SDI TDI have launched a series of webinars to help scuba businesses market themselves. I signed for their first one, ‘Leveraging Facebook for Your Scuba Business’ after Mark at Atlantic Scuba, posted a link to it in our Facebook Group. Thanks Mark!
Now, there are loads of free Facebook webinars; lots of them give good info but they’re a means to an end and that end is to get you to sign up for a paid service, buy a book or subscribe in some way (generally involving money). But this webinar was different. No pushing of products, no hard sell at the end. Just lots of good information (some of it new to me).
So, here are the key messages (in no particular order and hastily compiled to be published as quickly as possible):
Pages vs Profiles
It’s now even more important to use a page, not a personal profile, for your business. Apart from violating Facebooks Ts and Cs, using a personal profile means you’re missing out.
So, here’s the lowdown, if you are using a personal profile for your business:
- Unless your customers and clients are logged into Facebook, they will not be able to see anything on your page; personal pages are only visible to people who are logged in.
- You won’t get any page statistics.
- You won’t know the demographics of your customers.
- You won’t know which posts have the most impact.
- You won’t be able to promote your services with Facebook Ads.
- You are violating Facebook’s Terms and Conditions which means they could remove your page (unlikely, but still a risk).
All very good reasons and, personally, I think the writing is on the wall. So, if you’re still using a personal profile to promote your business, start planning to migrate it to a page before it’s too late and Facebook take the decision out of your hands.
Make the most of Milestones. It’s an opportunity to share your history and a great way to connect with people. Add info, photos and leverage your timeline. Post photos of dive trips and tag the people in them. Go back through the archives and add as much info as you can. Simply click on the Calendar icon and select the Milestone option. You can then add the info, what the event was (eg awarded PADI 5 Star IDC status) and photos. A powerful way of engaging with your fans.
Just click on the star alongside the post title.
Posts by Others
Note: You must have the option ‘Anyone can post to your timeline’ checked in Manage, Edit Page, Manage Permissions - see below for details.
Custom Tabs are still available, they’re just in a different place. If you click on the little down arrow, (see the tiny button with a ’2’ on it?) you can rearrange the tabs.
You can also add custom tabs. This is where you have your opportunity to sell to your fans using something called an iFrame. Now, if you don’t have the programming skills to create your own iFrame, there are plenty of easy tools to help you. Check out Pagemodo – it’s free to use and has templates you can choose from. Give your tab a good name to encourage clicks, eg SALE, Scuba Meet Up, Offers etc.
Another option is WooBox and they’ve just introduced a custom tab so you can show your Pinterest boards on your Facebook page. Pinterest is hot and growing fast. I’ve just installed the Pinterest tab on the Scubadviser Fan Page – this is how it looks:
Also, if you sell online, set up a Facebook shop. Take a look at SocialShop 2 or Shop Tab. (I’ve no personal experience of using either of these so, if you have any advice or have tried a different product, just leave a comment below – thanks.)
People can now send you a private message (but only if you have the option checked in ‘Manage Permissions’ within ‘Edit Page’.)
Covers (this is the panoramic photo at the top of your page)
There are some rules around what you can put on your cover. Basically, you must not include any contact details, web address (put this on your Info tab). You can’t ask for your page to be ‘Liked’ nor can you put any call to action. However, you can include your branding with a fun message.
- Sell the drama of what you’re offering with a slogan, eg ‘Take Diving to the Next Level’.
- Show a group shot of your staff.
- A picture of your dive boat.
- Anything else which engages your audience and encourages them to like your page.
Admin Panel – Insights
This is probably one of the most powerful aspects of Facebook pages. Spend some time looking around and start to understand how you can use the data but here are a few things that Insights data will tell you:
- What to post. Talking About This gives you a good sense on what has resonated with your audience. Check what posts have had the most engagement, which photos and links have resonated so you can plan what to share on your page with your audience.
- Notice the times of day which works best. Certain times of the day will get more engagement.
- Check the Reach tab for information about your visitor demographics.
And, if that wasn’t enough, you can export the data from your admin page so you can analyse in Excel.
Facebook have published a Guide on Insights for Business Owners for you to download which gives you everything you need to know to use the data to make your page even better.
Admin Panel – Edit Page
Edit your page and make sure that your settings are as you want them to be. For example, if you’re not able to check your page regularly, you might like to turn off the option to allow people to send you a private message. If you’re not able to respond, you run the risk of frustrating your customer.
There are loads of options available on the ‘Edit Page’; explore them and make sure you understand what you can do and how to leverage the information. Here’s a screen shot to show you what’s available:
Use Facebook as….
When you select the option to use Facebook as your page name, this is what happens. You can see that in this screenshot, the name has changed to Scubadviser and I then have the option to switch back to using Facebook as myself.
What are the benefits of using Facebook as your Company Name:
Its an opportunity to get your company name out there and to join the conversations. Beware of going into broadcast mode. Simply comment, add your point of view and share photos. The idea is for people to get to know you, like you and trust you. That’s when they’ll buy from you.
Note: You can only do this to talk on other company pages not to personal profiles. Pages cannot talk to people, they can only talk to other pages.
Phew, that was a lot of info in one webinar. Thanks to Jennifer Shaheen @techTherapist for taking the webinar and also to Brian Carney at SDI for arranging it. Follow SDITDI on Twitter @sditdierdi and check out their Facebook page.
If you’ve enjoyed this post or have any Facebook tips we’ve not included, please leave a comment. We love to hear from you