Like Me? Follow Me.
Before we talk about Facebook fan pages I think it’s important to establish the difference between a group and a fan page. Groups on Facebook are perfect for planning an event or letting people know about a cause on a personal level such as charity sponsorship or a party event. Pages are suited to companies, brands, bands, businesses, games, films or celebrities who want to interact with their customers or fan base without connecting them to a personal account which would exceed Facebook’s 5,000 friend limit.
One of the first things a potential fan sees when visiting your page will be your page 200px picture. If you have a recognisable brand or logo then by all means create a picture of it. Branding and personalisation are key to a page that has a standard format and can look identical to the next. Making your page memorable and individual can create brand awareness even if your logo or company isn’t already well known. There are options to choose which application box your visitors land on so that you can have some sort of promotional image or poster as the landing page instead of your fan page profile.
If you are encouraging visitors to your site to “share” links via Facebook then make sure you have optimised your share options so that when the visitor shares a link to your page there is a suitable thumbnail preview which reflects your brand and the meta description on those pages. This simply promotes your brand to those receiving the shared links (potential fans).
Separating Your Content
Public profiles now let you have different landing pages for users who are fans and the non-fans. Keep the content on these pages separate and distinctive. Bear in mind that users on your main Facebook page could be neutral or angered by something your product or service has or hasn't done. They are looking to see what others are saying about you and possibly comment about an issue, expecting a swift apologetic reply. The visitors to your fan page, however, are looking for mutual appreciation and other positive people who share a similar interest in your brand or your products. These two groups should therefore see different layouts and information. Clearly you will want to incentivise and motivate the potential fans to become fans. You should be appreciative of the confirmed fans and help them interact with your brand and each other.
These personalised URLs are now available to anyone whose fan page has over 100 fans. They simply remind visitors of your brand and make it easier for them to type in your fan page URL when wanting to return.
Define a Post Schedule
By creating a set calendar schedule for your page interaction you will be able to keep a constant yet unobtrusive discourse with your fans. If you post updates too often then fans will begin to hide your updates from their feeds or potentially unlink from your fan page altogether.
By mixing up the types of updates you post you keep things fresh and save your brand being forgotten by your fans. A mixture of photos, video, links, notes, and status updates keeps the fans interacting and visiting your page.
Use your fan page to encourage participation and interaction amongst your fans, rather than it simply being some sort of petition that fans simply join and then forget.
Use competitions, quizzes etc to give your fans the incentive to keep posting about your fan page and increasing the number of fans.
For example, a company who sells tea & coffee makers encouraging their fans to post their own tea & coffee recipes on the fan page with the potential for some to be added to the recipe section on the live site. This is a very easy and free way to promote interaction between your fans, the fan page and your main website.
Monitoring Your Facebook Page Changes
Now that you have optimised your fan page you will want to find ouot how the changes you made affected your page. There are a number of tools out there for monitoring your Facebook fan page and evaluating how successful it has been and currently is. V
itrue recently rolled out a new social media observation tool they call Social Page Evaluator which tries to aid companies in finding out the revenue and marketing potential of their fan page. By looking into the number of fans, number of posts, amount of interaction, and other factors, the tool attempts to give an accurate annual monitory value to the page owner. Whether or not the Vitrue tool is accurate is unknown but they recently valued Starbucks' fan page at $20 million/year.
Yet this is nothing compared to the $75 million amount that Vitrue claims Starbucks could achieve if they optimised their fan page to include audio and video interactivity.
Here are some examples of successful Facebook fan pages to inspire you:
Now go forth and amass devoted Facebook fans.
If you have any Facebook fan pages you particularly like then leave a link below.