Today’s Freebie Friday report offers tips for getting the most from your Facebook Page. You do have one, right? If not, after reading this article, you probably will be anxious to go HERE to get started. (Note — a “page” is different from your personal profile.)
This purpose of this post is to introduce Facebook page owners to the possibilities available — in other words, it’s more of a “why?” and “what?” lesson than. I’ll answer the “how?” part soon — especially since I haven’t yet begun to implement these tips into my own Facebook page yet! I hope to do that over the weekend, and plan to take good notes and hopefully produce a tutorial on the how. Thanks for your patience! Now, for the tips:
- Set up shop. Why have one? First of all — Facebook pages are free. I figure that’s because they’re for business owners/celebrity-types, so Facebook is making a killing off the ads generated from them. Second, by creating a page, you can ride on the SEO coattails of Facebook, which consistently ranks in the top five traffic-getting sites on the entire web, usually third (behind Google and Yahoo!). Third, and possibly most important — it’s interactive with your customer base (a.k.a. “fans”). And besides, it’s FUN! Speaking of SEO, once you create your page, go HERE to set your Facebook URL to something more attractive than the default setting. For instance, mine is http://www.facebook.com/onbloggingwell. And one more SEO tidbit — Pages are (currently) the ONLY area of Facebook indexed by Google. That’s a pretty big deal.
- Greet your guests. When a prospective fan visits your page, they’ll “land” on the wall. Think: Humpty Dumpty. Not good! One of the first things you’ll want to do is create a place for them to go instead in order to welcome them. Sam Walton believed his most important employee was the door greeter. Churches are taught to greet people as they come in. People want to feel special, and your welcome page will be designed to do this. Many Facebook pages have a welcome video, which is a great idea. (We’ll get to that more when I write my “how-to” report.) To change the default from Wall to a new page, go to “Edit Page” right under your profile pic, which should be your logo or something related to your brand. (We’ll talk about branding tomorrow.) The next screen is your page admin panel. Look under “Wall Settings.” This is where you can choose where to greet your guests (potential fans). Here’s an example of a spiffed-up landing page: Sprout. I’m a personal fan of fast-loading pages, so I’m not sure I’d go as far as this company, but it can give you some ideas.
- Offer guests incentives to become a fan. Think of incentives like a backstage pass or insider information or a private tour of a famous landmark. My daughter and I went on the National Treasure tour at Mount Vernon and saw exclusive areas on the grounds that the run-of-the-mill visitor missed out on. Your page’s incentives can include sneak previews, early access to sales, special discounts, exclusive information. Get creative with this. (Oh, and please share your ideas in the comments section — thanks!)
- Give fans reasons to return. This means providing a steady stream of fresh, useful content. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. You likely already have a blog and you’re probably on Twitter, right? (If not, we need to talk!) Integrating your blog’s headlines and tweets will keep your Facebook page dynamic. Other things to consider are feeds from your YouTube channel, Flickr, and even posting press releases.
- Be considerate of your fans. When you send updates to your fans, make sure they’re packed with useful information. To put it bluntly, don’t spam your fan base. It’s easy to ignore page updates, and it’s also easy to quit being a fan. By providing useful content without being a pest, you can retain your current fans and they’ll likely promote your page to their friends.
- Make it fun! Think of your fan page as, well, a party. Maybe not a huge celebrity bash, but a fun place for people to hang out. Encourage interaction. Ask questions on the forums. Post polls. Have contests — maybe a photo contest Invite them to post their pics and tag them — the photo with the most people commenting wins or something similar. (Hint: pictures show up in their news feed and ALL their friends will see them — free publicity, yet, but do it in a fun way so they won’t think exposure to their friends is your only motive.) You could theme this contest to coordinate with your brand. For example, my page is about blogging, so a fun photo contest (which I do plan to run soon) would be for fans to post a picture they put on their blog with a description. Then fans can vote via the photo comments area. Be creative and enjoy.
I have many more things to share with you about Facebook pages, but this post is already running long. I’m thinking eBook here. Check back for details on that.
In the meantime,