Considering Facebook's 300 million active users, and the thousands joining every day—along with its Alexa ranking of 3 (that is, Facebook is the third most-trafficked website)—businesses really must tap into the power of this online behemoth.
Facebook offers many features for strategic networking and generating visibility for your company.
Among them, Facebook fan pages are (currently) the only feature fully indexed by Google. By inserting keyword-rich text throughout your fan page and updating regularly, you can create tremendous search engine optimization.
Using Facebook's Social Ads, you can then drive targeted traffic from the entire Facebook site directly to your fan page.
Once potential fans click through to your fan page, your goals are as follows:
- Immediately grab their attention and make them feel they are in the right place (they feel they made the right decision by clicking on your ad)
- Inspire them to become a fan
- Draw them in to engage with your page
- Keep them coming back—often called "stickiness" (your fans keep coming back to engage with your page)
If you're creating a Facebook fan page, the following 10 tips will set you head and shoulders above the rest and keep your fans coming back for more.
1. Title your page
When first creating your fan page, you need to choose a title; it could be your brand name, personal name, or business name, as well as a few descriptive words. Typically, the shorter the title, the better, because each time you add content to your fan page your long title will append to each post.
2. Choose a picture that pops
This is not a well-known fact, but Facebook's ideal size for a fan page image is 200 pixels wide by 600 pixels high (it looks rather like a bookmark shape).
Whenever you post on your own fan page, the thumbnail image that appears will show a section of your main picture, so you may need to experiment with your graphic to get the image just the way you want it.
3. Secure your username
As soon as you get your first 25 fans, you'll be able to register your unique username (often called a vanity URL) at http://facebook.com/username. For example, instead of being a long, unmemorable link, you can shorten the link by using your brand name, company name, etc. (mine is http://facebook.com/marismith).
4. Set a landing tab
You can create a fully customized "landing page" for your non-fans, with images, keyword-rich text, links, even video. How? Just add the Static FBML app, paste in your FBML code (very similar to HTML), then edit your fan page settings to select the specific tab you wish non-fans to land on.
For examples, see http://facebook.com/droz, http://facebook.com/gary, http://www.facebook.com/ellentv, http://www.facebook.com/cocacola, http://www.facebook.com/ONE, http://facebook.com/paysonjewelry.
5. Write an appealing About Us/Bio
There's a small text box area just under your fan page picture; use this area very strategically to essentially summarize what you do, whom you help, and how you help them. Even better, include a call to action with a hyperlink (be sure to include the "http://" so it's clickable).
6. Import your blog posts
Using the Notes app, pull in your blog feed so that each time you make a blog post, your fan page automatically updates and your fans can read and comment on the post. Doing so also helps to consistently add content to your fan page and keep it fresh and engaging.
7. Show posts by page and fans
There may be strategic reasons for showing posts only by you on the fan page, or only by your fans, but I highly recommend setting it to show both. That way, anyone who comes to your page can see the interaction from both sides.
8. Encourage your fans to add content
Your fans can add their own photos, videos, and comments on your "wall." Allowing and encouraging your fans to add their own content will make them feel more a part of your online Facebook community, and when they tag themselves that content goes out into their feeds creating more visibility for you.
9. Respond to your fans
Providing quality content is just one aspect of building a good Facebook fan page (or any social networking presence, for that matter). Another critical aspect is engagement. By actively responding to your fans' comments, questions, suggestions, ideas, etc., you show that you're a company that cares, listens, takes action, and engages your community.
10. Broadcast to Twitter
Using the new Facebook fan page to Twitter app http://facebook.com/twitter you can write status updates up to 420 characters that will go out as a tweet on your Twitter account and truncate at about 120 characters with a bit.ly link back to your fan page. Great for cross-promoting and extra visibility!
Mari Smith will be speaking at the MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer on Wednesday, October 21, in Chicago. Her session is titled Using Facebook to Increase Brand Recognition. Come join us—and learn how to fire up your digital marketing.