"I asked my buddy and he said 'Facebook is what my kids use. I've blocked my employees from using that crap!'"
I've heard that when talking to clients. My response has been: That's good if it's your competitor that said that. Take a look the the following graph. The numbers speak for themselves.
Now, with that out the the way, there are 3 things you can create on Facebook...as of this moment. Facebook is changing pretty quickly. Facebook is just a few years old and, if you have a Facebook account, you probably realize that to call it a "moving target" is an understatement. I've been noticing that many companies in the industrial marketplace have been creating a market presence on Facebook. A word to the wise, take your time and learn more about your options. You can do one of three things on Facebook:
Facebook requires that you have a personal page yourself in order to create a company page. There are workarounds for this, but you are actually better off creating a personal page instead of violating the Facebook Terms of Service (TOS) which can get you banned.
If you create a Personal Page that is actually a company page you are in violation of the TOS at Facebook, which they are starting to take rather seriously with all of the privacy concerns raised. Here's why Congress has a big interest in making Facebook enforce their TOS:
It's rather simple: People have created personal pages
to reconnect with old friends and there may be some conversations
that is "between them" Unbeknownst to them though is that you
have created a company page as a personal page... and they
are now "friends" with you. Which means that they are now
sharing with industry colleagues information that they may not want
to. "How to I know that the person behind this company is
not a pedophile looking at my kids pics?" You can probably
understand how this can very very quickly harm your brand. So don't
use a personal page as your company page. If you have
already, please feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to discuss
how you transition your "Friends".
The real decision is Page vs. Group:
Pages vs. Groups: How to know which to use
There are a number of factors you need to consider when choosing which is right for your project, a Page or a Group.
Due to their security features, and size limitations (only groups under 5,000 members can send email blasts), Facebook Groups are set up for more personal interaction. Groups are also directly connected to the people who administer them, meaning that activities that go on there could reflect on you personally.
Pages, on the other hand, don’t list the names of administrators, unless you choose to list them, and are thought of as a person, almost like a corporate entity is considered a ‘person’ under the law.
Facebook considers groups to be an extension of your personal
actions. When you post something as a group administrator, it
appears to be coming from you and is attached to your personal
profile. Alternately, Pages can create content that comes from the
Page itself, so that content doesn’t have to be linked to you
Email vs. Updates:
As long as a group is under 5,000 members, group admins can send messages to the group members that will appear in their inboxes. Page admins can send updates to fans through the Page, and these updates will appear in the “Updates” section of fans’ inboxes. There is no limit on how many fans you may send an update to, or how many total fans a Page can have.
Groups offer far more control over who gets to participate. Permissions settings make it possible for group admins to restrict access to a group, so that new members have to be approved. Access to a Page, however, can only be restricted by certain ages and locations. Again, this makes groups more like a private club.
Pages can host applications, so a Page can essentially be more personalized and show more content. Groups can’t do this. You're going to hear a lot more about something called iFrames as the Facebook platform evolves.
Neither Groups nor Pages have great moderation features. They can both be a little granular as to how things get posted, who can post, and what kind of media can be posted, but that’s about it.
If someone posts spam on your Group or your Page, you have to remove it manually, and you can also remove specific members. One key difference is that Pages are indexed by external search engines such as Google just like a public profile while Groups are not. If you are a company you probably want a Page, but you can certainly set up a User Group if you wanted to in addition to the Page. I think you can see why a "Page" is probably what you're looking to create.
Facebook Page Functionality
Facebook page functionality is is growing almost daily. The key
to a successful Facebook strategy is to get people to LIKE your
page as possible. Facebook is where B-to-B companies can learn an
awful lot from B-to-C companies.
Think of Facebook as having your very own television or radio channel. The more people that LIKE you page, or “tune in” the more that will receive your advertising message.
Generally, people will check Facebook to see friends updates on their “Wall” by clicking the LIKE button on your page they will also see all of your messages AND have the ability to ask questions and engage with your company.
Just like television advertising if they are not “tuned in” to Facebook, then your message will be pushed off of their wall and they may not see it. Therefore, proper posting TIME is extremely important.
Why users LIKE your brand:
Here’s the breakdown of why users might “Like” your brand, illustrated by the percentage of respondents who said that they use Facebook for the listed activity:
In the B-to-B market is a great place to post detailed technical information and ideas as well as industry news. With so many companies now creating a Facebook Page it's wise to remember the 4 C's of Social Media.
Page-to-Page Wall Posting
One of the most important things that you will want to remember to do is the ability to post wall-to-wall postings but making them page-to-page.
This is actually very simple.
YOU must personally LIKE the company page that you want to post to. That is not always the case and you may sometimes be able to post on the wall as a Mid-Atlantic Sports Cars but Facebook is pretty inconsistent at this point on letting that happen. So it is always best to go the company and click the “LIKE” button.
Once you have done that do the following:
Keep in mind that you are only posting to their Facebook wall. If you would also like to “mention” them when it posts out to Twitter you will need to type the remaining part of the message just as if you where in Twitter (including #hashtags) and that may mean that the company name appears twice as shown below.