When you think about marketing on Facebook or business on Facebook, the “page” is what seems to come to mind most quickly. The page sort of epitomizes everything social media was supposed to do for companies. You can see your customers (and prospects), which enables you to put a face to a name and get to know them. The page allows you to integrate images and videos, which are great ways of keeping people interested, if not entranced. You can give news directly to the people connected to your page, and you can use the internal Facebook ads system to drive your target audience to your page. You can even see insights that will tell you how people are using your page and when they’re using your page.
What could go wrong?
Well, as it turns out, creating an interesting and worthwhile Facebook page is more art than science, just like most other things in the online world. I saw a page once where the administrator of the page kept posting product photos and then “liking” the photos. Yikes. That’s a party I don’t want to be invited to.
During my torrid love/hate, hot/cold relationship with Facebook, I’ve come to a few conclusions about pages for companies or brands. Here are some of my thoughts.
If people don’t know you, they won’t like your page or won’t stick around long
One common mistake I see in the business world is that companies think that they can create a fan page and all of a sudden people will start flocking in. If you’re Coke, that could be entirely true. If your Batty Sheen Car Fluid, maybe not so much. People are already battling a lot of noise on Facebook, and that’s just from people they call friends or family. To “like” your page means there has to be some interest for them. Starting a page and praying to the Zucky gods will not help you. Nor will inviting your mom, your 17 cousins, and your 20 friends from high school. They want to support you, but they’re probably not your target customers. What you need to do is either create a cause related to your product that people can get behind or work on transporting your existing “fans” from other places over to your page. There are lots of great ways to do this, and there are lots of black hat ways to do this. One interesting tactic I’ve seen is a print ad campaign that actually drove traffic to a Facebook page rather than a website. Pretty snazzy, huh?
“Like” is not synonymous with “I wish to buy from you now.”
It’s easy to convince yourself that a person who clicks “like” on your page will also spend money with you. However, just like “like” does not mean “I want to marry you,” “like” in Facebook world doesn’t mean, “I wish to buy your full line of products.” For more on this factor, visit Jay Baer’s post that shows that most people who like a page do not expect to be bombarded with marketing messages.
There is no one rule that will work for everyone
Finally, I’ve learned that you need to figure out what the fans of your page actually want from you. Some fan bases want you to be really personable and happy. Other people just want the information that they expect you to provide, and if you have a smiley face there more power to you. On our 12most.com Facebook page, most of our content is represented by a feed of our posts. It seems that people are just fine with that. But if you try to shove a lot of content into a different kind of page, you’d probably get a lot of blow-back, right? So you need to experiment, listen for feedback, and adjust your strategy as you go.
This is all very big picture, fluffy, maybe not entirely helpful stuff. I know. I kinda figured you’d say, “Great, now we know what Margie thinks. And that helps us how?” So, I also want to link you to this post by my friend Tommy Walker, which pretty much explains everything you could want to know about how to start a Facebook page and make it work. You can watch the video or read the transcripts.
What are your thoughts about Facebook fan pages? What have your experiences been? Let’s talk about it!
Image by Asif Akbar. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/asifthebes