Professional Facebook Design & Features for Business Success

Face it. Most businesses need Facebook.

After all, it’s where your customers are these days: more than 250 million people now log onto Facebook every day. And people who Like your business on Facebook are more likely to recommend your business to a friend.

And it’s getting harder and harder every day to compete online without a strong Facebook presence, without a professional and dynamic Facebook business page.

A professional design typically gets more people to “Like” your Facebook page. And professional design with custom tab functionality allows your business to leverage Facebook for so much more. It can help you showcase your products and services, grow your Facebook fan base, capture leads, launch contests and viral promotions, even sell directly from Facebook.

But professional Facebook design and programming is a lot to ask of most small to medium-sized business owners who have so much on their plate already, right?

That’s where EarthLink Web Hosting comes in.

Our social media experts can set up your Facebook page, design a cover image that showcases your business, create a custom page tab, and get you going down the path to Facebook success with SocialPageCreator Pro.

Customize your Facebook business page with SocialPageCreator Pro.What You Get with EarthLink’s SocialPageCreator Pro Plan

The benefits of SocialPageCreator Pro plan start with a 1-on-1 consultation with one of our social media experts. After learning about your business and your needs, we’ll get started setting up your Facebook business page (if you don’t have one that’s working for you already).

We’ll custom-design a cover image for the new Facebook Timeline format.

We’ll design one customized Facebook tab to help drive new Likes for your business.

And our Facebook experts will even write 3 wall posts to help your new Facebook page get started successfully.

After our experts complete this initial hands-on launch phase, you’ll have access to the SocialPageCreator Pro tool in your EarthLink Web Hosting Control Panel. This easy-to-use tool lets you expand and revise your Facebook page at any time.

What You Can Do with the SocialPageCreator Pro Tool

Just log in to your Control Panel to do all this with SocialPageCreator Pro:

  • Easily publish as many custom Facebook tabs as you need
  • Change/update your Facebook tabs as often as you like
  • Create new contests & promotions
  • Create new Facebook cover images
  • Create custom Twitter backgrounds
  • Create forms to capture information & leads
  • Easily add videos, slideshows & maps
  • List your products with links to purchase on your website
  • Sell directly on your Facebook page via Paypal button
  • Add your Twitter feed & Twitter follow buttons to Facebook

Benefits of SocialPageCreator Pro

The benefits of SocialPageCreator Pro extend well beyond the initial professional setup of your Facebook page.

With SocialPageCreator Pro powering your Facebook business page, you’ll be able to continue to capture leads, distribute coupons, launch contests and viral promotions, showcase videos or photo galleries, feature seasonal products or specials, and more.

And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg, even though you’ll be working one-on-one with a Facebook expert who will do custom design work for you.

Our SocialPageCreator Pro plan is just $34.95/mo. for the first 12 months, and then only $12.95/mo. after that.

If you already have one of our build your own website or professional website design hosting plans, you can add SocialPageCreator Pro by clicking the Buy Services tab in your EarthLink Control Panel.

If you’re not a web hosting customer yet, you can sign up for any of our hosting plans and add SocialPageCreator Pro during online signup.

Or give us a call at 1-800-201-8615.

5 Reasons to Build Your Web Site on Your Own Domain

Build your web site on your own domain for a solid foundation.

Build your business web site on your own domain -- to give it a solid foundation.

It’s safe to say that most small businesses these days know they need a web presence.

But there are a couple of mistakes that some businesses are making when they decide how to get their business online. And both mistakes are related to not having their site at their own domain name.

The first mistake is blogging with a free subdomain on a blog host like wordpress.com (or blogspot.com or another free blog provider). This is different than using WordPress to build a blog on your own domain, which is available for all EarthLink Web Hosting customers .

The second is relying entirely on Facebook.

So, what’s wrong with not having your site at a domain you own?

These are the top 5 problems with not creating a web site at your own domain…

1. Branding – We are Facebook fans at EarthLink. EarthLink and EarthLink Business have Facebook pages we’re proud of.

But if Facebook is your only online presence, you are diminishing your brand and putting it second to another company: Facebook.

As cool as it is, your Facebook page is at a Facebook.com URL. As well designed as it is, your Facebook page has a Facebook logo in the top left corner where you would expect to see your logo. We encourage you to get a business page on Facebook, but your brand also needs a place of its own to be #1. So build your website at your own branded domain.

With a blog at yoursite.wordpress.com you can avoid the issue of having another company’s logo a the top of your page (blogspot.com blogs have blogger.com logos and other blogger.com links), but the Web address will still be a wordpress.com URL. Since  your URL represents your business in many places, that’s not an ideal situation.

2. Confusion – This issue is closely related to the branding issue. When your webpage or URL is not entirely your own, it can cause some confusion. And when there is confusion online, business suffers. You especially don’t want someone thinking they may have gone to the wrong site if they end up at a wordpress.com URL – especially with phishing scams and other online security issues.

3. Control – If you don’t own it, you don’t control it. And that’s certainly the case with Facebook.com. If it were fully your page, you wouldn’t have put Facebook’s logo at the top, would you? You may be a fan of the Facebook timeline format, but many businesses aren’t, and they’re still stuck with it. Likewise, many businesses weren’t happy about changes to the tabs and other design and functionality changes Facebook has unilaterally rolled out.

It’s safe to say, Facebook will continue to change their site, which means they will continue to change your site, whether you like it or not, if Facebook.com is your only presence.

On your own domain, you decide what you want and what you don’t. On Facebook, Facebook decides.

This is a less obvious issue with a free subdomain on wordpress.com since the page looks more like your own and you can choose from a wide variety of themes and layouts.

But WordPress can still change requirements and you would either have to accept them or leave (which presents very real problems for your business). WordPress.com also runs its own ads on free subdomain sites (though you can pay to remove them).

4. Analytics – Facebook has recently released what they call Insights for business pages. Insights offer some visibility into your Likes, reach, and demographics of your audience, but it’s not nearly the amount of information and insight you can get from a full-fledged analytics program such as the free Google Analytics, or the built-in analytics available in our EarthLink Web Hosting Control Center.

WordPress.com offers more robust Stats than Facebook, but they still may not be everything you are looking for.

5. SEO – Facebook business pages and WordPress.com subdomains can both rank on search engine results pages, but each has limitations when it comes to search engine optimization or SEO.

Compared to a website on a domain you own, Facebook presents a more limited opportunity to develop content targeted to specific keywords to help your SEO. Facebook limits the number and kind of pages/tabs you can have.

Facebook also presents some challenges with Google search result sitelinks. Sitelinks are the extra links Google sometimes returns along with the link to your homepage. Ideally these are the most important pages on your website.

With your own domain website, you have some control over these links through Google Webmaster Tools. But Facebook pages sometimes appear with sitelinks under your main Facebook page that aren’t even from your page at all.

EarthLink’s Facebook page sometimes appears alongside links to unrelated pages that look from the search results like they are affiliated with us. Since we don’t control Facebook.com, we cannot exclude these links in Webmaster Tools.

With a subdomain site on WordPress.com, the biggest SEO issue comes if you want to move your site to your own domain after you’ve developed lots of SEO-enhancing links to your wordpress.com site.

WordPress.com does now offer some services to help you establish 301 redirects so you don’t lose the value of your incoming links, but it is an add-on service that you’d need to continue paying for as long as you want the redirects live (which could be…forever).

Your biggest SEO problem using either Facebook or WordPress.com would be if they went out of business (or changed their business dramatically).

It certainly doesn’t look likely, but it has happened before. Geocites was once an enormous provider of free websites. Then they disappeared. Google is still running blogger.com, but they have recently closed down many other businesses, so you never know. It is also possible that future problems with other sites on the larger blog domains could spill over and negatively impact SEO on your site.

When you own your own domain name, you own it independent of the company that hosts your site. Even if you sign up for EarthLink Web hosting and choose your business’s domain name in that sign-up process, it is your domain and will continue to be yours as long as you keep renewing your domain registration, no matter what hosting company you use.

 

Facebook & Your Business: How We Can Help

SocialPageCreator Pro service for building and enhancing Facebook business pagesIs your business on Facebook? It should be.

Is your business presence on Facebook professional and engaging? It should be.

Why?

Just before Facebook’s IPO in May, Experian Hitwise published 15 Stats About Facebook.

Here are just four of the eye-opening stats about Facebook that you should consider:

  • 1 in every 5 page views in the U.S. occurred on Facebook.com.
  • Facebook.com has received more than 400 billion page views this year in the U.S.
  • Facebook.com became the #1 ranked website in the U.S. on March 9, 2010.
  • Facebook users are highly loyal; 96% of Facebook visitors were returning visitors in April 2012.

Bank robber Willie Sutton supposedly answered the question “Why do you rob banks?” with “Because that’s where the money is.”

That’s essentially why your business needs a professional presence on Facebook. Because that’s where your customers are.

Yes, we know it’s difficult to add another thing to do on top of all you are already doing for your business.

But we can help.

One of the newest add-on services for EarthLink Web Hosting is called SocialPageCreator Pro.

With SocialPageCreator Pro, you can have a professional Facebook presence, attract new customers, and get more people to “Like” your business on Facebook.

If you choose this add-on during sign-up for our web hosting or ecommerce hosting service or call us to add it to your hosting account later, our design experts will help get your Facebook page up and running quickly with an engaging professional design.

SocialPageCreator Pro lets you leverage social media to showcase your products and services, launch viral promotions, run special contests, and capture new leads.

If you don’t already have a Facebook business page, we help you set one up.

We also create a custom Facebook page tab to drive new “Likes,” and design your new cover image to take advantage of Facebook’s new timeline format.

Once you are set up, SocialPageCreator Pro makes it easy to change/update Facebook tabs as often as you like.

If you’re interested in getting your business started on Facebook, or you want help optimizing your social media presence there, give us a call at 1-800-201-8615.