Do you own a business? If so, you really need to consider setting up a Facebook fan page. What is a fan page you may say? Originally, the intent behind Facebook fan pages was to allow “famous” people or large companies to connect with the masses. A personal profile page within Facebook has a limit of 5000 friends and many requested a larger “fan” option, thus the “Fan Page” was born.
You might be thinking…well I am not a celebrity OR a large company so why do I need a Fan Page? Regardless of what type of business you have, you can benefit from having a fan page presence on Facebook and here is why…
Fan pages are a bit of a different animal and because they are different, they add value that your personal profile does not. Fan pages allow you to brand your business, use your logo and customize your “look” just as you would a website. With this extremely valuable tool available to you, you can keep your “brand” consistent across the board as it relates to all aspects of your online presence.
The other value to fan pages is that you can keep the personal “you” separate from the business “you”. This is a great way to still maintain relationships with family and friends through your personal profile while maintaining a separate business presence on Facebook.
Your personal profile page has a limit of 5000 friends that is imposed by Facebook. While most of us do not have 5000 personal friends, if you are combining your personal friends with your business contacts or prospects, this number can be turn out to be very limiting.
A fan page, on the other hand, will allow you to have an unlimited number of “fans”. Some celebrity fan pages number into the thousands and even millions of fans.
The other really big advantage of a fan page versus your personal profile, it that a fan page will allow you to send updates to all your fans at one time. Your personal profile page only allows you to send out to 20 people at a time. However, I would caution against contacting your fan base more than a few times a week. You should be careful to consider their time and you certainly don’t want to overtax their inbox with miscellaneous stuff that could just as easily be posted to the fan page wall. Sending too much stuff will simply annoy your fans and cause them to leave your fan page.
This is a BIGGEE! Fan pages are fully indexed by Google, which means that anything you post on your fan page can be found by anyone doing a Google search. Content from your personal profile page or a group does not have this same benefit. Exposure to your business or service will be expanded because your social media content will now be found by anyone (not just a Facebook user) who searches via Google. Additionally, Facebook is the 2nd most trafficked site; second only to Google in fact. Any links from your fan page to your website will increase your chances of achieving higher rankings within Google.
Your personal profiles as well as groups are semi closed environments, depending on privacy settings or the option of joining a specific group. Your fan page, on the other hand, is totally open to anyone who stumbles across it. If someone is searching for something through Google and your fan page pops up, that person can view the entire fan page without “liking” or “joining”. Obviously, it is your hope that they will “like” the page. You can add incentives to build the desire to join your fan page but joining is not necessary for them to view the content of the page.
Interaction with Your Target Market (Fans)
Your Facebook fan page permits you to have a more personal communication with your fans than you can have through your website. Obviously, you could set up forums or other communication methods but most small business owners do not travel this road. Adding features such as this can be costly and many small businesses simply do not set aside funds for this type of customer interaction. This is why a Facebook fan page is so valuable. You can have all the collaboration tools available within Facebook for FREE! You can share content, videos, photos, run contests, ask questions, etc. This interaction will build relationships with your target market (fans). Encouraging interaction and building a sense of community will ensure that they keep coming back.
Drive Traffic to Your Site
Another huge benefit to Facebook fan pages is that you can customize them and make them appear as a mini version of your website. You can have an opt-in option, display videos, and even have customers order directly from your fan page. Remember Facebook has over 350 million ACTIVE users and if you tap into even a fraction of this market, WOW! By connecting and building relationships you dramatically increase your ability to market your products and services to your fan base!
Facebook allows the end user to upload videos, photos and audio files for FREE. Essentially this means that you do not have to worry about your web host dinging you for more bandwidth if your video goes viral and gets 500,000 views in a month. Additionally, it is a known fact that people response rates to videos are much higher than text. The use of videos on your fan page will increase the quality their experience on your fan page which will keep them coming back.
You might feel that your business would not generate a lot of interest but fan pages are a MUST if you own a business. They provide one more way for your business to be “seen” and that is a crucial piece of marketing online…visibility.