How to Use Facebook

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Types of Facebook Content

Overview:

  • Facebook Profiles: for individuals. Ideally, businesses should create Facebook Pages for their businesses using a personal Facebook profile. DON'T CREATE A FACEBOOK PROFILE FOR YOUR MAIN PRESENCE ON FACEBOOK. USE A PAGE INSTEAD
  • Facebook Pages: USE THIS. It's the best choice for businesses (including hostels). Facebook pages are best for business-to-customer relationships.
  • Facebook Groups: for organizing groups where each individual user posts under his or her own name, including the group officers. Facebook groups are best for peer-to-peer relationships, where people (including hostel employees) post under their own names. DON'T CREATE A FACEBOOK GROUP FOR YOUR MAIN PRESENCE ON FACEBOOK. USE A PAGE INSTEAD


Facebook Profiles

Facebook profiles are best type of content for individual people. Ideally, hostels should create Facebook Pages for the hostel(s) instead of Facebook Profiles. Individual people create personal Facebook profiles which they can then use to create Pages and Groups or their hostel(s). More than one employee can administer a group or a page.

Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Groups

Facebook Pages and Groups are similar in many ways. Here are some of the features that are different:

Feature
Facebook Groups
Facebook Pages
Limit Membership Yes No
Invite Friends "invite people to join" "suggest to friends"
Import Blog Updates No Yes
Visitor Stats No Yes
Extra Applications No Yes
Social Ad Targeting Yes Yes
Message Members Yes (5000 limit) No
Show your updates in followers'/members' Facebook homepage No Yes
Posting name group admins post under their own names all page admins post under a single business name
Interactive Fan Box No Yes
Custom URLs No Yes

If you want your hostel to have a "profile" on Facebook, the best way to go is to create a Facebook Page. A Facebook page is the equivalent of a Facebook profile, but for businesses.

Facebook Pages

A Facebook page is a page for your hostel or business. Other Facebook users become "fans" of Facebook pages. This is the recommended type of content for hostels to create on Facebook.

Read the official explanation of Facebook pages here.

Here are some sample hostel-related Facebook pages:


How to Make a Facebook Page

When you're ready to create your Facebook page, click here.

Choose the category Hotel / Lodging. When adding your business name, try to include the word "hostel" or "hostels" as well as the name of your city. Google spiders and indexes Facebook pages and the page will appear in search engine results if it has the word hostel and your city in it. (See also the Piggyback SEO page for more information about this concept.)

Creating a New Facebook Page.png

Once you click "Create page" you'll have the options to add information, upload photos, videos and events.

Custom URLs

Once you have a certain number of followers (~100), Facebook will allow you to create a custom URL for your Facebook page. For example, the URL of the HostelManagement.com Facebook page is, http://www.facebook.com/hostelmanagement. To set a custom URL for your Facebook page, go to this page and click on "Set a username for your Pages."

Advertising Facebook Pages

You can advertise Facebook pages so that they appear in the right sidebar of the screen for targeted users:

Facebook Ads.png

Facebook ads can be highly targeted. In this example, I'm targeting people between the ages of 18 and 30 who are interested in men or women and are single or in a relationship in the United States:

Facebook Ad Targeting.png

Read a case study of how a hostel used Facebook ads.

Facebook advertising probably isn't as useful for increasing bookings as much as it has the potential to increase brand awareness by flashing your name and logo in front of a large number of people. You only pay if somebody clicks on the ad.

Facebook Groups

A Facebook Page has "fans"; a Facebook Group has "members". A Facebook Page is a more flexible way to represent a business on Facebook than a Group. Multiple employees will be able to post updates under the hostel's name. With a group, each employee will be posting under their own name, and those updates won't appear in the followers' home page. Also, with a group you won't be able to create a Fan Box for your website. A Facebook page is better than a group for creating a hostel's Facebook presence.

Here are some sample hostel-related Facebook groups:

Facebook Events

Events can be added to pages or groups. You can invite people to the event and they can reply whether they are attending or not. Events can be private or public.

Facebook Friends

There is a limit to the number of Facebook friends you can add per day. Facebook will warn you if you reach the limit.

Your Facebook home page will show updates of what your friends are doing, and your friends will see updates about what you are doing. If you do interesting things, your friends may click through and check out what you're doing.

Facebook Status Updates

Facebook status updates let your friends know what you are doing. The image below shows the user's last status update along with the box where a new update can be added.

Facebook Status Updates.gif

If you have a Facebook page, your hostel's updates will appear on your fans' Facebook homepage. By posting updates and photos daily, your followers will be able to continually see your business in their Facebook homepage stream. It's an opportunity to show your Page's followers how interesting your hostel is, as well as increase the hostel's name recognition.

Facebook Applications

Facebook applications are usually 3rd party programs that can be added to Facebook profiles or pages.

One example application that you could add to a Facebook page is the Reviews Application which allows fans to leave reviews of your hostel on your Facebook page.

Facebook Connect

Facebook Connect is a way that external websites can programmatically connect to Facebook. Facebook connect is beyond the scope of this wiki page, but you can see examples on the Facebook Connect website. A simpler way to connect your website with Facebook is with Facebook widgets.

Facebook Like Button

There is a tutorial in the forum on how to add a Facebook Like Button To a hostel's website.

If using WordPress try this plugin for Facebook integration.