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BizReport : Social Marketing : January 12, 2009

Putting your business on Facebook - Part 1

According to recent research by interactive marketing agency Rosetta, over half of 100 leading retailers surveyed have pages on Facebook. But why build a Facebook page? Why not create a profile? And what is the difference?

by Helen Leggatt

facebook logo.gifRosetta discovered that 59% of 100 leading retailers have 'fan pages' on Facebook. Those with fan pages include Nike Shoes (currently c. 867,000 fans), Nescafe (c. 207,000 fans), Abercrombie & Fitch (c. 145,000 fans), Nascar (c. 28,000), Dell (c. 15,000) and most recently Wal-Mart (c. 8,500 fans).

Fan pages are a different kettle of fish to everyday profiles and are more suited to a brand presence. They are often referred to as Facebook 'pages'.

Facebook actively encourages businesses to build fan pages, although the link to the page via which to create one is hard to find. To create a fan page you must click on the 'Advertising' link, hidden at the bottom of any Facebook webpage, or you can follow this link.

So, how do fan pages differ from profile pages?

- Profile pages are limited to 5,000 'friends', whereas fan pages have no such limit.

- Fan pages are visible to those not registered on Facebook, unlike profile pages.

- Social Ads can be created and targeted to specific demographics via fan pages.

- Fan pages are indexed by Google and are searchable inside and outside of Facebook.

- Bulk messages can be sent to all fans via a fan page.

- Fans can bulk message their friends invites to a fan page.

- The presence of your fan page can spread virally. The profile page of each person who becomes a fan will display the message "Joe Bloggs has become a fan of...."

- Using Facebook Insights, a free service, you can gather data on activity, fan demographics, ad performance, and trends.

In a nutshell, profile pages are for people and fan pages are for non-people such as businesses or celebrities (I'm not suggesting celebrities are non-people, just that their fan base will usually exceed the profile page limit of 5,000).

Part 2 of "Putting Your Business on Facebook" will show you ways in which Facebook fan pages can be used to recruit, retain and entertain your fans.

Tags: Facebook, Facebook Insights, Facebook page, Facebook profile, fan page, Rosetta

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  • do you know if FB is planning on removing the personal account friend limitations? I've heard chatter about this through the forums but am not aware of a definitive answer, Thanks!



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