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Facebook: For Businesses!
By: June Bachman, Wendy Ogryzek and Teresa Mitchell ~ 5/11/2010

We are in our fifth of the six part series on Social Media Marketing. By now we’ve mastered publishing and sharing, and it is finally time to start networking! In this article we are going to explore how to ensure your Facebook Fan Page is ready to support your networking efforts.

A Facebook Fan Page is a business page in Facebook. It is just like your personal profile page, but it is specifically intended to be about your business or organization. Seeing as there are over 400 million daily users of Facebook … you can figure your niche market can be found on Facebook. Facebook is a great marketing tool where you can:

  • Build relationships with your customers and potential customers.
  • Help visitors understand who your company is, and what your company does.
  • Establish and build trust between your company and your potential customers

You can use Facebook to drive more traffic to your website, where your visitors can act on your calls to action.

Is Your Fan Page Ready for Major Promotion?

Great Fan Pages are comprised of a few elements. Most importantly is Product Passion. This doesn't mean you are passionate about your product (which certainly should be true.) But rather, it means that you have a product that others are passionate about. When someone “likes” (clicking the like button on your fan page to be able to see all your postings) they are telling their entire network how passionate they are about your product. If you want to increase your fan base, you MUST have a product that people can get passionate about!

The other items reflected in the chart are those things that will help you jazz up your fan page, and increase your fan base.

  • Content - Blog, events, reviews, discussion forums.
  • Community - Engaging and interacting with your fans.
  • Fun - Letting your fans know that you are a real person!
  • Practical Information – Offering useful and valuable information.

Content – Are you offering a variety of content?

Facebook adds a number of tabs when you initially create your Fan Page. Add interesting content to each of the tabs. Tabs include:

  • Wall
  • Info
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Events
  • Reviews
  • Links

Create content that makes your visitors and fans want to come back to your Fan Page. What type of content do your fans want to consume? Create content that your fans know will be updated. Such as:

  • Connect your blog to your Fan Page using the Notes tab.
  • Upload rich media to your Fan Page, such as photos and videos. When you upload rich media, it is immediately posted to your fans' news feeds.
  • Offer a recipe of the week - your fans will return each week for the next recipe.
  • Create articles that are posted in installments.
  • Add content to your Fan Page that can't be obtained via your website.

Community - Are you interacting with your fan base?

Engaging with your fans is one of the best ways to extend your brand across the Facebook Network. Remember, when your fans post to your fan page, their comments, thumbs up, etc. are also posted to their newsfeed, for their entire network to view.

  • Ways to engage your fans include:
    • Encouraging their comments.
      • Post questions in the news feed.
    • Having conversations.
    • Responding to their comments quickly.
    • Inspiring your fans to generate content for your Fan Page.
      • Add photos.
      • Suggest a competition of some sort - such as a "name our new product".

Fun – Are you inspiring fun?

Having fun demonstrates that your company is comprised of REAL human beings. It shows that you not only have a pulse ... but a personality as well. Fun inspires more comments, increases engagement and also motivates your fan to extend the sharing of your content throughout their networks.

Practical Information – Are you sharing a lot of really useful information?

Post information to your news feed that is helpful and of value to your fan base. Commit to sharing information on a regular basis. We know that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days which receive the most Facebook activity. At a minimum, post to your news feed on these days.

Keep in mind how you share information can have varying degrees of impact. When you post information provide a context for that information. For example, when you post a link to an article you wrote, include why you wrote it, what it means and why your fans should care about it. By personalizing the content you share you are being more transparent. The more transparent you are, the more easily trust with your fan base is built. And we all know that we buy from people we know, like and trust!

Spend a few months working on these strategies to build an engaging and interesting Fan Page for your business, but more importantly for the fans you hope to add to your page over time. Active Fan Pages that share information in a fun way are easy for others to be passionate about, and will make growing your fan page easier.