Consider Reveal Tabs
A popular way to grow your fanbase is to use a Reveal Tab. This is a custom page that shows specific content only to people who have already "Liked" the page. You can use this feature to present Facebook-only offers, such as coupons, a discount code, or a free ebook. To set up a Reveal Tab, you can use a third-party tool such as Pagemodo or NorthSocial's FanOffer.
In my guide to creating a Facebook page, I walk through creating a custom tab using the WSIWYG editor Pagemodo. Pagemodo calls its reveal tabs feature a "Like" gate, and offers the function as the fourth step in creating a new Facebook page. This feature is easy to enable, but it requires a Pro Package (which costs a little more than $13 a month).
North Social has a number of applications, and all are included when you sign up (for a fee starting at $20 a month). Fan Offer is the tool for creating reveal tabs for Facebook. Once you sign up, you need to allow access and then connect the application to your North Social account. Unlike with Pagemodo, in Fan Offer you create the reveal tab on Facebook directly.
The Fan Offer application is image-based. You provide one image that nonfans will see, plus a second image for fans. For example, the nonfan image can offer a tease such as "Like our page for an exclusive offer,” while the image for fans will tell them how to get a free item. You will need to make each 520-by-800-pixel image in advance. Once you have the images, however, adding them to the North Social app is a simple upload.
Add E-Commerce to Facebook
Although it's best to use Facebook primarily for reputation management and customer service, you can also integrate e-commerce and sell your products there. Two types of applications can help you do this, and I'll discuss a third-party tool for each. One pulls in data from an existing storefront on your website, via XML. The second is a stand-alone Facebook store. If you already have an online store, choose the first method.
Third-party tool Storefront Social works with an existing online store. You can import your products via an XML feed or a CSV spreadsheet, or input data manually. Features include social share for letting fans share your product information. The basic plan costs $10 a month, and all plans include a seven-day free trial.
The basic plan doesn't include an import via XML, and it doesn't facilitate purchases made on Facebook; instead, when a customer is ready to buy a product, the page will direct them to your Web store. Since you can enter product data manually, you can integrate an Amazon Marketplace, eBay, or Etsy store on Facebook using Storefront Social.
TabJuice is a free, third-party online storefront that fully integrates with Facebook as a stand-alone store. Features include social integration, sales tax and shipping, accounting features, storefront design, and inventory management. TabJuice also includes promotions and lets you set up discounts that start and end during a designated time.
Once you visit TabJuice and select Open a Storefront, it takes you to Facebook to sign up. You then follow the Quick Start Guide. After designing the store, adding products, and activating the store, you must attach the store to your Facebook page and set up your payment gateway.
If you sell services rather than products, an application like TabJuice is still a good choice because you can customize it for your own offerings, and it isn't tied to an existing online store. You could also create a custom Facebook page with descriptions of your services that links over to your website for the customer to get more information or contact you directly. The e-commerce applications for Facebook are more tailored for selling products, however, so you will want to be more creative in how you set this up.
Perform Ongoing Maintenance
You'll be making a big time investment up front by setting goals, creating a custom page, crafting special offers, and establishing an online store. Even if you don't use these extra features, you'll want to post links, comments, and questions to your Facebook page regularly, as well as to respond to customer concerns. Depending on your company size and resources, this effort could be weekly, daily, or even hourly. You can make this time more efficient by tracking your page's progress through Facebook Insights.
Facebook Insights will help you determine the level of fan engagement, and it will let you know if people are discussing your posts, saying positive things about your company, or sharing your content with their Facebook friends. Divided into four sections, Insights was recently updated to include more data. You can export all of the data from the main Insights screen to analyze later.
Consider Facebook Ads
Advertising on Facebook can be an affordable way to increase the visibility of your business to other Facebook users. You can target each ad based on Facebook user location, demographics, and interests, and you can set a budget. For example, if Insights shows that I have a lot of visitors from Sweden, I may consider creating an ad campaign for users there. Or if most of my visitors are male, I might want to consider a campaign for female visitors in a certain age range.
Start with a small budget and determine how well your ads perform by how many new fans you get, as well as by Insights data. Once you've used up your budget, your ad will no longer appear until you add more funds. Ads are available via the Resources section of Facebook; go to Edit Page, Resources, Advertise on Facebook.