Facebook is known as the apex of all social media sites. Facebook overcame it's predecessor, MySpace, and even it's close adversary Twitter cannot boast as many registrations and daily participants. Every second of the day, people are posting statuses, sharing pictures, and “Liking” things that catch their interest. It's the fastest, most versatile form of communication and form of sharing that our society has had to date. Facebook “Fan Pages” haven't always been around, but once they were announced, groups, companies and advertisers jumped for joy. There is no faster way to garner interest in a subject than to make a solid Fan Page. Once you have enough people following your page, everything you post or share can be instantly seen by thousands of eyes across the world. Is there any downside to that?
The downside is that, sadly, many are not sure how to utilize this power tool effectively. A Facebook Fan Page may have only 10 or 20 followers … and many are simply close friends of the creator. Content is seen but quickly forgotten about, and the page then languishes in obscurity.
What is the true power of Facebook Fan Pages, and how can you harness it to further the reach of your group, company, product or idea?
The five why's
Getting the attention you deserve can be a challenge. If you have a business, event or idea, it can be hard to get others to notice it–you know there are people who are out there and are interested in what you have to offer, but you cannot seem to connect with them.
Along came Facebook, bringing with it the content of “Fan Pages.” Facebook Fan Pages can help gather interest in any subject. So …why have a Fan Page for your topic?
1. Facebook lets you customize your Fan Page in almost any way you can imagine. If you have resources such as pictures, video or audio, it's easy to post or link it on a Fan Page. Share thoughts, take polls and interact directly with others concerning your material. Lastly, if you have an outside Web site, it's easy to include a link to it on your Fan Page.
2. When others “Like” and follow a page, they are directly connected to any material you post. Once someone does follow this page, they will be given updates on their News Feed whenever the Fan Page posts new material, such as a photo or status.
3. Those who are followers also have the ability to comment or “Like” the material that is posted, further engaging them in that Fan Page. There are few truer forms of feedback than that of Facebook comments, and due to the ease of use, users will feel free to post any of there thoughts on a subject, product, or company.
4. Fans of a page can ultimately draw others to said page, becoming self-generating traffic. Not only will your Fan Page be posted on their profile, but the person's friends will see many of the interactions that that person has on your Fan Page. This can attract further interest from those parties and eventually lead them to also follow your page.
5. If you don't yet have a personal Web site, this can be a great way to gather ideas, content and followers to lead up to an eventual site launch. Fan Pages cost nothing to set up, so there's no net loss to owning one. Fan Pages make for a perfect first introduction. Imagine being able to meet a future employer, employee or customer, and forward them directly to your Facebook Fan Page.
These Fan Pages can be used to drive traffic to almost any type of resource as businesses and companies will undoubtedly see more interest (and sales). Groups and organizations can also boost awareness and interaction by creating a well-designed, effective Fan Page for themselves. Even individuals who want to keep fans updated on their current whereabouts, projects or events will find a great deal of usefulness in owning their own Facebook Fan Page.
The 10 how's
The only type of Fan Page that is not useful is one that isn't being seen. Here are 10 ways to make sure your Facebook Fan Page is a success.
1. The first, and most important tip: Consistently post new content. Whether it's a Status Update or Photo, make sure to post via your Fan Page at least once every day. Many pages post more frequently. Make sure the content would be something your fans will have a vested interest in.
2. Make it original: In content, layout and your Fan Page altogether … if people see that you have put the legwork into making your content not like everyone else's, they will be more willing to peek in and see what it is you are doing (and thinking).
3. Engage your fans regularly: This Fan Page isn't just about you and yours–it's about them and theirs! Use your Status Updates to pose questions, ask for opinions, and hold polls. People love answering questions, especially when it has to do with something personal. Running out of ideas? Make it simple! “The weather here is rainy and windy! How will you guys be spending your day?” or even “Is it just me, or was today a really long day?” People will answer questions in which they feel personally engaged in, and this will help generate traffic to your page.
4. Look into perfecting your design and layout: Do you think all Fan Pages are the same? Think again! Big names like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and even Red Bull have beautifully designed Fan Pages. How can you make your Fan Page stand out? There have been some companies helping people take their Fan Pages to the next level.
5. Get into the world of photos/photography: People love images. Find a way to take your Fan Page content and turn it into something visually enhancing. If all else fails, hold a contest between your fans to see who can create the best or most attractive logo/main picture for your Fan Page.
6. Hold a contest or giveaway: Even if the content given away is something simple, people love free stuff!
7. Prepare for negative feedback: The Internet can be a surprisingly harsh, mean and downright rude place. Do not ignore it. Negative feedback can be your chance to shine. Perfect your response beforehand so you are not caught off-guard when it happens!
8. Tie several other social media outlets into your Fan Page: Create other pages on other social media sites, and then link them to your Facebook Page. This will help better engage your audience, connecting everyone just a little bit more.
9. Consider promoting your page through other sources: Facebook itself has an advertisement system–you may have seen their ads on the right-hand side of all Facebook pages. For a fee, Facebook will host a small ad for your Fan Page for a certain amount of time.
10. If all else fails, seek professional help: There are many Web sites and personal coaches that can either teach you how to set up your page, or even do it for you. Professional services may or may not cost money, but a true professional will be worth the cost
In our age, Facebook is a force that cannot be ignored. No matter where you on the Internet, Facebook is either mentioned or utilized to further connect people across the world. Having a solid and effective Fan Page is your first step in getting your name recognized! Improving your page can take many hours or devotion, but it all pays off.
Take your first steps today to improving your Fan Page, and it will pay off for months (and possibly years) to come.
Jason Wroble has worked with the Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals (IAMP) in the roles of executive vice president and IMPA board of directors. He was also selected as a "Top 40 Influential Mortgage Professional Under the Age of 40” by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by phone at (312) 307-5593 or e-mail [email protected]