Facebook Pages

Three quick tips to improve your Facebook page

Facebook is one of the most commonly used online marketing tools for business - and rightfully so!

It's also one of the most frustrating.

There are all kinds of things you can do to optimize your Facebook page so that it works for you. Today I'm going to share three really simple tips that will help make your Facebook presence better.

1) About page

How complete is your About page? Make sure that you have filled in as much as you can because Facebook is Google searchable. The more relevant your make your content and the more keywords you use, the better.

The other bonus is that you look professional. The more well rounded, descriptive and easy to find your content is, the more credible and professional you look.

2) Call-to-action

Have you seen the "Call to Action" button that Facebook has made available for pages? It's a great and SUPER simple way to give people the opportunity to engage with you.

To set it up go to your page and click on "Create Call to Action."

Then walk through the simple steps of choosing what you want your button to say and where you want it to go.

And that's it - you're done. I've set mine up as a sign up to my newsletter, but you can send it to any kind of page: a squeeze page, sales page, have them sign up for an appointment or watch a video.

There's also a handy report of how well the call-to-action is performing in your page side bar. Don't expect these numbers to be huge - there's very little information and most people aren't actually coming to your page when they see your content. But considering it takes 2 minutes to set up, there's no good reason not to do it even if it only converts occasionally.


3) Put a call-to-action in your cover image description

Putting a a call-to-action in your cover image description is another call-to-action improvement because that's ultimately what we're trying to achieve with using Facebook for our businesses - to get people to DO something.

When you upload a photo as your cover image on Facebook, don't just leave the description blank. This is an opportunity to ask people to do something. This will be effective if people click on the image to see more, if they see it come through their news feed (especially when you initially change your cover image) and if you put a call-to-action in the image (I don't have one, but it's a great thing to test out) that says, "click here to get a _____" and then leave the extra information in the photo description. Always remember to tell people what they're getting - demonstrate the value to them. 

There you have it. Three really fast and easy ways to improve your Facebook business page.

Have any other easy tips to share? Leave them in the comments!

Why your business should have a Facebook Page (not a Profile)

Which is the right way to promote a business?Recently Lara wrote a post giving some advice around whether business owners should promote their business through their personal profiles. Ultimately, we feel that decision is one that can be very different from one person to the next - just as how we all use social networks and what we share is different. Some business owners like to keep their profiles personal and private. Others supplement their networking efforts by extending it to their personal profile. There isn’t really a right or wrong answer if you’re comfortable with your choice.

Someone who shared our post made the comment that they don’t ever recommend it. I was curious as to why, so I asked. Their response was that the personal profile doesn’t have insights, ads or third-party apps. Very sensible reasons if the post was about using a personal profile exclusively to promote a business on Facebook. Just as there was some confusion about what Lara was writing about, there is some confusion around what is best for businesses. 

Facebook Personal Profiles

Personal profiles (or personal accounts) are designed for individuals and require reciprocity. If I send you a friend request and you accept, we see content from each other (assuming we aren’t using any privacy filters). If you decline my friend request, I see nothing of yours and you see nothing of mine (unless it’s public). The idea is that if we are “friends”, we know each other well enough to connect and share our lives with each other through Facebook. 


There is an exception to Facebook’s rule of reciprocity: following. This feature was introduced about two years ago and was originally called subscribe. It allows non-friends to follow public updates for any individual that has the feature activated. If you follow me, you can see anything I post publicly in your timeline, but I can’t see anything of yours. Some higher profile individuals actually deleted or stopped using their Facebook Pages after this feature was released.

Facebook Pages

Back in 2007, Facebook opened up to the world at large. Personal profiles were the only thing available, but businesses were already starting to see the value of all these people that were held captive by pokes and wall posts. The answer to this problem was Pages. They were a way for businesses to acquire an unlimited fan base and gave the fans access to the page without allowing the page to see personal details of its fans. It was a win-win situation for everybody.

(Who else remembers becoming a fan of “sleeping in” or “the cold side of the pillow”? Those were the good old days when life was a tad simpler and there was no EdgeRank.)

Businesses should not have Profiles

Personal profiles are for people. Facebook has even specified in its terms of service that: “You will not use your personal timeline primarily for your own commercial gain, and will use a Facebook Page for such purposes.”

That’s the biggest reason we advise against businesses using Profiles. Facebook has the right to take your Profile (or Page) down, which means you lose everything you’ve worked to do. Here are some other reasons: 

  • Page Insights show the data behind the performance of every post you publish so you know what time is best to post and what types of posts are getting more engagement from your audience. 
  • Pages allow the option of running ads to extend your reach. 
  • Finally, Pages allow admins to install third-party apps for newsletter signups, contests and numerous other purposes.

Since Facebook has implemented EdgeRank and limits what we see, I’ve seen many page admins talk about switching to a profile or a group so people definitely see their content. However, notifications are easily turned off in groups and I won’t friend an entity that uses a Personal Profile. And EdgeRank affects Personal Profiles in the same way that it affects content from Pages.

Ultimately, it comes down to this: if you have a business that you want to promote on Facebook, you should set up a business Page for it because that’s how Facebook says it needs to be. And also because you can control and see so much more than you can with just a profile. You can still share content from you business Page to your personal profile (if you’re comfortable doing so) too!

Do you know any businesses that are using a personal profile? How do you feel about that?

Why should my small business use Facebook?

For small businesses that are thinking about using social media or starting to dip their toe in the water, the sheer number of tools (i.e., social networks) available to use can be staggering. One social network that is often the first businesses sign up for is Facebook, but not everyone is convinced it has value.

There are so many advantages for small businesses if they choose to use Facebook. Here are just five reasons we encourage many of our clients to be active on this channel - and why you should consider Facebook for your small business:

1) Easy two-way conversation

While business pages can’t go to personal profiles and engage with users individually, they can share engaging content that gets the conversation going on their page. It’s not always about making a sale - often the purpose of these conversations is simply to stay top of mind with fans so when they do need your small business’ services, it’s more likely they’ll look to you first.

2) Scalability and reach

Sure Facebook is the largest social network in the world with 1.15 billion accounts and over half (699 million)* are active daily. The truth is, despite that large number, if your audience isn’t on Facebook then your business shouldn’t be either. But if your audience is on Facebook, then the advantage of being able to grow your business by sharing helpful content to a growing audience is too good to pass up.

*As of June 2013

3) Cost-effective platform

Facebook is not free. There is no monetary cost to using it, unless you want to place ads (more on that later) but there is a time cost. Your time as a small business owner has a great deal of value, so the time spent promoting your business through social media channels must be effective and efficient. We believe Facebook can be very cost-effective and using it to grow your business doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time.

4) Cost-effective advertising

Have you looked at the cost of a newspaper or magazine ad lately? Sometimes that’s the best route for a small business to go because the return is well worth the investment. However, many small businesses simply don’t have the budget to make that gamble. Traditional advertising is based on a broadcasting model with minimal targeting available. Facebook advertising gives small businesses the ability to buy inexpensive ads that are highly targeted to the interests of fans and non-fans.

5) Build a community

As you increase the two-way conversations with a targeted audience, you’ll eventually find you’ve built a community - not a fan list. The connection within a community is much stronger and longer-lasting than the mere association between a business and its customers.

Given how many people use Facebook and how simple a tool it is to use, Facebook is often the easiest and best way to start using social media for your small business.

What other reasons compel you to use Facebook for your small business?


All month long here on the Wellman Wilson blog, we’re going back to the basics in honour of the newly launched Simple Start program. The program is designed to walk you through launching (or restarting or improving) your presence on either Facebook or Twitter. It’s not just for beginners either - even experienced social media users need that fresh start every now and then. Grab the free version of Simple Start by signing up to our newsletter now.

Facebook Page Guidelines: The rules have changed for cover photos...again

When we posted last week about 5 mistakes that will get your Facebook Page deleted, we missed something. Thanks to our friend Shawna, at ReSoMe, we learned that sometime between December 20th and March 13th, Facebook updated their Page Guidelines and threw marketers a little bone.

The 20% rule went into effect in December

Way back on December 20th, Inside Facebook wrote about the recent addition of a 20% text rule, which included these quotes from the Facebook Page guidelines:

Pages Terms Section III.B reads:

Covers may not include:

i.    images with more than 20% text;

ii.    price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;

iii.    contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;

iv.    references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or

v.    calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

But wait…something more has changed since December

When we wrote about the rules that can get your page deleted, these are the guidelines we included. However, when Shawna sent a message to say that they’d been changed, I jumped over to see how:

Section III.B now states:

All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines. Covers may not include images with more than 20% text.

The Help Center has been updated as well:

What are the guidelines for my Page’s cover photo?

Use a unique image that represents your Page. This might be a photo of a popular menu item, album artwork or a picture of people using your product. Be creative and experiment with images your audience responds well to.

All cover photos are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the cover photo. Cover photos can’t be deceptive, misleading, infringe on anyone else’s copyright or be in violation of the Pages Terms. You may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines.

Cover photos must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not include images with more than 20% text.

To get the fastest load times for your Page, upload an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes. For images with your logo or text content, you may get a higher quality result by using a PNG file.

What does it all mean?

It’s now safe to include everything that was previously banned, including: price or purchase information, contact information, references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or calls to action.

Just don’t use more than 20% of the image space to do it. See? It’s a bone, but it’s a little bone.

How will you change your cover photo under the latest revision of the guidelines?

Yes, Facebook is trying to make money off of business pages

There’s been a lot of controversy since Facebook made a recent change to the EdgeRank algorithm and many pages are employing any tactic they can find to get around EdgeRank. This controversy began when reach on posts published by Page admins started taking a nosedive around September 20th. 

There is no doubt that many Page admins, in particular businesses, are upset at what’s been going on. Others are more philosophical.

Realizing that the page you’ve built for months or years has lost so much ground in such a short time can be so discouraging, but here are five things that every Page admin and Facebook user needs to keep in mind:

  1. Facebook EdgeRank has been around for well over a year. You’ve had the affects of this algorithm showing up in your newsfeed for this entire time. It was only last year when third-party apps were being treated differently than native Facebook posts that people started to really pay attention to EdgeRank. Just like Google’s search algorithm, Facebook is making occasional tweaks to EdgeRank. Ultimately, it forces Page admins to deliver better content more consistently.
  2. Facebook Pages are free to use. Promoting posts isn’t required, but it’s sure nice to be able to do for the right posts that you want to get attention. Consider this a new line item in your advertising budget. Advertising isn’t free, but that’s exactly what Page admins get for the use of Facebook - it’s a tool and we’ve had it free to use since they launched in 2007. That’s a lot of free promotion!
  3. Advertising in a newspaper, on TV, magazine or any other traditional media is not a guarantee of eyeballs. It is even less a guarantee of response to the call to action. Do you track the return on investment for traditional advertising? You have to do the same for Facebook advertising. If there’s no return, the investment isn’t worth it. 
  4. If your content is boring, predictable and lacks a reason to respond, it will not be noticed and your EdgeRank will suffer. However, engaging content that gets your fans talking helps your EdgeRank and increases your reach.
  5. There’s a myth out there that you have to promote every post. Let me give you some financial advice: Do not promote every post. It’s a waste of your money and totally unnecessary. The interesting thing about promoting posts is that it seems to have a lasting effect on reach. Promote a post and watch your reach continue to soar, then gradually drop for about 4-7 days after the promotion ends. That means that the content you share post-promotion is even more important to add extra punch! 

Bonus point: Facebook is now a public company that has to assure shareholders and board members that it is going to deliver ongoing profits. Promoted posts are just one of many ways they’re doing that.

If you’d like to know more about promoted posts, click here or ask us questions in the comments! Feel free to leave your thoughts about this issue as well.