When creating a Facebook fan page, there are five Golden Rules that are “must do’s” in order to create an engaging, interesting, and active experience for your readers. A fan page is not going to be successful if it is cold and one-sided, with your fans providing all of the activity and momentum. If you are lucky enough to have fans (believe it or not some people don’t ), then you must know that they look forward to interaction with, and acknowledgement from, YOU. That said…
Rule Number 1: Create an active fan page or don’t create one at all! Your fan page should be an ever-changing experience for your reader. Give your fans a reason to stop by at least once a day, but even better, several times a day. Make yourself as accessible as a general Facebook friend. Spend a few minutes to provide a quick update and let your fans know a bit about what’s going on in your day. What new products are you working on? What specials are you running? HDo you have a daily tip that you can provide? Ask your fans what they would like you to provide for them, or how you might improve your service. Be interested and interesting. Be real.
Rule Number 2: Always comment on, and interact with, your fans. Make your Facebook fan page exciting and fun, while encouraging discussion. Take a look at the Facebook fan page of Daniel Goddard. Daniel is an actor on the daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless. Daniel consistently posts to his fan page with updates about his personal goings-on as well as with updates about the show. Daniel also engages his fans with questions and conversation starters. Simple things such as “Who do you like in the Olympics?” or “Obama or Romney?” engage his fans in discussions and maintain the momentum on his page. He also appeals to his wide fan base by including topics that appeal to particular demographics, establishes bonds for example, with fans who have kids by posting something about his own and asking if anyone can relate or share a similar story. You don’t need to be a celebrity to personalize yourself. You can do this, too.
Rule Number 3: Have good content on your fan page using images and videos. Focus on what your fans are looking for and find creative ways to do that. Post images daily that will create interest from your fans. Have you just developed a new cake? Post a picture! Do you provide landscaping services? Post a picture and some facts about new plants or products you are carrying. How about a short “how-to” video to engage your customers? Videos such as these will help to cement your position as a professional, “go-to” person who has the answers that your fans/clients seek. Using photos and videos will personalize your page and provide an introduction to you and your small business – and we all know that the introductions are sometimes the biggest sticking point as we work to get our businesses to grow.
Rule Number 4: Promote your fan page and get the likes, but do it naturally! If you’re already using Twitter, that’s a great way to get the word out about a new fan page. Use creative ways to encourage the “likes” on your page. One of Daniel Goddard’s approaches was to call random women on their birthday if they tweeted or commented on his social networking sites. Now it may seem strange for a chocalatier to call someone for their birthday, but it would be good business to send an e-mailed greeting with a 10% off coupon. Any sort of that type of personalized kind of activity will keep your fans engaged, talking about you to other potential customers, and feeling like they have a two-way relationship with you, which they essentially will have through your active participation. When you need assistance with something, which do you call, someone you know or are familiar with, or a complete stranger? I think you see where I’m going with this,
Rule Number 5: Be mindful of, and don’t abuse, Facebook’s guidelines for the fan page timeline. And shame on you if I even have to tell you that! Social networking is a privilege and an incredible vehicle for the dissemination of knowledge, the building of fan bases (which can go hand-in-hand with job security!), and as a means for business people to introduce and humanize themselves to the general public. Play by the rules.
YOUR TURN: What do think makes a Likeable Fan Page? What are some things that you would avoid? Or what are some things you would suggest to make a Likeable Fan Page?
And have fun!