Brands today have the incredible opportunity of interacting with consumers on the #1 social network in the world – Facebook – and creating relationships with them that are long lasting, personal and relevant.
Companies today no longer control their own brand, the power has shifted to the masses. It is the public’s desire and feedback that will decide the brand’s fate in the end. Therefore it is clearly apparent that Facebook must play a major role in every brand’s social media marketing plan.
A few facts about Facebook (taken from the site’s blog):
- More than 400 million active users
- 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
- Average user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook
- More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
- More than 3 million active Pages on Facebook
- More than 20 million people become fans of Pages each day
- Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans
- More than 250 applications have more than one million monthly active users
- There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices
Facebook is now the 2nd most visited site in the world after Google and time spent on Facebook is higher than on any other site in most countries. It is clear that Facebook is an important component of any social media marketing plan, if not the most important.
Here are the 10 steps you should follow for the creation of the best Facebook Page for your brand:
1) Open Page – As a company, you should open a Facebook page. I have often seen the mistake of many companies opening a group or a personal profile for a company. Facebook has created Facebook pages for commercial companies to be able to carry on conversations with their consumers. Pages (unlike personal profiles or groups) enable brands to view insights such as fans demographics, number of interactions with fans, etc. Insights which are a necessary part of evaluating and assessing your brand’s marketing activities.
2) Content is king – When you’re initially building your Facebook page, fill it up with interesting and relevant content. Content doesn’t need to be specifically about your brand. Find insightful articles that have to do with your company’s vision and perspective and post them. Add dynamic content such as screenshots of highlighted areas on your site, videos of explaining your service, stuff that people would be able to look at when they make the decision of joining your fan page or not. You want to make sure that before you start inviting people to your page, you’ll have good high quality content to show them. Make sure to continuously upload great content to your page on a daily basis so that fans will want to see your page on their news feed when they open up their Facebook in the morning.
3) Networking – After you’ve uploaded enough interesting content, suggest your page to relevant members in your network. Obviously the more of a social networker you are and the more connections you’ve already managed to attain in your personal network, the easier this step will be. Keep building your network of connections for the future.
4) Find your target audience - Finding the people within Facebook that will take an interest in your brand and in your campaigns and make sure they know your page exists. Are you a social network for animators? Are you offering a new, healthier product for coffee lovers? Find your relevant audience who’s already on Facebook and let them know that you’re there. In today’s world wide web, people are getting more and more used to information finding them and not vice versa. Those brands that have understood this point and are reaching out to their target audience within Facebook and creating relationships with these individuals, are already placing the competition at a huge disadvantage.
5) Keep the conversation awake – Create live discussions on your page by both utilizing the status feature and also the discussions app. Get your fans involved in your discussions, ask for their feedback, show them you care about what they have to say. Enable a free flow of conversation even if you don’t like to hear what is being said by some folks. Use this opportunity to listen to what people have to say and take control of the conversation. Be happy for the opportunity you’ve been given to win them back as customers. Always make sure to be attentive, patient and answer as quickly as possible. Remember that Facebook doesn’t sleep.
Utilize the information of the crowd to learn more about how to lead your brand forward in the market.
6) Excite people about your brand again and again - Create frequent contests and special campaigns for fans to take part in and reward them for their participation with either social or monetary incentives that have to do with your brand. In this manner you are ensuring that those people who enter your contest are potential future clients who take a true interest in your product.
7) Create a Welcome tab – A Facebook page that says “Howdy” to all the new comers is both welcoming and a good opportunity to let them know what they can find on your page. Utilize it to express the benefits of joining your page, promote special campaigns you’ve got going on at the moment, anything you like. Welcome new fans to your home on Facebook.
8 ) Bring Value - Create other tabs that are relevant to your brand – for example, a “fashion tips” tab if you’re a clothing brand, a “book reviews” tab if you’re a publisher. Build fun applications for fans and potential fans that will not only help you create exposure for your brand but will also give added value to the users who install it.
9) Utilize Facebook’s Insights - How many interactions did you have with fans this week? How many people commented on your posts? Where are your fans located? Are they mostly female or male? The answers to these questions will of course enable you to make better use of your page plan of future activities.
10) Increase your exposure - Promote your Facebook page on your email signature, on your homepage, in other social networks that you’re a part of and in all outgoing materials to bloggers and journalists. Let your employees and customers know about your page so that they can become a part of the conversation.
Building a good, solid Facebook page may look easy and it is the best Facebook pages that excel at making it look so easy, however, maintaing an online community is not at all easy. Just like any community, it has needs and thoughts and opinions and as administrators of a Facebook page we are responsible for keeping its interest and shall I even dare say turning the members of your community to patriots of your brand.