

Have a look at some pages that you Like on Facebook for more ideas. What do you enjoy about pages that you Like? Also, try different methods of content to see which is received best by your Likers, and gains the most virality.

HELP – I have lost all my phone contacts

It isn’t easy to do, but with a Smartphone is it possible. Be it a software error or a slightly tired and emotional moment and your finger slips (several times) and all your contacts have vanished.

To prevent being in this situation, your phone comes with desktop software so that everything is backed up and you can restore the contacts and mostly any other data that you have lost, in these situations.

It is also useful if you have lost the phone altogether, and you can then download all the data from your chosen storage place onto the device and calm is restored.

The big three types of Smartphone also comes with built in software to make sure you don’t have to do much at all in order to save yourself in the event of a disaster.

Android Handsets– all Android phones have a built in syncing system that allows you to backup all your contacts to your Gmail account (which is mandatory when you have an Android Market account) in the Cloud. As long as you ensure you select to sync your contacts, they will be there and waiting on your Gmail account for you, to be restored when needed. All data from the handset can also be backed up via a data cable onto a PC or laptop, and restored when required.

BlackBerry Handsets – BlackBerry have an RIM (Research In Motion) app available on their App World called BlackBerry Protect. Once this has been downloaded and installed onto the handset, you can configure it to backup data to the Cloud at selected intervals and over selected mediums (Wi-Fi or 3G/GPRS). A BlackBerry ID is required, and all details are accessible online. As with Android Handsets, BlackBerry desktop software also allows data to be backed up onto a PC or laptop and restored at the user’s discretion.

Apple Handsets – iCloud allows you to backup your data in the same way that BlackBerry Protect does. All your important information will be saved remotely, and can be restored at any time. You need to be running iOS 5 to get the iCloud feature, and you must follow the instructions to set it up with your Apple ID, then you can customise what is backed up. iCloud is available across the full Apple range, so that your music or video can be downloaded on your iPhone and then it will appear on your iPad or iMac as long as the iCloud is set up and logged in on that device.

So as you can see, there are ways to prevent having to start a Facebook group to ask your friends to send you their phone numbers at the point of loss, as long as you pre-empt the issue and ensure that you are good to go when a disaster does happen. Of course, this isn’t going to help you if you have already lost your information, but it should ensure that you aren’t lost again. Always be prepared.

I wish I could work from home

Unless you have been wandering around with your eyes closed for the last few years in London, you will be fully aware that the greatest show on earth is now less than three weeks away from rolling in to town, bringing with it a predicted huge influx of tourists who will cripple the transport network as we know it. What are YOU going to do? People have been advised to start work earlier and to finish earlier – and to travel before 7am – but for many people this just isn’t practical, and nobody wants to have to get up any earlier than they really need to. So, working from home is the alternative, and Prosyn can help you get set up with secure remote access to your work computer, all from the comfort of your own home. Although Mayor Boris has recently said that working from home is a good excuse to do nothing, studies have shown that people can be far more productive working from home. Personally I like it as it saves me two hours a day travel time and I have less distractions and I am able to get on with my tasks without having people asking me questions. I have found that working from home isn’t restricting at all; you have access to your emails, all the shared folders on the Server and also access to your individual machine with Remote Desktop access – and to get this all set up takes no time at all, and will be saving you a lot of time in the long run. Make sure that you have an Olympic plan, so that you can work to the best of your ability – and if this means working from home then we can help you get that set up. Have a look at our Secure Remote Working page on the Prosyn website, and see how easy it can be. Nobody wants to be stuck on a tube to nowhere come 28th July 2012 so get your plans made now to avoid disappointment.

Do you backup?

I remember the episode of Sex and the City from way back when, when Carrie’s laptop died. She took it to be repaired, to see if they could recover any of the data from the machine and the technician asked her “do you backup?” and she just looked puzzled. She had all she had ever written saved just locally on her laptop memory, and there was nothing that could be recovered from the hard drive. Poor Carrie. I felt for her, and since that day I have made sure that I keep copies of everything that is important stored on an external USB hard drive. This is fine on a personal computer, but for a business it isn’t really a great option as you need to remember to save things. Prosyn can come to your aid though, and take the pressure off with our online backup which is automated. We install software onto your Server, install a few settings and BOOM – your data is transferred to the Cloud without you even needing to remember it. You don’t need to worry about it ever again. We also offer a service where we monitor the backup, and investigate any problems that may have occurred during the process, so that the issue can be rectified before you ever need to retrieve files. Prosyn can make your life easier, so if you like what you have read, have a look at our Online Backup page and get in touch for some information. We even have a cost calculator on the page for you to work out how much it could cost.