If you’re considering creating a Facebook fan page, or already have one and want to improve it, here are five tips to help you get the most out of your efforts:
Consider a custom tab. If your page’s Wall tab isn’t particularly active, or you’re not very well known, creating a custom tab allows you to craft a landing page that lets people get to know you. Facebook allows you to set this custom tab as the landing tab for all non-fans. Just like your website’s landing page(s) you want your custom tab to quickly impart what you’re all about, and have at least one call-to-action (eg: visit your website, sign up for your newsletter, purchase something).
Specifically ask people to “Like” the page. It’s been shown that Facebook pages that specifically ask people to click the “Like” button are much more successful at acquiring fans. Lets face it, there’s alot to look at on the average Facebook page – people are easily distracted by ads, or notifications, or even your content – so reminding them to “Like” you page in a clear way help you cut through the clutter.
Create a great Profile picture. You have the opportunity across all tabs of your Facebook page to display a profile picture – don’t waste that opportunity! This is basically advertising space – and while you don’t want it to read like a banner ad, you want to use that space to reinforce your brand.
Make sure to get the optimized URL. Pages with more than 25 fans can get a shortened URL for their page. Not only is this easier to remember, it’s easier to reference throughout the rest of your online & offline collateral. To get the URL once you have 25 fans, visit http://www.facebook.com/username
Keep your page updated! You can have a great Facebook page design, with a custom tab and a killer profile pic, but if you’re not regularly checking in to participate in conversations with fans, or share interesting content, there’s little reason for people to ever visit your page again. Your Facebook page is an opportunity to keep you and your business active in people’s memories – if they see an update in their feed from your page, they’re much more likely to visit and participate and pass it on.
Here are some guidelines for creating a custom Facebook page that works:
- Craft a message and a design that is appropriate for the Facebook context. This means that you’re not duplicating your website on Facebook, or putting up screenshots of portions of your website, but instead you’re creating content that’s valuable to the Facebook audience & looks great within their website. Let visitors know, briefly, why they should be interested in you and engage with you. Offer up your expertise, and encourage participation & discussion. Facebook, after all, is a social media venue – it’s built on the premise of participation. We all know that a one-sided conversation isn’t much fun. Coca-cola’s Facebook presence was actually first created by some devoted fans, who still actively participate in the official Coca-cola page, and are featured heavily throughout as founders of their Facebook community… what a great way to encourage community.
- Unless you have lots of traction on your Wall page, and you’re monitoring it regularly for content, make the default tab your custom page. And give your tab an interesting name!
- Create an interesting and engaging Profile image that extends your brand.
- Use events and competitions to encourage people to join your community, and tell their friends about it. If you offer something valuable to your constituency, like a free consulting session, or some merchandise, in exchange for numbers of fans reached, or user-generated content being featured on your page, they’re much more likely to participate. Offer special content to those who become fans, and invite discussion so they’ll stick around!
- Link to your other places where people can learn more about you and what you offer to them – your Twitter acct to learn news, and your blog for longer-form content and resources, and, of course, your website – especially if something can be purchased there. Link directly to the pages you want people to go – don’t just dump them on your Home page and expect them to find their own way.
- Use multimedia content to keep it interesting – fresh video content is interesting, and engages your audience on another level – and, if you have the resources, a custom Facebook app is another great value-add that not only makes *your* page more interesting, but gives people the opportunity to install and use your app, keeping their attention on what you’re doing more often. A webinar is one of the things you could offer to your friends, and after it’s over, you can show it as an example of content available to fans first.
For some GREAT inspiration, check out this site that displays killer Facebook pages: http://www.customfacebookpage.com