Build A Successful Page On Facebook
Many are no doubt already aware of the popularity of having a Facebook Page for your business and to be involved in social media, but what many don't realize is that it requires more than setting up a page and allowing followers of your business the ability to write on the wall of the page. Heck, it takes more than simply having your blog post to your Facebook page (or Twitter account), which most aren't aware of either. You see, we are talking about 'social media', and social media requires interaction. If your business is not interacting with it's followers (fans), then the social media is not really, well, social.
As social media becomes more and more integrated into businesses online marketing strategies, more research is being done and some very interesting and convincing statistics are either surfacing, or being solidified as fact. Recently I was lucky enough to sit through a very informative webinar that one, solidified a lot of my recommendations on best practices when using not only Facebook, but social media and two, provided some very interesting statistics on the success of pages that utilize these best practices. Below are a few take away notes that I thought would be great to share:
- Successful business Facebook Pages have a plan of attack for the page. That is, a strategy for how the Page is going to be used and what kind of information will be available on the page. It is definitely a positive to include information & run competitions on your Facebook page, that are not available elsewhere, or must be entered via the page.
- Pages with custom welcome tabs have a 20% higher conversion rate. This can be an explanation of what the page is for, show video for the business, or simply have a witty and persuasive 'Like' call to action. It is also not uncommon to have the custom landing page blur out some of the content, showing the visitor that the benefit to being a fan will allow them to see 'exclusive' content, a technique that has worked well for some organizations.
- Increased interaction and engagement on the wall results in larger growth of fans. Simply put—reply to fans questions and comments, even if it's just to say thanks for the interest. People love to see a reply from someone on any social media channel and is arguably the driving force behind social media in the first place, the reward of having another person interact with you.
To better illustrate some of these points I have included 3 great examples of successful business on Facebook (note these are only 3 of many). Yes these companies have a lot of money to throw into this side of their business, but beneath the pretty, custom built applications are the same basic techniques of engaging fans, and nothing beats starting with great interaction on the wall to begin with.
The Red Bull Facebook page's landing tab is a great example of the witty, persuasive 'Like' call to action that I mentioned earlier. Given it's not for everyone, it demonstrates the point well, and knowing their target market, it is totally acceptable and successful—I mean they only have in excess of 15 million fans! The rest of their page really brings in the interactivity, through the use of specially developed games, great videos, an aggregated Twitter stream of their athletes and lots of action on their Wall.
One of the biggest businesses on the planet did not get on the Facebook bandwagon from the offset, their Page was actually created by two fans, as told in the great video on the landing tab of the Facebook Page. It's great that Coca-Cola are not only open to the fact that they didn't initially create the page, but they gave the two folks that did the opportunity to make (more likely 'star' ) in the video of the pages inception. The request to 'Like' the page is much more low key, but still apparent on the landing tab. The rest of the Page is filled with an abundance of interactive applications all aimed to engage the user—and keep them thinking of drinking an ice cold can of Coke no doubt. The Coca-Cola Page has upwards of 22 million fans and Coca-Cola also interacts with fans on the Page's Wall!
Starbucks gets straight down to business on their Page, with a promotion of their Starbucks gift card and the ability to load a persons card right from within the Facebook Page. Taking advantage of the flood of people that predominantly spend their time on the popular social media site while on the web. I personally am not a fan of the Starbucks page and don't follow it's progress very closely, but I would assume that the landing tab is updated with whatever the current promotion is that they wish to push to their fans, at any given time. The rest of the Page includes reviews, Polls for their flavours (clever crowd sourcing) and a few more apps. Admittedly Starbucks are not interacting with their fan base, but because people are so 'addicted' to their product, I guess that they can get away with it.
These are just a couple of examples of some of the points mentioned above. To be quite honest, I don't feel that Starbucks are all that successful in relation to the best practices, as they really don't try to interact with fans on the social network site, rather opting to take more money from them. Perhaps that is coming from the side of me that doesn't understand the popularity of burnt coffee? Perhaps it's the disappointed side in me, as they are an incredibly successful company that no doubt has an exceptional marketing team, which begs the question, why not more interaction with the fans? Either way, it's obvious that they needn't try too hard as they have in excess of 19 million fans and plenty of fan driven action on their Page.
Experts predict that 2011 will be the year that we see e-commerce apps come into demand on the social media site as well as businesses taking hold of the Facebook Places app and using it to their advantage. I can see it now, be the first to check into our location here and you win 'X'. The potential is endless and we are really still only in the beginning phase of what Facebook can do for business.
Do you have some great Facebook Page examples you think should be taken note of? What do you think will happen on Facebook this year? Let us know in the comments.