With Facebook attracting more than 400 million users, the question is no longer if you need to create a Facebook brand presence, it’s how you’re going to use one. If people are talking about your brand, you want them to be doing it on your official page so that you can leverage Facebook’s open social graph and drive users back to your site. But you can only do that after you jump one very important (and large) hurdle. You have to make people want to join your Facebook page.
It’s simple: You can’t market to or build brand awareness with someone who’s not opted in. What’s not simple is getting a user to hit that ‘like’ button. Users are a lot more discerning on Facebook than on other social sites. For them to opt into your page, they need a compelling reason. It’s a big step from passively liking a brand to publicly ‘liking’ them in full view of friends and colleagues. You have to make it worth their while. How do you get something to like you enough to make it Facebook official? Here are a few suggestions.
Create Exclusive Facebook Content: Just like with anything on the web, you live and die by your content. By creating content that is exclusive to Facebook, you immediately attach value to your page, give users a reason to join and provide them something powerful to share with their own networks. The most common ways that brands use exclusive content on Facebook include:
· Facebook-specific discounts. Using Facebook-specific discount codes will also allow you to track your Facebook efforts and associate ROI.
· Merchandise giveaways for fans.
· User-generated content in the form of pictures, videos, mashups, etc.
· Exclusive video, stories or clips.
While deals tend to be the most popular reason that users will join a brand page, it’s not the only one. Find out what your customers most want from you, and then use your page as a portal to deliver that. People want to be in the know and have more access than their friends – give them something to hold on to and to ‘like’. Remember – the more you’re ‘liked’ the more your content is passed through Facebook’s graph and the more eyes that will see it.
Offer a unique brand experience: Popular brand pages are often the ones where the company treats the page like their own personal brand VIP room. They don’t turn it an RSS feed or stagnant stream, they put up the velvet rope and create an exclusive experience for their most dedicated and engaged fans. They let their audience know that by joining the club, they’ll be taken behind the rope and they’ll get to see the inner workings of the brand. They give them never-before-seen footage of their latest commercial or ad, the back story on products that bombed, and direct access to the company. How do you take people backstage?
· Give them the dirt that didn’t make it into that interview/story.
· Give them access to products or merchandise not yet on your site.
· Invite them into your testing process
· Get their opinion on the services and products they want to see…and incorporate them.
· Let them name the secret test project you’re working on.
· Let them create a concept board for future ad campaigns.
People ‘like’ brands that they care about in real life. By inviting them back stage and giving them a peak behind the curtain, you make them feel more connected to what you’re doing and more interested in becoming involved.
Create a community of influencers: Every group has an influencer core – the folks responsible for change, for leading things, and for getting everyone excited about spreading the company message. Reach out to these folks and get them involved in talking about your Fan page. By getting people talking, you naturally create interest in what you’re doing and entice others to see what all the commotion is about. Create your promotional army by hand selecting the major players, sending the messages thanking them for their support, and then telling them that you need their help. Make them feel important and a part of the cutting edge of whatever you’re doing. Get them to always be talking about you and tagging you on the site.
These types of connectors usually have very large social networks on sites like Twitter or Facebook. Ask them to use Facebook’s Suggest feature to “suggest” that their friends fan your page. When the request comes from them, it’s harder for others to decline and it just reinforces that “inside joke”. Facebook Fan pages have always been a valuable way to build a community and learn about your audience. However, they can’t help you attract customers unless you get them to join. And that requires giving them a reason. Creating share-worthy content, strengthened brand experiences and powerful street teams are all ways to generate interest in your page.
So with that said, take a moment and "Like" my own fan page! You can do that by looking to the right on the widgets tab and pressing on the "Like" button! Make sure you're logged into Facebook or it won't work. You can also go to my Facebook fan page directly by clicking here.