No matter what your personal thoughts are about Facebook, having a presence on the social platform is key for any business wanting to build brand awareness and interact with customers. That’s because the average social media user who reaches out to a company is on Facebook; the more savvy consumers (and some Facebook haters) use Twitter and Google+ more than other platforms.
With that, you also want what you post on Facebook to gain as much attention – real, organic attention – as possible. This helps Facebook tailor news feeds so more of your customers actually see your posts.
Did you know, though, that you can gain traction for Facebook posts outside of the Facebook site? Here are three tools Facebook provides (for free) that will help boost brand recognition and sharing:
1. Embed Facebook posts on your blog or website.
By embedding an important or popular post at your own site you can garner likes as if those users saw the post in their timelines. While I wouldn’t recommend you embed third-party posts unless you’re certain they’ll remain intact, embedding content you have total control over cuts down on potential “not found” and altered messages.
Here’s a post I made on my professional Facebook page:
Go ahead and give it a like – the count on my original post will go up.
To embed a post, click the pale arrow next to the right of the poster’s name and click Embed Post. Note that only public posts can be embedded. Currently the only setting you can control is the width of the embed, which must fall between 350 and 750 pixels.
A benefit to this tool is that visitors need not be logged into Facebook to see the content. If the profile of the poster is public, they’ll also be able to load the originating Facebook page. They just won’t be able to “like” the post.
2. Include a Page Like Button on your website.
Don’t just link to your Facebook page. Let people “like” it right from the comfort of your website. This method has two benefits – your follower count goes up and the visitor is still on your content page, where you actually want him.
Setting up a Facebook Like Box is easy, and you have control over many things. You can opt to show faces or recent posts; you can control the height and width.
This box will also be seen by non-Facebookers.
3. Integrate Facebook Comments on your site.
There are two ways to allow people to post comments on a website using their Facebook profile. One is to integrate comment system which allow users to identify themselves via a Facebook login. Another method is to implement Facebook comments.
I’ll be honest. I’ve never liked the idea of comments being tied to one specific source. For example, I use Disqus on this site, but the comments posted here are also backed up to a WordPress database. Thus, if Disqus ever closes down, I click a few buttons and the comments are still tied to the posts. Facebook comments can also be exported, but it’s a trickier process.
There are pros and cons to weigh before implementing Facebook comments on your blog or website. First, the more comments posted on a topic, the increased chance of a slow-down. Also, anyone in a workplace that blocks Facebook won’t be able to see or make comments. And, while the comment box includes linking to Yahoo! AOL and Hotmail, it does not allow for guest posting or logging in from other services.
On the flip side, if the bulk of your target audience uses Facebook, this tool provides a great cross-promotion method. Some sites utilize Facebook commenting along with a native or third-party comment system to cover the most bases possible.
One more thing… a private send tool.
Facebook also provides a custom send button tool. Unlike the share button, which is designed for posting information on one’s timeline, the send button lets users share content via private messages. This is the least-used button, but giving visitors a quick way to share links privately with their Facebook friends can still play a role in sales and conversions. Unfortunately, many Facebook users aren’t familiar with this button, so you’ll want to preface it with some simple text like “Share this privately with Facebook friends” or “Share this page as a private message”.
Implementing any of the code for these tools on your website or store is a fairly simple process for any webmaster or designer. For those savvier with code, Facebook includes some additional parameters, which are all outline on the respective tool’s page.
Will you be implementing any of these socially simple features on your site, blog or online store? Which one(s) do you fancy most?