On Tuesday, Facebook unveiled their new “Facebook for Businesses” initiative, hoping to quietly underscore its commitment to serving corporate marketing needs. The feature is a step-by-step online guide aimed at helping small businesses use the social networking site and providing business users with instructions for properly marketing their products on Facebook. A wide variety of marketing options on Facebook can be daunting for new users who are not familiar with platform guidelines, but we are here to provide you with some background and tips on using the feature to its full potential.
The company is billing this web page, found at Facebook.com/business, as an “online education center” and gives users detailed directions on such things as how to set up a profile page, create targeted ads and deals, and interact with customer feedback online.
“Business owners can learn best practices for creating a Page and engaging customers in a two-way conversation to answer questions, get valuable feedback, and to reach their friends. Businesses can learn how to find new customers before they search for them using Facebook’s targeted Ads, and bring customers from the Web into their stores. And we want to inspire small businesses by seeing how other businesses have found success on Facebook by sharing their stories.” - Facebook spokesperson.
This new feature does not seem to really offer anything new but looks like a portal that assembles resources for social marketers in one distinct place. Here is a sample of recommendations that Facebook makes about using pages effectively:
- Set some goals: Use your goals to shape the content on your Page to ensure it is useful and relevant
- Share exclusive content: Post photos, videos, menus or other “sneak peaks” about new products and events
- Check your page daily: Set aside 5-10 minutes each day to post updates and respond to comments
- Create a Conversation Calendar: This will help you remember when, where and what to post
One has to wonder about the timing of this new release, as it is coming at us just one week after Google began shutting off all company profiles on its Google+ social network. This is the second time this month that Facebook has followed up Google+ news with its own feature launch. Earlier this month, Facebook announced a partnership with Skype to bring video-chat features within the social networking site — just one week after Google+ created a bit of buzz with its own video-chat feature called Hangouts. It is fascinating to watch as these web giants race for online supremacy and leads me to wonder who will win the race?