10 practical tips for Facebook fan pages

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With so many ways to engage consumers these days, many brands are unsure how to proceed. Most companies are used to a one-way flow of information, and the thought of engaging daily in conversations with customers is a daunting task. Who should manage social media strategy? PR? The ad agency? Corporate marketing? The individual product teams? How much of the marketing budget should be invested in social media? How should success be measured? With so many questions, it's easy to see why many brands are just dipping their toes in or starting very small.

The Engagementdb Report published in July sends a clear message about the power of social media. The report, created by Wetpaint and Altimeter, looks at how top brands leverage social media. What they found is that "the most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social media engagement... Socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful." With all the talk about whether there's ROI in social media, it's great to see a correlation between engagement and financial success.

The report, however, doesn't advise brands to go full-throttle into social media until they've thought through their strategy. Brands need to find the level of social media engagement that makes sense for them today and stick to their plans. The report warns that once you begin to have conversations with your customers, there's no easy way to step out.

With more than 250 million users and great tools for brands, Facebook is an obvious place for brands to start engaging with their audiences. Facebook Pages were created specifically for the needs of businesses interested in reaching their audiences on Facebook. Creating a fan page is free and easy, but there are some common sense practices, as well as tricks, to ensuring your fan page is successful.

1. Don't lose new visitors
The fan page admin can determine where new visitors to fan pages land, so make sure they land on a welcoming, fun page that provides enough information with a clear call-to-action for them to become a fan. Think of your fan page as a cocktail party. If a neighbor shows up and walks into a room full of people talking a different language and no one greets him, he won't feel welcome or understand what is going on. But if you greet him at the door and explain that the party is for your French club, he will understand and will perhaps dig deep to find his high school French skills.

Rather than dropping new visitors into the "wall," which is the default, Toms Shoes brings them to a less cluttered page that reminds them to become a fan and tells them the quick story of Toms Shoes, complete with a short video of a shoe drop. It's clean, simple, and easy to understand -- a welcoming portal.

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Offers King
Offers King February 1, 2011 at 5:12 AM

Excellent tips.. Nice. A Facebook fan page is a great way to promote businesses and essentially anything for which you want to build an audience.


Offers King
Offers King September 16, 2010 at 8:11 AM

I've been into online social networking since 2001, so I've been very active on Facebook and Twitter. If you've seen my personal Facebook page, you'll know that it's quite lively.


Michael Shurr
Michael Shurr September 9, 2010 at 7:37 PM

thanks for the invitation

alex mike
alex mike September 7, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Facebook has 250 million users. Twitter has 40 million. The potential for your audience on Facebook is clearly much bigger and in a way it's easier to find your target. The Fan Page allows you to add your own apps. We plan on creating a ‘box' on fan page which can list latest shows and their comments. On top of custom boxes you can also use the discussion board, this can allow you to get closer to your fan base without having to create custom forums.


Carlo St. Juste Jr
Carlo St. Juste Jr September 3, 2009 at 1:47 AM

I am really at limbo with the on line social marketing idea. I believe it sounds like a great thing. Everyone is flooding to face book and twitter because it seems to be a viable tool for business owners. However in society we always have the tendency to over do it, so when is too much too much? This doesn't just seem like a craze or a trend.


jean dyer
jean dyer September 2, 2009 at 12:56 AM

I agree with Robert Linger, These are great suggestions for engaing fans then escalating that enthusiasm and interaction into financial benefits for a brand.
Whether or not the brand was previously successful does not detract from the fact that fans influence the growth of a brands reach .

robert linger
robert linger September 1, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Drinking the Kool-Aid or not, what IS clear - socially engaged companies are connecting with existing customers and new prospects in ways that enhance brand awareness, yield customer relationship benefits and provide useful research insights into consumer interests. It's hard to argue that these things don't have a positive impact on the financial success of these companies.
Before you dismiss social engagement as a component of the financial success of these companies, how do you come down on the value of traditional marketing and research designed to do exactly the same things...

christine hagel
christine hagel August 20, 2009 at 6:13 PM

great article but what about B2B. I'm not sure that these principals would still apply.

Carnet Williams
Carnet Williams August 19, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Hi. Thanks for all the comments. To clarify, I didn't write the quote in Kathryn's comment. That is from the engagementdb report that got a lot of buzz in July. In the report the researchers find a correlation between social engagement and financial success. They go on to say that brands shouldn't dive in whole hog but rather find what works for them and start slowly, as needed. The intention of my article is to provide practical tips for brands who want to test the waters with Facebook Fan Pages. Hope this clarifies. Thank you!

Kip Edwardson
Kip Edwardson August 19, 2009 at 10:14 AM

I agree with Kathryn. I stopped reading after that paragraph. Cause and effect....you are drinking the Kool-Aid if you think social media engagement drives financial performance at those companies. They were successful long before Facebook and MySpace. You can't seriously believe what you wrote.

Kathryn Klein
Kathryn Klein August 18, 2009 at 11:37 AM

"the most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social media engagement... Socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful."

The question I have is whether the social engagement is driving success or whether success is simply making more social engagement affordable for these top brands moreso than to others, with less budget to spread around?

demetrius pinder
demetrius pinder August 18, 2009 at 10:20 AM

Great article but, how about providing links to the actual pages you are referring to so we can check them out live.