Many F&B outlets I worked with have a Facebook Page first and website second.

Go to any F&B outlet and you will see a poster that says Find Us On Facebook. However, finding us on Facebook is not as easy as it seems.

The biggest problem is Facebook Search as it isn't as good as Google.

Facebook Search, it seems, is based on the Page Name, not Vanity URL, and it matches the text accordingly.

For example, if your Page Name is ABC Cafe and your customers search for ABCCafe, Facebook search will bring the customer to ABCCafe Facebook Page instead of ABC Cafe Facebook Page.

I worked with a merchant who faced the same problem as above.  The merchant brand name as ABCShoes Pte Ltd but its Page Name was ABC Shoes. A customer actually found a ABCShoes Page and liked that page thinking it was from ABCShoes Pte Ltd. The customer was finding it weird that the content was different and highlighted it to the shop when she was there. Even the staff was confused with ABCShoes and ABC SHoes.

So how do you get customers at your shop to find your Facebook Page?

First, when you launch your Facebook Page, align your Page Name to Your brand name. Second, create a new Facebook account with no friends and try to do a search of your brand on Facebook Search.

If you have not done this, and I know most brands are still quite ignorant of this, you should get a vanity url from Facebook for your Page. This can be done from Facebook.com/username

By default, Facebook will set your Page URL to your Page Name followed by the Page ID number, which could by six digits or more by now. There is a no way your customer is going to spend time entering those six digits.

With the vanity URL, you now have http://Facebook.com/brand which you can print on your in-store posters. If you have want to have a shorter url, you can just put http://FB.com/brand.

The rule of thumb is that most of your customers will be liking your Page via their mobile phones so keep the vanity url short and simple. Some merchants have egos and their vanity url matches the length of their ego, but to the consumer, the shorter the better.

With this vanity URL, you can use link shorterners, like bit.ly, or put the link in a QR code for customers to scan.

Are QR codes effective? Yes if done correctly, but I will be leaving it for another post.



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