Facebook: What, Why, Who, How?

I’ve noticed more and more Facebook Fan Pages popping up and it’s great.  Fan Pages are a great way to connect with people, build your credibility and ultimately generate leads and grow your business.

The problem is most people are making one BIG mistake when it comes to their pages.  More on that in a minute.  First let me give you an overview on what I’m going to talk about today….

  • What Are Fan Pages?
  • Why Are They Important?
  • Who Can Build A Fan Page
  • Who Should Build A Fan Page
  • The “Big Mistake” So Many People Are Making
  • How To Build A Good Fan Page

What Are Facebook Fan Pages?

Facebook allows you to create a Fan or Business Page where you can post information, participate in discussion and share photos, videos and news.

Unlike groups in Facebook, Fan pages are visible to unregistered people and are indexed by the engines – which is another opportunity for you to come up in the engines.

The number of Fans you can have is unlimited (whereas the Friend limit is 5,000). However Facebook is not all about traffic. Fan Pages are generally better for long-term relationships with your fans, readers or customers.

You can send “updates” to fans whenever you want.  It’s a nice way of building a database of interested users.  Send messages about new products, updated website, etc.

When someone joins a Fan Page, it’s published in their News feed for all of their Friends to read (unless they have turned this off).  This helps spread the word about your Fan Page.

A Fan or Business Page is designed to promote a business.  It can be used to share simple information like your business hours, contact information and product/service offerings.  It can also be used as a marketing tool.

If you design a fun and graphically appealing Fan Page that is designed to capture leads and promote your business well, it can be a good tool for generating new leads.

In Facebook’s own words: “Start the Conversation. When your fans interact with your Facebook Page, stories linking to your Page can go to their friends via News Feed. As these friends interact with your Page, News Feed keeps driving word-of-mouth to a wider circle of friends.”

Why Are Facebook Fan Pages Important?

The stats speak for themselves:

  • Facebook has 400 Million Global Users (and growing)
  • Facebook has 100 Million U.S. Users: Facebook is strong around the world (Canada has the highest penetration rate), but nearly 1/3 of all Facebook users are in the U.S.
  • The average Facebook User Spends 55 Minutes Per Day
  • Real-time Search Is Important Today: Facebook is now making most content available publicly (unless you adjust your privacy settings). This has tremendous implications for search engine optimization and reputation management.  You need to be on top of real-time search – today.

A recent study (The Sysomos study) found a strong correlation between amount of content (notes, links, photos, videos and custom pages/tabs) and number of fans. <This is really important information!!>

Who Can Build A Fan Page

Anyone can set up a Fan page, but to get the most out of it with the added features, you need to know HTML and work with graphics and you need to attach it to a personal profile (you can’t use the FBML App unless the page is attached to a personal profile page).

Who Should Build A Fan Page

Anyone looking to create more exposure and generate more leads for their business should build a Fan Page.

You don’t have to play games or make friends and waste time idly chatting with people.  Look at your page as a source of publishing good information and generating a base of followers.

The key takeaways are that you have to know your audience, you have to engage and compel them first and foremost or they’ll leave.  Once you’ve done that, you have to provide quality content regularly and encourage discussion and engagement.

There are thousands of brands on Facebook in addition to the thousands of small – medium sized entities that have no brand awareness – you need to stand out from that crowd!

The “Big Mistake” So Many People Are Making

So what is the big mistake I keep referring to?  Ready, drum roll please…

Everyone is creating pages that look like everyone else.  They are using the default tabs and not adding anything compelling and interesting to the page.

Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing for www.EcomBuffet.com – a full service SEO, Web Design & Development and Social Media Firm. Since 1998 Jennifer’s expertise in marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue. Jennifer has been published in many SEO and marketing publications. Jennifer Horowitz is the author of Twitter Quickstart Success Training System, Blogging For Dollars, Optimization Step By Step: 2010 and more. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter at @ecombuffet. For more information on SEO, Twitter training or killer Facebook Fan Pages, contact Jennifer at jennifer@ecombuffet.com.
Jennifer Horowitz

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18 thoughts on “Facebook: What, Why, Who, How?

  1. My two cents on fan pages are that companies create these pages just because other companies in their industry are doing it…or because “Fan Page” is a buzz word right now. They don't truly understand the value of a Fan Page and how it relates to the rest of their marketing efforts.

    I agree with what you said, that companies should take advantage of the FBML so they can stand out from the crowd and add some customization.

    Its important to keep the Fan Page fresh and also engaging with others and responding to people who make comments on your page. Again, I think many companies are missing the boat when it comes to actually maintaining their page.

    Great post Jennifer.

    1. I agree completely. I want to do a series of articles. Step 1 is how to create the page, Step 2 is how to keep it fresh and engaging and Step 3 is how to promote it.

  2. Wow! what a great article! Just the kinds of things I was wondering about. Thanks for your detailed 'real life' tutorial: and timely too, as I will soon be adding 3 or 4 Facebook fan pages… for the first time.
    Andy Kuiper – SEO
    http://www.andykuiper.com

  3. Yes Jean, you are right and its a wonderful article, the aspect of the changes to “like” and removing the concept of fanpages will likely cause some confusion over the next few months.

  4. @Jean one quick point about promotion of the fanpage, shouldn't the image logos at the bottom of your website in the “follow us” section link to your relevant social media pages?

  5. Facebook is still a big mystery to me. I can understand that people are interested in it but it is so unbelievable how many users Facebook has gathered for the last couple of years. Thanks for this great post!

  6. Thanks for this article! I actually didn't know there was a difference between fan pages and groups on Facebook – I thought they work the same way. Since the fan pages are visible also to unregistered people it is a really good tool to promote ourselves, great!

  7. Thanks for this article! I actually didn't know there was a difference between fan pages and groups on Facebook – I thought they work the same way. Since the fan pages are visible also to unregistered people it is a really good tool to promote ourselves, great!