Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Create A Successful Facebook Fan Page

This is a guest post by James Brack from Dreamscape Design.

During the last couple of years Facebook has really started to stand out as an essential marketing tool, and many business owners have jumped in 2 footed only to realize that the promise of that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was not forthcoming. This can clearly be seen by the number of empty Facebook pages with little or no fans and no updates since 2008, leaving many business owners to tell you that Facebook is a waste of time. However, things do not have to be this way. The key to any marketing campaign, and Facebook is no different, is to develop a clear strategy. Only then will you start to see the potential that it offers, and really start to reap the rewards.

The Coca-cola Facebook page with over 21 million fans
Step 1 – Making my Facebook page a success

The first step to Facebook stardom is to start building up your fan-base. Without a solid fan-base your page is destined to be consigned to the land of Facebook failures. It can take some time to get the ball rolling, but with a solid strategy in place it is an achievable goal for any business.

So how do you start getting fans? Well it is a good idea to treat Facebook promotion the same as you would a networking event. Inform your website users about your social media profile; send an email to everyone you know; tell your friends and neighbours. Keeping the content fresh is crucial, but make sure the information does not focus purely on corporate news, add some light hearted info as well. Involve your fans in discussions and conversations and make them feel important, useful and loved. Your social media profile is supposed to present a friendlier, less corporate side to your business, which helps to make your business appear more approachable and customer-focused.

Step 2 – Generating continued fan growth
The best way to keep the fans coming is to keep your existing fans interested and engaged. A community which is thriving and current is more likely to keep your existing fans on the page, and also generate interest from outside parties. Another factor that is worth considering is that the discussions and wall updates which appear on your Facebook page will also appear on the pages of your fans, which creates an additional channel for promotion.

Step 3 – Keeping your fans interested
Chatting to your fans and involving them in discussion can get tiresome after a while, and let’s be honest, not many of us have the time to do this continuously. Luckily there are many other ways to maintain an interesting and engaging community. The secret to your success is to keep your fans connected with your brand at all times. Making them feel like they are actually involved with your brand and making a difference to your brand can reap massive rewards. Below is a list of some basic Facebook marketing ideas to start you off:
  •  Polls
  • News feed (fan exclusivity)
  • Promotions
  • Competitions
  • Games
  • Voucher promotion for fans only
  • Games
The strategy which will work best for your business will depend on the products and services your business provides and the industry you are positioned in. If you run a news site, for example, perhaps you could provide fans with exclusive news not shown on your website, or providing them with access to an exclusive “Facebook fans only zone” on your website. A fashion brand would require a different strategy and perhaps could benefit from running product competitions, providing fashion tips and displaying product galleries for fans to comment on.

Another less obvious marketing approach is to use your Facebook page for customer service and support. Whilst this may seem like an unnecessary division of time, it can hugely influence people’s perception of your brand. During the last few years people have really started to lose their patience with slow, sloppy and impersonal customer support, and customers are crying out to be treated well by companies and have their problems solved as quickly as possible. Social media provides a fantastic platform to achieve this.

The key to social media success is to identify your target goals and develop a clear strategy to achieve these. You can then explore a variety of tactical measures to grow your fan-base, keep them engaged and develop a thriving community. Facebook is a platform that allows your business to reach customers in ways that other methods are unable to do. Follow this simple guide to connect customers with your brand, create an engaging community, and find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Author Bio:
James Brack is Technical Director at Dreamscape Design, a leading web design & development and online marketing agency in Warwickshire, United Kingdom. James is SEMPO certified and specializes in SEO, AdWords and social media marketing.

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