When Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, and his fellow Harvard University students (Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes) started a simple online idea, little did they know it will change the world this fast.
In just a decade, Facebook has become a humongous virtual phenomenon worth more than $100 billion, with more than 1.24 billion monthly active users, accounting for about 50 per cent of Internet users and it comes in 70 languages.
There are currently 1.7 million Ghanaians active in Facebook.
Facebook is the largest social media platform with a user base a little more than the population of Africa. One out of seven people on earth are on Facebook. This means your consumers, suppliers, employees and all that relate to your business and competitors are also there. You must find out if your target consumers are spending more time on Facebook to warrant a page for your business there.
If your customers are (or are more likely to be) on Facebook, you need a fan page, because it is most likely they are talking about your business, services, products and services, whether you are there or not.
They will recommend your business or run it down to their social network of friends, depending on how well you engage with them offline.
It is, therefore, reasonable to position yourself where your customers are.
Features of facebook
Facebook has many features to help you to create an account, manage and measure your return on investment of time and money. They include:
a) Account: It is the presence you have on Facebook as an individual, celebrity, brand, community, business. There are two types of accounts: personal and public accounts. Public accounts are also known as fan pages.
b) Fan Page: It is a public account that connects businesses or brands with their social network or community of fans. Your business needs a fan page and not a personal page to connect with your customers.
c) Profile: It involves a your business profile including your name, vision, mission, description, website, logo and any other salient information you put on your fan page or account to make it authentic and original. You need to use your logo or product as your profile picture or cover picture. Follow your brands’ guidelines if you have one so it will be consistent.
e) Timeline: It is the virtual board your posts (or contents) are displayed on Facebook according to date and time you assigned to or posted them. You can create your business history by dated contents.
f) Post: All the contents on your fan page are termed as posts. It can be in text, image or video formats. You can include website links to your business website, or external and audio or video content on another website.
g) Status: It is the text form where you can write your posts. You can schedule when a post should broadcast or show on page. You can add your location.
h) Comment: Every post comes with a text form beneath it to allow others to write or engage with the post.
i) Hash Tag: These are text content you post with a prefix of a hash (#) sign. Eg #GraphicBusiness, #Smile or #iLoveReading. Facebook can help people find other posts with similar tags.
j) Like(s): Before anyone can join your fan page, they must first LIKE it. They can then LIKE any post or comment made. The fans on your page are called LIKES. Be careful not to fall into the trap of the lies about Facebook Likes. Don’t chase more likes instead of specific target consumers.
k) Share: It is a button which helps people to distribute your post. It helps to spread your contents on other Facebook pages or accounts.
l) Event: You can create events on your fan page for people to invite your fans or other people. People are alerted based on whatever happens on the event page till it is over.
m) Message: You can receive messages directly from your fans and people.
n) Analytics: A unique feature which gives you insights about how fans engage with your content, showing their demography and other real time functions you need to manage your fan page effectively.
The writer is a Technology Consultant, Social Media Strategist, Advertiser & Speaker