Last week I was talking to my Dad about a company he has been invested in for quite some time. He asked me what I thought about the way they were using Facebook to market their medical device. Yep, a medical device. I said to him, “what do you need a fan page for?” He simply replied, “well, everyone seems to have them so we thought we should, too.”
And that’s when I proceeded to thrust my forehead into my hand. Just one of thousands of cases where people create a fan page because of Facebook’s buzz. It’s as if people think that if they create a page on there, people will not only find it on their own, but they would love to cloud up their newsfeed with your corporate propaganda. Who wouldn’t?
Now I’m not saying that he shouldn’t have one, I’m just saying that unless you plan on doing something more than throwing it up there and regurgitating your RSS feed – there really isn’t a point in investing time in it. At that point your fan page is doing nothing for you or your fans.
Which brings me to what should be the simplest conclusion in marketing: if you’re going to enter a market, you need a strategy. Facebook, Twitter, anything really, all need their own custom marketing strategy. Without one, you’ll be doing nothing but spinning your wheels and all of that time you spent doing so could have been used to sell more of your product/service.
How do we go about creating a marketing strategy for Facebook? The first step is easy: research. You need to get an understanding of whether or not your audience is even interested in seeing you on Facebook. Remember, they are on there to socialize with family and friends. Take a look at what your competitors are doing, or even your industry associations. Any company that is related to your industry is a case study you can study to determine what type of market exists for you on Facebook.
You should be taking note of engagement metrics like comments, likes, wall posts and their total number of fans. Which updates receive the highest engagement from fans? What time of day and day of the week are fans participating the most?
And the big question you want to answer is: what is their unique value proposition? You’re going to need to answer this one, too. You need to convince your potential fans that if they don’t “like” your page, then they’ll be missing out on unique content they can’t find anywhere else. You’re fan page is much more than an RSS feed dump, its a resource for them.
How can you go about making your fan page a resource? Unfortunately, there isn’t a general option that any company can use. It’s going to depend on what your product/service is. The first thing that comes to mind is Facebook-only coupons and discounts. Let’s say your a local restaurant who is looking to do more than the traditional coupon strategy. You could post Facebook-only recipes, announce daily specials and giveaways to only your Facebook fans, and even take polls from your fans for what the daily special/desert should be.
The point is, with as crowded as our online lives already are, if you want someone to do more than just “like” your fan page – you need to give them a unique experience. All of the case studies that are referenced have this. They are thinking outside the box and are looking to take advantage of the personal relationship Facebook can create between their company and their customers.
What are you doing to create the perfect Facebook experience for your fans?