I’ve spoken a lot more about twitter than facebook, because that’s where my pawpawty anipals are. When I was starting out in Social Media, that’s where I put most of my effort. I have a huge disadvantage with twitter because most of the people that I talk to that follow The Pet Wiki are many time zones away. It’s hard to have a conversation with someone that answers a question that you’ve asked five hours earlier. Because twitter is so ADHD, you’re already on a new subject by the time those answers come around. Twitter works best for things that have fast turnaround and engagement.
Facebook, on the other hand, is more my speed. I’m able to have conversations on things that are posted without feeling the need to be connected 24-7. It’s still very important to respond to the people you are connecting with, but since everything is topic based, it’s easier to talk. What’s better is that not only can I talk with the fans of the page, fans that might not know each other can talk to each other. It works out really well. I’ve met some really cool people not only on my fan page, but also on other pages of people that I follow.
Here are a few of the tricks of the trade that I use to make the facebook page successful:
- Post regularly, but not too often. With twitter, there is so much noise already, you want to make sure that you have a presence on the feed. A nice thing about facebook is that there are two views. Most people see the feed as what is most popular, not just the most recent items posted. So if enough people like or comment on your post, it has a better chance of being seen by others. Even though you don’t need to be as connected with facebook as with twitter, you should still try to post a few times a day. Spread them out to have a better chance of making an impression.
- Don’t repost the same way that you would retweet. I know that Guy Kawasaki talks about retweeting each interesting article four times a day. That might be good for twitter because with all the noise it can be hard for users to see the articles that you tweet. With facebook however comments rule. If you have a comment on a post, it’s a good idea to build on that post and not repost it. If you have no response to an article that you feel is deserving, you can repost, but it is a good idea to remove the original post so that it doesn’t clutter your wall feed. People will be less likely to like your page if all it does is say the same thing over and over.
- Tag people and pages. I love tagging people and pages on facebook. It’s a great way to meet new people and let your facebook community know about them as well. To tag, type @ and then start typing the name of the page or person you want to tag. A drop down will appear and you can select the person that you want. This will create a like to the person or page and will show your post in their news feed. By creating the link, you are encouraging people to like these pages and you get people that go to these pages to know about you. It’s a great win-win. Note: To tag a person or page, you need to be friends or like the page with your personal account.
- Create a welcome page. If you want to give a direct message of who you are and why people should become your fan, there’s no better way to do it than tell people front and center. I’ve used a couple of things for creating facebook welcome pages. The first is pagemodo. They have a pay version and a free one. I played around with the free one. What it does is it gives you a template to fill in for creating the page. The end product is an image. It looks really pretty, but you can’t add links to anything. If you want to link to special areas of your site or let people click through to a promotion, it just doesn’t work. Instead, I opted for FBML code that I purchased through HyperArts. I’m very happy with the results. For this, all you need to know is a bit of basic html, and maybe not even that. I like to play with things, so I went ahead and made some modifications to what I was given. Just having the basic stuff there was helpful enough to get me off the ground. This one does not have a free version, but it is a one time fee that I really think is worth it, unless you feel comfortable with taking on FBML by yourself.
- Ads are easy and cheap. They are a great way to promote fan pages. The cool thing about facebook ads is that they are so targeted. I once heard about a guy that as a joke targeted his ad to be delivered to one friend. Since facebook stores all this information that people share about themselves in their databases, it’s easy for them to allow you to target to a very focused group of people. I target my ads to people who like all animals, but if I wanted to I could target them to women in the UK that have beagles, like the Rolling Stones and work at The Gap. You get the idea. You also get to choose how you want to pay for the ads – impression based or cost per click. I personally use the cost per click, but both work well and are really inexpensive.
There’s a lot more to write about facebook – like cool applications that you can add to your pages – but I think that I’ve covered enough for now. I’ll get to that stuff in a future post.
Hope you found this helpful. Do you have any suggestions on how to use fan pages? I’d love to hear them.