How to Categorize Your Facebook Page to Generate More Business

When Facebook overhauled Pages in February, one positive outcome was the new flexibility to choose (or change) the category for your business Page.  

Previously, your category choice was locked in.  So, this was definitely a welcome upgrade.

Now Facebook is asking selected Page admins to confirm their category and I happened to be one of them. Needless to say this is raising questions.  Why?

 

2011.4.7 Confirm Your Category

 

Search Drives the Web

Whenever there is a new turn in the road with respect to the social networks, you can bet the reason has to do with search. Search is why we all do this, although for different reasons. Your reasons are to be found by new customers for your business; Facebook's objective is to make money by selling ads.

You share content that helps more future customers to Like your small business, and Facebook sells advertising to encourage the process by generating more income.  Everyone wins.

Categories and Your Business Model

To determine your best category choice, my recommendation is give strong consideration to your business model – i.e. how you generate income.  This may not be so apparent for every small business.

For example, while I gave a great deal of consideration to my category when I established the Jeff Korhan page several months ago, I wanted to be sure before confirming with Facebook today.  So, I looked at other sites such as Social Media Examiner, where I am a guest blogger.

Their Facebook Page is categorized as Media/News/Publishing. I considered using that category because it is more representative of my Facebook Page purpose – to engage an audience by sharing valuable new social media and Internet marketing content – news that small businesses can use to grow.

However, unlike Social Media Examiner, which generates revenue directly from media events, such as the upcoming Social Media Summit, my income is primarily from speaking engagements and consulting. This is why I chose the Consulting/Business Services category.

Help Facebook Categorize Your Page

Facebook is intentionally forcing you to pick a specific category from a list so that they can more readily index your business Page and use it to send more traffic to it via ads that generate revenue for Facebook.  

This is why you should eagerly comply.

I did some comparisons with some of my colleagues and discovered their pages are categorized as Small Business.  This is a good category, but the problem is its no longer on Facebook's list – evidently pre-dating the present system - one that is gearing up for social search.

So, when Facebook sells ads they will ask the advertisers to choose a category to target. If you have a grandfathered category for your Page that is no longer on their list, you will be less likely to be discovered by new customers. It's that simple.

Categories with Facebook are a two-step process. First you choose from column A, then they give you a corresponding list to choose from in column B.

Here is the column B you receive when you choose Companies and Organizations in column A, as I did.

2011.4.7 Categories
This secondary list will be completely different if you choose Local Business as your primary column A category.  Out of curiosity, I selected Other in column A and the only secondary column B choice was Community.

2011.4.7 Community

Community is where Facebook would like to place all of us because it helps them to direct a larger audience to our Pages, giving them the ability to sell more ads.  Think of this as the Yellow Pages. That's right, you'll get more traffic, but you'll spend a lot of time sifting to find the customers that are right for you.

So, you can see that when you try to operate by your rules and try to be all things to all people you are only helping Facebook.  They win, but not you.

Define your category well and you will be more likely to achieve alignment – bringing in new prospects that you can more readily convert to customers.

Everybody wins. 

Don't wait for Facebook to prompt you.  Choose the right category for your Facebook Page now so that you can be ready for what's coming - Social search.

Feel free to share this with your friends by clicking on the Facebook Like button.

And please consider subscribing to JeffKorhan.com to learn more ways to profitably grow your small business.

Until tomorrow,  Jeff  

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Comments

  1. Thanks Jeff, Great information!

  2. Your welcome 🙂

    Jeff

  3. Jeff, when I checked my Facebook page this morning, it did, in fact, ask me to reclassify, which I did without much thought. After reading your post, however, I better understand the classification process and have since went back and adjusted my previous choice. Thanks for the explanation. It was certainly helpful.

    Lisa

  4. Lisa – Feedback like this is music to a bloggers ears. I appreciate you taking a moment to do so. 🙂

    Jeff

    Sent from my iPhone

    Jeff Korhan

    630-774-8350
    speaker@truenature.com
    blog: http://jeffkorhan.com
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeffkorhan

  5. Hi Jeff

    and i thought FB just did things for the love of it lol.. I’m getting tired of FB slowly.. i’ll always keep my fanpage current as thats what gets me business but not so bothered about the personal page as they just want way too much info

    Mark
    http://www.brewsterinn.com

  6. Truth is I know several people that have gotten bored with FB and have literally let their profiles go idle. Though for businesses it is powerful. In fact, some days the traffic it brings to this blog is amazing.

    Gotta keep your sanity though!

    Jeff

  7. Hello Jeff, thank you for a very informative blog. I am a web developer and have a client that wants to add a blog to their website. They want to keep their website and not migrate it to the Typepad platform.

    We want to set up a Typepad blog and link to it from the “parent” website. There are two ways to do this.

    1. Link to the actual Typepad blog URL using a URL like this:

    http://moneyworks.typepad.com.

    2. Map a subdomain to the actual Typepad blog like this.

    http://www.moneyworks.abcfinancial.com

    “abztfinancial” is a fictitious domain name.

    The client is interested in the blog posts being seen as new content added frequently to the “parent” website “abcfinancial.com” so that Google and other bots will this fresh content and factor it into the ranking algorithms that contribute to better site search rankings.

    Is this even possible? If so, what is the best way to deploy the URL to the Typepad blog to achieve blog content as being fresh website content?

    We will be happy to use your affiliate link when we sign up for the Typepad blog.

    Thank you very much for your time.

  8. Hi Jeff,

    Hate to be dense, but…My blog is about me, my thoughts, etc., and I am seeking to gain an audience for my writing and some short videos I plan to post, perhaps interviews of people of “interest”. My target audience is baby boomers. I am mixing up topics that pop into my head that may be of interest to other demographics, as well. My question is: What would be the best categories for me to choose on facebook? I’m sooo confused. Thanks for any help in that regard.
    Best, Shannon
    http://www.boomerconfessions.com

  9. Shannon – Your blog is not about you, but the perspective you have that is valuable to a community.

    Try this – take a sheet of paper and write down the characteristics of your ideal audience. Then write to that.

    Help them in whatever ways you can – with solutions to problems, inspiration, etc.

    Remember that if one person in that audience is helped by your blog, there are probably many more too that you many never even know of because they share similar qualities – needs and aspirations.

    Jeff

  10. Jeff, I have been disappointed overall with the tools available to businesses on FB. Does FB offer different apps or features to specific business categories? Say Local Business vs. Companies and Organizations?

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Jason – I’ve tended to stay away from Facebook apps in general as the security seems to be low. A better method may be paying a small monthly fee to a platform like Tabsite to customize your FB page as you wish.

  11. Leanne says:

    Jeff:

    Is the “Dentist” category gone forever with the Pages change? I hate to be lumped into Health/Medical/Pharma. Plenty of other dentists in the area still show “denist” as their category. Am I just out of luck since I am creating the page after the changes?

    • Leanne,

      I have the same problem! Not very happy that the Dentist category is now gone. Have not been able to come up with a solution, though I have searched the web for one extensively.

  12. its good future of facebook to choose (or change) the category for your business Page, your article really helped me to correct my fb page.

  13. Thanks Jeff, this have been very helpful.

  14. Hi Jeff
    I see your original article dates back to April 2011 which, in Internet terms, is absolutely ages ago. I am desperately hoping that in this time there have been some developments by fb that make this feature more useful.

    I manage fb business pages for quite a few companies and have found that these categories are not always a good fit. In fact, for two of the companies, there is no suitable category. I have scoured all the categories under all six page types, but nothing even close.

    Ideally, it would be nice if one could create a custom category, but I understand this doesn’t fit in with fbs master plan and that, even if this were possible, it would probably bring no search traction. However, if there were a broader range of categories available, this would make it easier for businesses to categorise themselves more accurately.

    Fb could conceivably bundle groups of categories together to make this more attractive to advertisers. (e.g. Increase categories to around five times as many as there are now, allowing businesses to distinguish, define and identify themselves more accurately. Then, allow advertisers to market to five categories instead of one, but at the same rate as before.) Then everyone wins… or, would that just be too much effort until a competitor implements it?

    I will be grateful to know if you have any suggestions of a way around this in the meantime.

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