Developing the “Social” of a facebook Fan Page

Bon Jour, I have written several times in this blog about facebook’s “fan” pages and about my concerns that they lose the social element of social media. So I have done a very unscientific survey of business pages on facebook and here is what I have found:

Unless you have a major brand or a somewhat controversial brand (such as an airline), or your are a celebrity, then your fans may read your postings, (which is good), but they are not likely to comment on the postings.

This is because what you are saying does not require any comments. You are basically broadcasting one way. There is nothing the matter with this, if it is what you want to do. But social media has so much more to offer and it should be a string of limited conversations.

In a large majority of cases, fan page administrators are using facebook to “broadcast” information about important happenings regarding their organization. Their posts contain good and important links to more information on company blogs or Web sites and are very useful tools. However, they do not require anything more than the occasional click on the “like” tab.

So how do we make fan pages more social (if that’s what we want). We have to remember some basics we seem to have forgotten on the long road from the profile page to the fan page (or I did anyway).

  1. People are more interested in themselves and what they do, than they are about you or your brand (sorry)
  2. Your present clients are much more likely to be fans on your business page than are prospects, and that’s ok. It is the same on your profile page where “friends” are much more likely to be on your profile page than people you don’t know.
  3. Pictures and videos, especially cute ones, get the most comments
  4. Building a sense of community even on a business page is the most important purpose. (My opinion)
  5. One of the key factors of social media is that it can give a face (or faces) to a business and by showing a human side of the corporation such as its employees you build familiarity and trust
  6. A perfect fan page would be where the fans post about themselves with occasional reference to the brand
  7. A perfect fan page would be where the staff post about their brand related activities with occasional reference to community stuff and they help make the brand more human. People like doing business with people they like and feel they know, if only a little bit.
  8. A perfect fan page would not be a fan page at all but would be more like a community with interaction between employees and fans mixed in with interesting brand content and events
  9. You have pictures of all your “fans” on the left side of your page. To be honest, I don’t know half of the people on my fan list (bad John) and I am going to spend more time getting to know them. Click on them, go to their page and if you don’t know them send them a direct message and introduce yourself. See what they are up to and ask them to promote what they do on your page. DONT put your fan page URL in the direct message or this can be considered by facebook to be spamming. But it is perfectly ok to ask them to promote their activities on your page and recommend they facebook search the key name of your fan page.
  10. Your facebook fan page is a great vehicle for promoting  corporate events but I encourage you to make them worthy events that benefit others including civic events, charity events, races for the cure etc.
  11. Don’t disrespect the power of email to promote your fan page it is still the 800 lb Guerrilla of social media. People still spend far more time communicating via email than they do on any social media platform.  Promote your facebook fan page and its social purpose in your emails and your e-newsletters. Not just by a badge at the bottom but in the copy. Especially if you have a worthy event to promote.
  12. Sadly most people build their facebook fan page on the theory of “build it and they will come.”  Devote staff time to communicating with a minimum of 10 people a day each about joining and contributing to your fan page and you will multiply the returns twenty fold.
  13. I am definitely NOT a purist and firmly believe that if you have well tested add copy that can give a benefit to becoming a “fan” and asks you to “like” then you will spend a little money and get some new fans for your page. But it will not replace sweat equity.

Some of the above might sound like it belongs more on a facebook group page I think group pages are very worth while when you have a well defined special interest group within your organization that you want to give voice to.  I am presently working on a very large Athletic Club with many special interest groups like running, weights, aerobics, aquatic sports and group pages might be a great method of getting them involved.

I hope that this has helped you understand a bit more about building fans on your fan page. I have written several other posts under the category of “Finding fans for facebook,” Look ’em up. Leave me some suggestions and comments. Cheers

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