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This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business. With 845 million users, Facebook has become an increasingly useful tool for brands, and it's important to have a strong presence on the social network. Whether your brand is fully established or just starting out, launching a marketing campaign can seem overwhelming.
Before you launch your brand presence on Facebook, you need to make sure that your vanity URL is available — and that it’s simple and easy to remember. Rather than going through the time consuming process of manually figuring out what’s available and what’s not, use a simple but powerful service called Name Vine. Copying and pasting content, logging in from one social media network and logging out from another can be a time consuming task — but it doesn’t have to be. For small and medium-sized businesses, social media budgets are nowhere close to those of global brands, which can afford multiple custom applications and promotions on Facebook. Services such as North Social and Pagemodo provide the kinds of applications that most businesses need. A Welcome Page: This should be the default landing page that welcomes a user to an application. A Contact Us Page: This is a great and useful tool for converting your fans into potential sales leads. You should set up at least one or two tab applications on your Facebook Page, so users aren’t landing on your Facebook wall, but rather a page that’s informative, engaging and able to convert those users into fans.
Aside from use on third-party sites, social plugins can also be utilized on Facebook apps to provide a deeper level of engagement, while driving traffic back to the application. It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is — leverage the social plugins on your blog, Facebook apps and on your website. If you’re looking to see what your fans engage with the most — and when to post it on Facebook — you can utilize a third-party service called Edgerank Checker. If you have to provide a report of Facebook metrics to your boss or a client — or maybe you just want to see for yourself — the best time-saving tip is to export the Facebook Insights data to an Excel spreadsheet. Once you’ve done this and downloaded the file, open it in Excel and apply a filter by going to the data tab and clicking on "Filter." You have to make sure that your cursor is at the very top row.
Once this filter is selected, you can quickly filter any key metrics in ascending or descending order, which is a very powerful trick when analyzing your Facebook marketing and engagement efforts.
Nobody wants to visit a Facebook Page with an enticing offer, only to learn that it's not available in their region. Give your fans an incentive to visit your business by providing them with a recent, active “walk-in” promotion in their area. Allow users to recognize that you are connected with their location by providing details and assets specific to where they are.
When you have to target languages, Facebook allows you to make status updates for users with certain language settings.
Setting up a QR code for your Facebook Page is a quick, simple and effective strategy for small or large businesses to use. Link your QR code to a dynamic URL — so you can customize and change the URL if you decide you want to later drive users to your website instead of your Facebook Page. You’ll have the ability to view analytics so you can see how many people have scanned your code, their location and the type of smartphone that scanned the image. Buying Facebook ads is a wise, cost-effective solution that can help increase your brand's visibility throughout the Facebook platform. Facebook's "Like" ads provide users the opportunity to “like” your fan page from any page they are on.

More recently, one of the best ways to invest in Facebook advertising is by leveraging Sponsored Stories. If you’re short on time, I recommend you go straight for the new Facebook pages FAQ for a succinct summary.
With an update to a web service, you usually start by looking at what’s new, but with Facebook’s new business pages, what’s most striking is what’s missing since the changes to styling and functionality is so major.
In this update, Facebook have clear aims to keep the visitor within Facebook, and so generate more ad revenue and to enforce consistency of interaction. The big difference is the lack of opportunity to create gated Facebook pages to encourage Likes – perhaps companies will become more reliant on Facebook advertising to generate likes?
No permission marketing with data capture in return for information or other forms of value. No links direct to company website(s) – for example, many retailers have links from their home page to buy through the web store. You might think from these points, that I don’t like the new design, far from it – if you compare the old to the new, the design is more visually appealing and a better experience in my opinion. These are the key opportunities that are available from a marketing and communications point of view from top to bottom. Your limited by Facebook’s recommendations, they suggest a popular menu item, album artwork or a picture of people using your product.. This example for a hairdressing salon show how small companies can feature maps and other local information that is neat. Access to different content are available through “views and apps” which appear on the right below the cover image. The pages that are featured before expansion can be moved – so three of the key pages can be moved.
Apps become more important for encouraging interactions with this change although it will be more difficult to encourage people to engage with the limited space available for call-to-action. There are several editorial options to position your most popular content more prominently. Last, but not least and fundamental to the update you can add images for earlier in the brands history.
Well, those are our tips for setting up your page for effective communications based on a first look. Namita Patel (TheSMadmin)I'm Namita Patel, and the owner and marketing strategist behind The Search Marketer. Majestic Media, a global Facebook marketing agency, has come up with nine time-saving tips for marketing on Facebook.
It checks domain names, Facebook and Twitter extensions in a matter of seconds to see if your desired vanity URL is available. If you’re looking to push content to Facebook and other social networks, you can benefit from using a tool like HootSuite, which allows you to publish once and distribute everywhere.
However, large budgets aren’t required to launch a lot of the basic applications seen on Facebook.
Also, most of these services provide a "freemium" model that offers some applications for free. Typically, these pages are fan-gated, meaning the person is asked to “like” the page to unveil more content. A new study from Gigya shows that users who visit third-party sites through Facebook Connect spend 50% more time on those sites.
Above, you'll see the Facebook application Majestic Media built for Volkswagen, which invited users to participate in the next Volkswagen commercial.

They’re free to use and are a quick and easy way to market your brand or message through referral traffic. You can see which status updates performed best, whether your audience responds well to video and get a sense of what's driving your Likes.
So, Facebook users who have French or Spanish as their default language on the site will only see your content that's in their native tongue. Once you've entered your specific targeting information, you can hit "Okay" and proceed with your status update, geared for that specific audience. QR codes can be leveraged on napkins, menus, business cards, billboards, magazines, brochures and other forms of marketing materials.Esponce is one of the most powerful QR code platforms on the market, and it offers a free tier that’s typically geared to small businesses. Most people don’t realize how easy they are to set up or that you can buy in with a small ad spend.
If a user doesn't click on the "Like" button, don't interpret that as your campaign not working — these ads are relevant because they keep users engaged and informed with the latest in your marketing campaign. According to a study by TBG Digital, Facebook’s new Sponsored Stories ad units nabbed a 46% higher click-through rate, a 20% lower cost per click and an 18% lower cost per fan than Facebook’s standard ad units. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe.
What Facebook won’t tell you are the marketing tactics that you lose and gain through the new update, that’s what we’ll summarise here, using examples to illustrate the new features. What’s missing is a huge headache for companies who are reliant on Facebook as their main way of interacting with customers online, which today is many FMCG brands. This isn’t a big surprise since the company pages follow the model of consumer timeline pages launched in January.
There are also opportunities to make good on all of these missing features through applications and other pages. The best place to start is to preview your timeline which you’ll be able to do if you’re an Admin. If you use the preview mode we’ve been using to update  the Smart Insights Facebook page, you can see what’s possible. The types of information that appear in the summary box are specific to your Page’s category.
It’s an approach most companies in the preview don’t use – but I noticed this gaming company using the approach prompting a visit to the site. Do let us know any other tips or features to make it more effective – we certainly need to tweak our page in the week ahead. I am passionate about online marketing, and I derive great pleasure from my clients' successes.
You can integrate your Facebook Page, Twitter account, Google+ page, LinkedIn profile and other social networks — all within one easy-to-use interface. Keep in mind that you won’t get a customized app, but you can manage the content and visuals within pre-developed apps that are available. It was utilized to build meaningful conversations within the application, while driving new social traffic to the campaign.
Think of them as a brand awareness play — just because they aren't clicked, doesn't mean they're not acknowledged.
When I'm not dreaming about marketing, I enjoy playing the piano, running & swimming, reading, and spending time with my family.

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