A Facebook fan page is an essential part of online marketing. You can see some outstanding examples of how large brands use their pages in this list of the top 50 branded pages of 2010. In this article, social-media guru Mari Smith explains how to go from a good fan page to an enchanting one.
1. Use your personal profile for professional networking. Having a personal profile allows you to reach out and add select individuals as friends, comment on their walls, and begin to build key relationships. Plus, be mindful of your status updates and posts—you never know who’s reading your content in their stream!
2. Make use of Friend Lists. To better manage your friends, create lists with specific influentials, for example; you can then more easily view your News Feed each day and quickly Like and Comment as appropriate to continue nurturing those important relationships!
3. Use @ tags strategically. You can have up to six “@ tags” in any update/wall post (on your profile or fan page) consisting of a mix of friends, fan pages, events or groups. Use @ tags to give credit, thank, acknowledge and be enchanting!
4. Add an attractive landing tab to your fan page. A popular tab is a simple “welcome” message with custom graphics and possibly a video message. The purpose of this tab is to inspire visitors to join (like) your fan page. Check out these examples: NHL, EzineArticles, Steve Spangler, SocialMediaExaminer, and my own fan page.
5. Provide an area for your fans to promote themselves. To honor your fans and to help minimize any possible spam posts on your wall, give your fans their own forum using the Discussion tab. Specify exactly how and where you want them to post. For example, I have a long-running, popular thread encouraging fans to promote their Twitter accounts.
6. Respond to fans posts promptly and personally. Implement an effective engagement strategy (you may need team members to help) and reply to your fans’ comments and questions. Personalize your replies and use fans’ first names for an informal feel. BestBuy is an excellent example of enchanting engagement!
7. Surprise your fans and think outside the box. From time to time, give your Facebook fan page a burst of excitement by introducing initiatives like “Fan Page Friday” or “Share Your Blog Day” and invite all your fans to share their links on your wall. Every wall post creates viral visibility for your page throughout Facebook!
8. Give away a special free gift. Using the FBML app on your fan page, you can add any custom content as a tab or in the left column, including an opt-in box. Offer your fans a valuable, free download and you’ll grow your email list as a result. You can then continue building your relationship with your fans via email.
9. Chat live with your fans. Your fans will love to interact with you LIVE from time to time. Use the Vpype or Ustream apps to stream live video and get your fans to interact and chat. Also, try out the Clobby app (Chat Lobby) to chat real-time with your fans. Your fans will love you for the enchanting live element and you’ll stand out from others on Facebook!
10. Get your fans involved in product and content creation. Involve and include your Facebook fans when creating new products or when seeking ideas for new blog posts, etc. This is called “crowdsourcing.” You might also run a contest. Wildfireapp.com is a good choice for contests on Facebook.
Mari Smith is the coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day and the lead author of The Relationship Age. FastCompany dubbed her as the “Pied Piper of Facebook” and is a social media speaker and trainer. You can visit her Facebook fan page and follow her on Twitter at @MariSmith.