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Monday, September 19, 2011

Starting a Business? Get a Digital Footprint. Today-Facebook Ads

Last Friday I attended the Women's Entrepreneurial Luncheon. There I heard about and met many women who are at different stages in starting businesses. The panel of speakers recommended several things that relate to technology use. They mentioned knowing both Excel and Powerpoint especially in terms of communicating with Lenders about the plans for the business. They talked about the importance of having a professional looking website and an online presence. Facebook, Twitter and reading blogs were mentioned. It really emphasized for me how much things have changed.

So, this post will focus on Facebook Ads step by step.

I. HAVING A DIGITAL FOOTPRINT
You all know what a footprint is, but you may not have thought about having a digital footprint. This is an imprint of what people can find out about you online. If you Google my name (Janice Friesen) you can find out a lot about me. Most of it is stuff that I have intentionally put online. I recently searched for one of my customers and found out wonderful things about his life and the things he has done.

Your company digital footprint should be something that shows you in a good light and lets your customers know what you want them to know about you. Facebook is just one part of that digital foot print. You do not even need to have a personal Facebook account in order to create a business page or ad.

II. THE FIRST PLACE TO GO
There are very clear and helpful directions for how to do this in the Facebook Help Center. To get to that you go to http://facebook.com and then at the bottom of the page click on HELP. You do NOT have to log in.

III. CREATING A FACEBOOK PAGE OR AD FOR YOUR BUSINESS
You can start with a Business Page OR an Ad. A Page is a place where you can communicate to your customers about what you are doing. People can "like" your page, but it does not give them access to your private information or information about others who like the page. When anyone clicks  "LIKE", a message about your business is posted to their wall stating that they like your business. You also receive an email about their connection to you and there is a number on the page that shows how many people "like" your business.

Facebook Ads is the next step. It allows you to narrow down where you want your ads to show up, what type of people should see them and how much you want to pay for them. You fill in the form for your Ad with a picture, some text and a link to your business webpage or email. The ad will show up on people's Facebook pages as many times as you have budgeted. I set my first one up saying that I would pay $3 a click for up to $12 a day. I targeted Austin, Texas and chose that it go to everyone who was had not indicated that they "like" I'm not a Geek.com yet. Facebook regularly sent me information on how many "impressions" (how many times it showed up on a page) the Ad had and how much I was spending for clicks. I was surprised to have many people that I do not know LIKING I'm not a Geek.com and actually clicking on the ad. Now I am able to adjust the number of clicks or total amount I want to spend a day so that it better meets the business goals. You can even create an ad with a coupon that people can get by clicking the ad. I am just at the beginning of using this, so I cannot say how effective it will be. There is a very similar Ad feature in Google which will bring your ad up to the top of the search results for Google. There is so much to explore and learn!

P.S. A free addition for my faithful readers. In
honor of Talk Like a Pirate day here is a podcast done last year by some cute First Grade student-pirates.



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