With millions of registered users worldwide, it’s hard not to recognize Facebook’s impact on the internet. What started as a college project has presently turned into a massive opportunity for businesses to increase brand awareness and access the multitude of people who visit the platform on a daily basis.
Getting Started: Creating Your Fan page
Though setting up a Facebook fan page may seem like a chore, it’s actually not that difficult and there are thousands of resources online to help you get started. Some of our favorite how-to tutorials are:
- Facebook Business – this is a tutorial page recently created by Facebook to help new users.
- HOW TO: Set Up a Winning Facebook Fan Page – This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to setup a Facebook Fan Page.
- How to Create a Facebook Business Fan Page – A video walk-through.
Setting up the design of your fan page is one of the most important steps to Facebook success. In order to create a Facebook fan page that is professional and engaging, you will need to include various applications. These customizable “apps” can provide everything from welcome pages and location based services to customer review functionalities.
If you want to create a professional welcome page, you can utilize these free and low cost applications designed for the novice user. Some also come with the ability to create custom tabs in addition to welcome pages:Wix – Free and paid versions available. Paid versions include design upgrades. Intermediate and advanced functionalities take some practice; however, the interface offers an extensive number of customization possibilities.
Tabsite – Free and paid versions available. Simple “DragNBuild” interface is easy to use.
Pagemodo – Free and paid versions available. Pagemodo recently added new and improved templates to their repertoire.
For an extensive list of the most popular applications, check out the top 75 Facebook applications designed to enhance your fan page.
Getting Started: Fan Traffic
Once your profile and applications are installed, it’s time to interact and get some fans to like your page.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Add a Facebook “Like” box to your website or blog
- Click on the “Invite Friends” link on the middle right of your fan page to invite your current Facebook friends (from your personal profile) to “Like” your business fan page. Send the invite at a time when most people are on Facebook, generally late afternoons and evenings after work.
- If you already have a customer base, send out a newsletter showcasing your new page. Offer your subscribers an incentive to like your page.
- Join relevant groups and share helpful information. Avoid blatantly asking people to “like” your page.
Growing Your Facebook Business
In order to continue to grow on Facebook, it’s important to understand how to make the most of your fan page. Facebook users visit the platform to engage, share and generally have fun. If you can offer great value and make it an enjoyable experience, you will continue to grow over time.
Here are some helpful hints to maximize your fan growth:
- Notice what days and times fans comment the most on your posts and market during those times.
- Images and videos get a greater response than text.
- Text posts should be short and sweet. The longer they are, the more users will pass them by.
- Use Facebook Insights to give you an idea of your page analytics.
- Always respond to comments and encourage further interaction. The more interaction on your posts, the greater chance your post will show up in your fan’s news feed. (When a user’s news feed is set to default, Facebook shows the posts that get the most interaction first.)
- Use contests, polls, coupons, incentives and games to increase engagement with your brand. There are some powerful applications that will make this process seamless and easy. Part 5 will list these resources.
- Ask questions that warrant brief answers. The less people have to type, the more they will engage.
- Stay away from political or religious topics unless it is part of your brand messaging.
- One to two posts per day is acceptable. Refrain from excessive posting.
- Ask your fans for ideas on what to post…get them involved in the process.
- Facebook ads are a great method to increase your fans and a cost-effective alternative to PPC (Pay-per-click). We will cover the topic in later posts, but it is a good idea to start researching how you can use the advertising platform to increase your fan base.
Businesses that use Facebook the way it was intended experience a steady increase in profits as their fan base grows. Take advantage of the many resources available and see what Facebook has to offer.