Exactly two years ago, I had maintained that facebook is going to witness explosive growth over its competition. Today it has actually done so and well beyond expectations at that. It’s no more a mere social networking platform but also a place where people market their products and promote their brands.
Facebook fan pages have become one of the bare minimum ingredients for any company in order to successfully build its brand and online campaigns (even for offline success). Last night, I spend some time to build a small fan page for DollarShower and I strongly recommend that you build one for your business today! Creating a fan page is as simple as 1-2-3 as explained in this post.
Why do you need a fan page?
As I mentioned in a recent post, facebook is THE Internet Marketing platform for 2010. Online marketing in this context may not be direct marketing or banner advertising alone. The modern day marketing revolves a lot around networking and indirect discussions whereby at some point the customers will find you and your services/products based on their past engagements, tweets or chats with you. Excuse my ignorance if it’s not the case – I am not a marketing guru.
A facebook fan page is an excellent mechanism to find new people who are interested in your brand and retain your existing fans mainly because it adds the social networking angle to it. And that part is more powerful than any offline campaigns, telephone calls, surveys etc. The SocNet’s viral networking nature and facebook’s market leadership on that makes it the ideal online place to build your brand as compared to a twitter homepage or a Squido lens. Moreover, there’s no limit to what you can do on a facebook fan page.
[A facebook fan page is not the same as your facebook profile. The facebook profiles are mainly for individuals where as for you build a fan page for your business or brand. The other important aspect is that a facebook profile maintains (administrates) one or more fan pages as there is no concept called fan page account.]
Do blogs require fan pages?
My logical answer would be ‘NO’ and why? Blogs themselves are mini SocNets and you can do all your link sharing, collaboration, discussions etc on your blog itself and hence why do you need networking related brand building outside that? The reason is that you may not be able to penetrate into masses so easily unless you tap into something facebook’s popularity. Hence it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a fan page for your blog. However, if you maintain a page only to syndicate your blog posts, it is not going to yield any results. To get the best out of your facebook fan page, you need to be more active (much more than your blog itself) on your page, encourage discussions, post useful links and threads and keep helping your fans with their queries. You have to basically keep their interests high around what you have to offer!
How to create a facebook fan page?
It is so easy to build a fan page on facebook and perhaps you already read it on 100 other blogs. However, since I went through this process only yesterday, let me jot down the steps involved in building a facebook fan page once again here.
- Go to the facebook fan page create link to create a new fan page. You have to have a facebook account to create one.
- Select the category of your business, give the new fan page a name (usually your brand name) and keep it invisible till a time when you are ready to publish it
- Provide your company details (founded year/date, mission description) in the info area
- To create a profile picture, just upload your brand logo (or any alternative to the same) and remember to create a thumb image of the same that helps to track your own threads. Please remember to keep the profile picture of width 200px for best results. You may add additional photos related to your business to the fan page album, at this point.
- If you have a blog or website, you may import the blog’s content (RSS) at this point, using the Notes button at the top
- At this point, your basic fan page is ready and you may publish it.
You may still not have a good looking and friendly URL (something like facebook.com/mypage). For this, you have to wait till you get a good number of fans (25 for now) on board.
You can use the Facebook Markup Language (FBML) to build cool custom fan pages but that topic is not in the scope of this little post. Perhaps, I can write about it some other day. In the mean time, please join my fan page though there’s nothing much there yet (I will be adding a fan page widget on this blog soon)
Please feel free to share your facebook fan page links in your comments as well.