I’m almost embarrassed to say this: I love Facebook. I read people’s posts on my fan page when I wake up. I read them when I’m in line for coffee. I read them on airplanes and at work.
I check my Facebook status at least 10 times a day. I hear you laughing, but millions of potential customers have the same habit. That’s the challenge and opportunity. How do you leverage the platform’s 800 million users? How do you get them posting, sharing and buying?
Answer: The Amazing 5-Minute Facebook Fan Page. In five minutes a week, you create and update a fan page so people interact with you and your message in a positive, profitable way.
Let’s start with the basics. There are personal and public-facing Facebook fan pages. Limit your personal page, with that awkward prom picture, to friends and family.
You want your public-facing page to be seen, commented on and shared as much as possible. Individuals you reach through Facebook spread their interaction with you to their Facebook “friends.” (The average Gen Y’er has 696 “friends.”) This creates an unparalleled, virtually free opportunity to influence the masses one post at a time.
How influential is a fan page? The Center for Generational Kinetics’ new research with Bazaarvoice showed that a significant percentage of consumers would not buy a product or service without first seeing what other users say about it online. More amazingly, these potential purchasers don’t need to know the consumers who posted the opinions!
Every company and individual business leader can have a fan page. You want people interacting with you and each other where you can add to the conversation. This exchange creates trust, loyalty and the ability to influence an authentic conversation. My social media consulting taught me that if people are not talking about you on your Facebook page, then they’re talking about you elsewhere. That’s risky. Bring them back to you, so you can speak up. The more people who interact with your page, the more your reach expands. The conversation becomes a magnet to draw people in and push your influence out. What a win for you!
Here’s how to have an amazing Facebook fan page in five minutes per week:
Step 1: Show your human side. Your Facebook profile picture and description set the tone for your page. You want the picture to be approachable or unexpected, so people want to read. Use a candid photo of yourself with a pet or doing a hobby. For a company or product page, replace the logo graphic with a photo of people holding a sign with your logo or pointing to the product. Replace “corporate-speak” with text that talks with, not to, people.
Step 2: Stop pushing; start pulling. Most corporate fan pages we’re hired to fix suffer from the social media kiss of death: They push, push, push products, services or sales. In social media, push marketing pushes people away. Effective Facebook fan page posts:
1. Give value first.
2. Ask short, simple, humanized questions.
3. Offer the unexpected.
4. Focus on your mission rather than revenue.
The most-commented post on my Facebook fan page is a 14-second video of my grinning daughter’s first stumbling steps. Awesome.
Step 3: Ask people to act. This is crucial. If you want people to “like” a post, ask them to “Like this post” or “Share this.” It works because they want to help. You just have to ask.
Step 4: Pump up the visuals. Facebook is visual. Harness this by including a picture or video in all your posts. Images don’t need to be perfect; the best visuals look homemade… which fosters trust.
Email is so last century. Social media is much more interactive, connected and spontaneous. You have adoring fans. All they need is a place to converse with and about you—which reminds me: It’s been 12 minutes since I checked my Facebook status…