As a small business owner you are probably pulled in a thousand different directions running your business and are wondering why you should devote precious moments of your time to social marketing on Facebook. Here are a few key items to consider when deciding how to prioritize your time:

  1. Lots of potential for new business – There are over 900 million (and counting) users on Facebook today.
  2. Your existing and potential customers are already on Facebook – With such a high number of users, your current customers are already on Facebook and you can start marketing to them to strengthen your relationship with them.
  3. Match/Exceed your competitors – Your competitors are on Facebook too. If you are not using Facebook to promote your business, you might actually be losing business to your competition.
  4. Numbers don’t lie–  According to Facebook’s February 2012 data:
    • 51% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or brand after liking them on Facebook.
    • 80% of consumers are more likely to try new things based on friends’ suggestions made in social media
    • 74% of consumers are more likely to encourage friends to try new products.
    • Social Media is becoming more influential at each phase of the connected world.
  5. It’s not that hard! – Not to toot our own horn, but tools like Pagemodo are constantly evolving to make social marketing on Facebook a snap, even if you don’t have any technical skills.

If you are just getting started utilizing Facebook to promote your small business here is a quick checklist to help you create a strong social presence and build up your Facebook fan base.

5 Proven Techniques for Building up Your Facebook Page

  1. Select a vanity URL –A vanity URL describes a custom website address you can create for your Facebook fan page. It usually looks like www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname instead of a default URL assigned by Facebook. Please note you will need to have at least 25 fans in order to be eligible to create a vanity URL.
  2. Set your cover photo & profile photo – Once your business has a new fan page and a custom URL, it’s time to start thinking about your branding. One way to convey your brand and what it stands for is by taking full advantage of available cues: cover photo and profile photo. Think about posting imagery that helps to tell the story about your business.
  3. Add milestones & key moments – Potential customers want to conduct business with companies that they trust, one way to create trust on your fan page is by adding and highlighting important dates and events for your small business. If you can, try to make these milestones as visual as possible to help them pop when visitors are scanning your page. Learn how to add milestones.
  4. Get your customers to Like your page – Timeline does not allow page owners to default the landing page on which visitors land, but that doesn’t mean you can’t encourage growth of your fan base. One way to grow the number of your fans is by providing valuable information that existing and potential customers want (for example a coupon code) that can be accessed once a user becomes a fan of your page. You can achieve this by adding a “Like Gate” that hides your content:  It is important to note that growing the number of followers on your page should not be a only a numbers game.Quality matters more than quantity – target potential customers so that you can engage them. Don’t stop here – email your contacts, and tell them about your Facebook Page. Make sure you add a link to your Like-gated page.
  5. Engage fans with quality content – Now that you have created and customized your page it’s time to make sure you are posting quality information that your fans can interact with. Here are a few pointers to think about when creating content for your fan page:
    • Posting visual and timely updates increases fan engagement and also increases the virality of your Facebook Page, potentially attracting new fans
    • Post on regular basis – try to post at least 2-3 times a week
    • Interact with your fans by responding to posted comments and questions
    • Don’t be afraid to be yourself and showcase your personality
    • It is okay to ask questions (remember we can all learn from our customers!)

Looking to learn more about available timeline options? Discover Timeline 101: 9 Tips to help you get started.

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New features just keep on rolling! Today we are announcing that Pagemodo users can now create iFrame tabs.

Not sure what  an iFrame tab is? Simply put, this tab will allow you to pull website content by linking your Pagemodo custom tab to any URL address. For example, if you wanted to display your website directly on your Facebook fan page, now you can! All you have to do is enter your site URL and presto, your fans have direct access right on your fan page. Here’s an example of how Pagemodo’s website would look like within a published iFrame:

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It’s been a very exciting month here at Pagemodo. We have been working around the clock to introduce new features that take full advantage of the new Facebook Timeline layout. Today we are proud to announce two new features:

Optimized Timeline Themes

Pagemodo users now have the option to refresh their existing 520 px wide templates to take advantage of Timeline’s wider format. Now you have more space to tell your story! To edit your templates:

  1. Log into your dashboard and hover over the tab page you would like to update. Doing so will pop up a menu option with various editing options.
  2. Click on the gears icon and select “Update to Timeline” choice.
  3. After clicking the “Update to Timeline”, our system will automatically resize your existing template to a wider format. Here’s an example of how the templates will change:
  4. Review your page and ensure that all images are sized the way you want them. PLEASE NOTE: Wider layout widths might require some of your images to be re-uploaded in order to ensure image quality and dimensions continue to render properly.
  5. Re-publish your wider template by clicking on the Publish tab and you are done!

Customizable Tab Images

In addition to newly optimized wider templates, we are happy to announce the new tab image customization feature. This option is available in your publish step:

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The new Facebook Timeline layout allows page admins to add milestones, or major events, to be highlighted on their fan pages. Here’s what an example milestone will look like on your page:

How to Add Milestones?

Milestones can be added to your page in several ways:

    1. Via an option available in your status update box:

      OR
    2. Clicking anywhere on the Timeline line when a + symbol appears:

    Key Items to Remember:

    • Milestone posts will automatically be posted in the expanded view on your Timeline wall and are visible by default to everyone.
    •  Site admins do get an option to “Hide from News Feed” any new milestones that are being added.
    • If you choose to upload an image that goes along with your milestone, these photos should fit the following dimensions: 843 pixels wide x 403 pixels tall space.

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With all the exciting changes announced this week by Facebook a lot of you were concerned about how your current custom pages will render in the new layout. Rest assured, we have been working diligently to bring you the latest update and are proud to announce Pagemodo is Timeline Ready!

Our latest update will take your current custom landing pages and will automatically render them in the correct size. Meaning if you are using the new Timeline layout, your pages will be wider to match the new dimensions. If you are still using the old Facebook layout, not to worry, your pages will continue to show in the smaller (original) size.

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Facebook is in the midst of unrolling a lot of changes, some of which affect business Facebook pages.

Here’s a rundown of what page admins like you need to know:

  • The News Feed Ticker. A “ticker” now exists on the right-hand side of personal profiles to feature real-time updates from friends and brands. This is good for your business! Let’s say you post about a new product and then, two days later, a fan comments on your post. The post with its new comment will appear in your fans’ tickers, thereby bringing your “old” content back into the spotlight. In other words, your posts will have a longer shelf life thanks to the news feed ticker.
  • Goodbye Discussions and Reviews. Facebook will be discontinuing these two tabs around 10/31/11.
  • Total Reach Metrics. Facebook’s analytics tool, Page Insights, is adding new metrics that aim to show the “total reach” of your page:
    • People Talking About This will be a number formulated by adding up all of your likes, comments, and shares. This number will be publicly displayed on your page!
    • Friends of Fans multiplies the number of fans your page has times the number of friends they have (and subtracts any overlap). This shows the potential reach of your fan base’s connections. You can think of it as your secondary circle, which contains the next group of people to engage with. If your brand has 472,000 fans, it may have 145 million friends of fans.
    • Goodbye Static FBML Tabs. Facebook will begin deprecating these tabs around 1/1/12, and FBML apps will no longer work by June 2012. But that’s no sweat off your back, because you use Pagemodo to make your custom tabs!

    And One Prediction:

    As you may have heard, personal profiles will soon be transformed to a “timeline” format that emphasizes storytelling and photos. Will timelines come to business Facebook pages as well? Possibly. A little bird told us Facebook may apply the “timeline” format to pages’ “Info” tab…though Pagemodo users won’t have to worry about this, as they can create snazzy, dynamic “Info” and “About Us” and “Welcome” tabs with Pagemodo in a matter of minutes.

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If you’re a small business operating in the 21st century, you need a Facebook page to get the fans, buzz, and customers you deserve. Did you know that 53% of online Americans “liked” a Facebook page in the past two months?

Let me walk you through the process of creating a Facebook page.

How to Make a Facebook Page:

1.  Go to “Create a Page” on Facebook:

2.  Choose a page type. Facebook offers 6 types of business pages and each one has a slightly different layout. If you aren’t sure which type best describes your business, it may help to look at the category lists (click the page type to see its category options). For this example, I’ll pick “Brand or Product”
3.  Pick a category from the drop-down list of options. Below, I chose “Jewelry/Watches” as the category:

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