Everyone knows you’re supposed to have a Facebook page if you’re an online business (or any other kind of business, for that matter). But far too many businesses have a Facebook page with 112 fans and four updates. In order to make the most of a Facebook fan page, you need to understand how they work, and how to use them to interact with your target audience.
Here are a few things to note before we start:
- Pages don’t behave like they used to. If someone likes your post, that doesn’t mean it will show up in their feed for their friends to see anymore. If 10 people do, though, then it will definitely show up.
2. You can do a lot with pages – they’re almost like little websites. They’re not just a mouthpiece, but an extension of your business’s front desk.
3. Some businesses simply do not need a fan page. I do not want or need to be a fan of my brand of orange juice, or the place that cuts my hair. Just because your business is your whole world, doesn’t mean people want it spamming their Facebook all day.
Giving Something Back
With all of the new functionality available to Page owners, you have an opportunity to use Facebook to sell your stuff, promote your brand, and interact with your customers. But people on Facebook are distinguished by two things in particular: their desire for free stuff, and their need to feel like they’re in a cool exclusive group.
Because of the way Facebook evolved, its user base is used to competitions, coupons, special offers and the like becoming available only to Facebook fans. A perfect example is Rage Against The Machine’s one-off performance in London’s Finsbury Park. I worked right next to the park, and am a huge RATM fan, but I didn’t even hear about the concert, because I wasn’t a fan of them on Facebook.
Tickets were given out in a “lottery” to people who had liked the event’s page months before. People who didn’t get tickets hung around outside the barriers (and eventually tore them down). This kind of promotion or giveaway drives Facebookers nuts, and if shared virally will drive hundreds of thousands of people to a page.
If you know your way around the Facebook API, or use 3rd party software, you can orchestrate big giveaways and competitions for people who like a page, comment on a post, or share a link. One of the most powerful tools is the ability to “hide” content from people who aren’t fans. That means you can simply make an image with a coupon code (or be cleverer and have a script that generates unique codes) that only becomes visible when people “Like” the page.
Make Your Page Pay You and Your Visitors
You can easily spend $2,000 on Facebook ads and get a few thousand fans – but then what? Unless you have a clear plan to monetize these fans, they won’t help you. A tried and tested strategy, mentioned above, is to give a coupon code to all of your fans, or to share special offers with them that only they can access.
If someone sees your ad for a $10 coupon for your product, clicks on it, and goes to a Facebook page they have to like before they get their coupon, they won’t even think twice about it. Then they’ll go on to your store and buy something (sooner or later). You’ve gained a customer, and a fan you can communicate with, for $10 (which you only have to pay for when they buy something). Not a bad little transaction.