Facebook · Social Media

Creating the Perfect Facebook Experience

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?

 Creating the Perfect Facebook Experience
Taylor Pratt is the Product Marketing Manager at Raven Internet Marketing Tools. With Raven you can conduct research and analysis, manage link building campaigns, track search engine trends, instantly produce ROI reports for SEO and SMM campaigns, and collaborate with team members with intuitive multi-user features.

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12 thoughts on “Creating the Perfect Facebook Experience

  1. In deed great points Taylor! i think you should not go with the flow if every body seems to have a facebook fan page this should not be the reason your company/product should add one on their facebook page.

    well the idea was unique and apply-able to restaurants and some other industries as well… i have been working with some restaurants and i know how important a facebook page can be if you use it in a proper way and to find your proper way you need to answer so many questions to yourself before starting…

  2. A great point, but I disagree that you HAVE to have conversation. Most companies don’t understand how to market using social media, and are going to take a while to get on board with that. In the meantime, I recommend creating a presence and dropping a feed into it as a first step. The sooner the better. Fist use it as a broadcast channel, then evolve it into a communication and marketing channel. Baby steps are all some can handle.

  3. Absolutely true. With the rate at which Fan pages are created it’s getting tough to get your brand presence noticed on Facebook. As Taylor clearly mentioned the Fan page needs to be vibrant and offering soemthing to it’s users.

  4. Great points, Taylor. I worked for a government agency that really wanted to get involved in Facebook. I tried to educate them about who do you want to target/what will you bring to the table, but the executives didn’t want to think through the tough questions. I ultimately left the position because I didn’t think they were interested in any kind of communication strategy. Too many people are doing it only because everyone else is.

  5. Surely there are lots of companies who are thinking of creating fan pages for their company. They thought that by creating one, they can have more customers and sales. But the fact is, it all depends on how you manage the fan page. The best question will be, what will be the role of your fan page in terms of your overall marketing plan.

  6. Tools like Facebook are true PUBLIC RELATIONS tools. They enable channels for engagement (interaction, feedback, trend monitoring, suggestions) not just a place to shout out a brand message. They enable companies/organization to establish some form of actual dialogue — and that is more than communication. Communication is the means to the end, but the end goal for every organization should be high-quality relationships with key stakeholders. Tools like Facebook help achieve that goal.

  7. Yes, it’s almost funny that a company would think people would want to identify themselves as liking a medical device. However, use a bit of creativity and create a Facebook page that isn’t about promoting a medical device, but is about providing health information relevant to people who may use, or take care of someone who uses, the medical device.

  8. There are lots of questions that need to be answered first. Is anyone even talking about this particular type of medical device, or the conditions it’s used to treat, on Facebook? Who? How often? Is there more, relevant, conversational activity happening somewhere else – maybe on Twitter, or a niche social network? If competitors are on Facebook – how active are their pages? Before pursuing a tactic, you need a strategy, but before you can create a strategy, you need some data.