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BizReport : Social Marketing : January 16, 2009

Putting your business on Facebook - Part 2

What purpose will your Facebook fan page serve? Is your goal to disseminate information to your fans, to entertain or to engage them? It should not be any one of these - it should be all of them.

by Helen Leggatt

facebook logo.gifFacebook fan pages are not a destination, they are an alliance. It's a space where people who have chosen to be your fans expect to be heard, informed and entertained. The best Facebook fan pages do all this, and more, in a community atmosphere.

So which elements come together to make a Facebook fan page that fans will recommend to their friends, interact with and visit often?

1. Communicate. Fan pages are based on dialogue. Include a discussion board (a basic forum tool), and prevent it from stagnating by providing regular topics and encouraging fans to contribute. Keep it conversational and don't treat it as a billboard, while continually managing spam and disruptive posts. Having a highly visible, approachable and active company representative on a fan page will greatly enhance the personal touch.

2. Socialize. Providing a message wall enables users to 'chat' with other fans, much like the wall-to-wall function on Facebook personal profiles, giving the site a sense of community and openness.

3. Opinion polls. Garner fan's opinions on your products, customer service or even on a new advertising campaign, by implementing the poll application. A user review section could provide a more comprehensive and ongoing feedback channel.

4. Entertain. Provide video clips and photography and encourage fans to upload their own content. Run a regular competition to keep contributions flowing.

5. Inform. Adding an events application enables a news-feed of events such as store openings, exhibitions, celebrity appearances or sales. Other information such as being 'the first to know' about a new product gives fans the kudos they crave from being an insider and 'in the know'.

6. Connect. Include links to your main website, or specific links to your job board or customer service/FAQ page.

To conclude, your Facebook fan page sits within an environment where people actively strive to connect with others and express themselves. Take advantage of this.

Tags: chat, communication, connect, events, Facebook, fan page, links, polls, socialize

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