David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
So you’ve decided it’s high time you join the rest of the world and create a Facebook fan page for your company. Awesome. Kudos to you for being so forward thinking. It’s easy enough to do if you already have a personal profile. If not, then go sign up – it will only take a few minutes.
What’s the plan Stan?
Don’t just create a Facebook page because you think you should, or because someone told you it would be a clever marketing tool. It will, but only if properly executed. Setting up your page is the easy part. Figuring out what you want to get out of having one takes a little more time and effort. Spend some time brainstorming, cruise the web to see what others are up to and, if you’re still not sure, enlist the help of an expert. There are plenty of Social Media gurus out there.
Who are you?
If you’re going to be on Facebook, then you might as well tell us a little about yourself. Social Media and mystery are not synonymous, and besides, it’s an opportunity to talk about you. Who doesn’t enjoy that? So don’t skimp in this area, okay?! I know it seems a bit like being at the doctor’s office and having to fill out a ton of forms, but for someone who has never heard of your company before, it can provide them with valuable insight into who you are and what makes you tick.
Will the real URL please stand up!
In the old days you had to collect a bunch of fans before Facebook would afford you the privilege of a Vanity URL. What’s that, you ask? Well when you initially set up your fan page, or even your personal profile for that matter, the URL would look something like this: https://www.facebook.com/pages/BobsVeganTarts/134451411034. Who wants a bunch of numbers after their name right? Fortunately Facebook has since changed their policy in this regard, so you no longer need to cadge ‘likes’ from friends and family members in order to make up the requisite 25 fans. Nowadays all you need to do is go here and allocate yourself a name of your choosing. If it is in fact ‘BobsVeganTarts’, it will more than likely be available. If it’s something more run of the mill, then you might find someone has already nabbed it. That’s cool, just think outside the old box and come up with an alternative.
Pretty yourself up
Facebook gives you the option of adding a rectangular banner down the left-hand side of your page. Be creative with this space. Rather than just uploading your logo by itself, design an interesting background, or choose a nice photograph to showcase it on. Just remember to place your logo correctly, so that it displays in your thumbnail. Have a look at the example below to get the general idea.
People will only ‘like’ your page if you offer them something of value in return. Otherwise there’s no point to letting you clog up their newsfeed. So don’t boast and don’t prattle. Offer them interesting tidbits of information, tell them about specials, make them laugh, engage with them, but while you’re doing all of that, remember not to bombard them. Don’t be that irritating neighbour who always pops over unannounced, and then doesn’t know when to leave!
Use your words
If ur 14 thn its kool to rite yr updates lyk this. However, if you’re managing your company’s fan page you need to ensure that your spelling and grammar are both top notch. You can delete an update if you made a mistake, but chances are at least one person will see it before you do. Check, check, and check again! And then only post.
What are you up to?
Share your photos, but do it in a way that makes sense. Create separate albums for events, occasions, divisions, branches etc. This way your fans will understand that Bob from accounts is wearing antlers on his head because it’s the year-end Christmas party. Make use of the ‘description’ section to tell us a little more, and take the time to add notes next to each individual photo.
Take advantage of what’s available
Everyone has their platform of choice, and there are certainly enough of them out there. The two most popular are still Facebook and Twitter though, and people seem to lean quite definitely toward one or the other. If you’re not inclined to Tweet, or perhaps don’t have the time, you can always set up a Twitter account and then link it to your Facebook page here. This nifty little application will automatically tweet your Facebook updates on your behalf. Nice!
Link back and forth until you’re dizzy. Facebook and Twitter both give you the space to share your website deets – take them up on that. You want people to find their way to your website so that you can convert them from fans to guests (or customers etc). Likewise, remember to share your social ’hood on your website. That way you make it easy for people to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ you in a more relaxed environment. Think of your website as work and Facebook as going for coffee.
Are you talking to the right people?
You might be so funny, engaging or entertaining that you have more fans than you can shake a stick at, but it’s not money in the bank if those people are never going to do anything more than hang with you online. Make a point of getting to know your audience. By finding out a little more about them, you’ll be able to ascertain whether or not they’re likely to make use of whatever it is you’re offering. For instance, if your fans are all very young, then they probably won’t be visiting your very expensive five star establishment anytime soon. If this is the case, don’t be rude and send them packing. There’s always a chance (however slim) that they have a rich aunt who wants to give them a lavish graduation present. Until that happens though, you need to put more effective measures in place in order to gather the right fan base. Running a Facebook ad campaign is one brilliant solution, because it allows you to target your audience very specifically: age, gender, location, likes, interests etc.
That’s the slog work done; now go and make some friends.