Creating a Facebook Page Part III: Creating a vanity URL

Unfortunately, the URL to your page on Facebook  is an impossible-to-remember huge string of numbers and letters.   Vanity URLs which are shorter and easier to remember are only available to businesses which spend a significant amount of money on Facebook advertising (for instance, The Gap has  http://www.facebook.com/gap).

But using your own website and hosting company’s “subdomain” creation facility, you can create something like http://www.thatsoftwareguy.com/facebook or http://facebook.thatsoftwareguy.com and have them point to http://www.facebook.com/pages/That-Software-Guy/29706430641.  URLs like these are much easier to remember and pass around.

Creating a Facebook Page Part II: Adding fresh content

One of the challenges of adding a Facebook Page to your already overflowing list of things-to-do is figuring out how you’re going to add fresh content on an ongoing basis.

One way that Facebook makes it easy to do this is using the Facebook Notes facility.    Click the Edit button at the top right hand side of the title bar of Notes, and Import an External Blog.  For That Software Guy’s page on Facebook,   I use only the “That Software Guy” related posts from my blog, which are identified by the following URL:

http://thecartblog.com/category/that-software-guy/feed

Of course, you may choose to import your entire feed or just a portion of it.

Creating a Facebook Page

What the heck is a Facebook Page?  And how is it different from a profile on Facebook?

There are three main differences:

  • Facebook profiles may only be created for real people, and each person may only have one account.  Facebook pages may be created for businesses, groups, clubs, bands, etc.
  • Facebook profiles can only be viewed by your friends; Facebook pages can be viewed by anyone.
  • Facebook profiles do not get indexed by Google; Facebook pages do.

For traffic and reputation management for your business, creating a Facebook Page is really  a no-brainer.

Some helpful resources are available on the web to get you started creating your own Facebook Page.   First, a general overview is provided by social media guru Mari Smith.   Once you get through that, you’ll be ready for Facebook’s own Help Center entry on Pages and the Facebook Pages Insider’s Guide, a PDF document which describes how to use Pages.

For an example Facebook page, take a look at That Software Guy’s page on Facebook.

Chris Brogan talks about LinkedIn

Social guru Chris Brogan wrote an article about how he uses LinkedIn which I thought was quite interesting. He advises being generous in connecting but restrained in recommending, which is consistent with my thoughts about best practices.

The only point of difference I have with his article is that he only briefly touches on LinkedIn’s Q&A feature (and then only to commend it as an advertising vehicle). I think that it is one of the most useful things about LinkedIn – a tremendous resource both for gathering opinions from other professionals about issues of concern to you and your business, and for demonstrating your expertise in areas your business operates. (Note that this is different from advertising; advertising is saying you’re an expert. Answering questions on LinkedIn is showing it.)

Reputation Management

I’ve read a few interesting posts recently about reputation management – a fancy phrase for “pushing the bad stuff off the first page of Google.”

I’ve been requesting and displaying recommendations on my Linked In profile. Does anyone else use a different mechanism (beyond simply entering them directly on your own website)?