The loneliest fan page – how to start a winning Facebook page


What is that? Out there by those Jawas? Looks like another abandoned Facebook page.

Facebook is littered with the corpses of unattended fan pages. These pages were made by well-meaning businesses and groups, but sometimes having no page at all is better than one that is poorly planned and maintained.

Think about it from a customer angle: when people look your company up on Facebook and find a page that was last updated in June, 2010, they say “This (company, club, whatever) doesn’t have their shiz together. Is this someone I want to work with?”

Also, once they have seen that sorry page, they aren’t coming back.  You’ve lost that avenue of communication with that client.

Why do you want a Facebook page?

A typical line of thinking is “Everybody has Facebook page, so we need one too.” You need to dig a little deeper than that, or you too will be lost in crappy-page-with-3-fans land.

Ask yourself these questions:

Why do I want this page? What is the purpose, besides just being on Facebook?  Are you there to start conversation, drive people to your website, offer advice on a specialized topic?

Who is my audience? Who are you trying to reach? This may influence the content you post.

Who will manage the page? It often seems that one person starts the page, and then moves to a new job, or that a group starts a page and then realizes that nobody has the time desire to work on it. Decide who is running the page, and designate more than one person in case someone is sick or is fired leaves the company.  Also, make sure that the people managing the content are people who like to use Facebook.  The page should be updated at least once a day during the workweek and checked in on several times daily.  This leads to the next question:

What will I put on my page? This goes back to what kind of page you want to have.  I think the best approach is to offer content and questions that start conversation.

I know a lot of executives are fear stricken at the thought of asking a question that *gasp* anyone can respond to, but if you are worried about that, you shouldn’t be on Facebook anyway.  It’s called SOCIAL Media, not One-Way-Advertising-Messages Media. Now be social, dammit!

Social Media success

If you aren’t educating or entertaining me, I’m not giving you my online time.  There are too many other choices! To get started, it is best to create a calendar for the year, with all of your posts for the year mapped out, one per day.  Mix it up with polls, facts, helpful hints and open-ended questions.

One I like is “Finish my sentence Friday”, an idea I got from Ben Foster.  Say you run a fishing resort.  One post might be “My dream fishing vacation would be…”. Or, it could be totally unrelated posts like “The best things in life are…”

Also, try offering useful information.  If you own an electronics store, offer tips on recycling used electronics, or tips on prolonging the life of your computer.

The more useful or engaging your content is, the more likely people will click “like” or leave a comment on your post. The more engagement you get, the higher you will appear on people’s Facebook pages. Also, when someone comments on your post, all of their friends see it, and this can bring more fans to your page.

Remember – in the social media world, attention is currency, now make like Scrooge McDuck and start earning your pay!

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