“Name a food shaped like an “O”! Name something that would happen if you turned into an elephant! It’s almost Happy Hour; what’s your favorite cocktail? In 1984, and for the first time in 32 years, Arnold Palmer failed to make the cut. What was it for?”
No it’s not an episode of family feud! These are actual posts from some very successful Facebook fan pages! Can you guess what kind of business they were for? The answer is, there is NO answer. Your fan page is your hangout, the bar you visit when you punch out. It’s the replacement for the networking of old. In a nutshell, its your Cheers. Remember the TV Show Cheers? “Where everybody knows your name!” That’s what your fan page design should be all about.
I know, your boss is going to say, “What the hell does that have to do with selling xyz widget?” The correct answer is, “We don’t sell xyz widgets on our wall! We sell them on our page!” More on that later.
Your fan page wall is your company’s streaming consciousness. Its where people come to shoot the breeze about whatever is on their mind. It’s where YOU build relationships with PEOPLE (not customers). What does that mean? You need to be a person first. People don’t come to facebook to be marketed to. They come to hang out with their people; their friends, their family, etc. If you want to hope to get their attention and hold it, you need to first become one of their people!
You need to earn their trust. You need to become a respected, relevant member of the community. But you must keep in mind the community you are operating in. It is a perpetual party. If you were invited to a party at a friend’s house and all you did was sell to everyone; hand out your business cards and try to sell them your widget, you would NOT be invited back! The same rules apply here. You talk to people about whatever is relevant at that time. If they ask you a direct question about your business, that’s when you get to mention something about your business. You don’t go around pushing it on everyone.
Why then would you want your business to be on Facebook? I can give you over 500,000,000 reasons! In case you haven’t heard Facebook recently crossed the 500,000,000 user mark. That is a massive audience. But more than just the audience, its what the audience does there and what they do is spend a ridiculous amount of time on Facebook. But what is the point if you can’t sell?
I never said you couldn’t sell! I said you can’t sell in wall posts! I am still surprised to see businesses setting up personal profiles instead of fan pages. Even when I see businesses using fan pages, they really don’t do anything with them. Did you know you can build virtually all the functionality of your website into a fan page? You can build virtual billboards, apps, and all kinds of things for your fan page fans to use to interact with and brand your name in the process.
Take my first dealer fan page for example: Marlboro Nissan. If you’re not already a fan, you’ll notice that instead of landing on the wall, you’re on a page with advertisements. The layout is explained so people know what to find on the various tabs. Each image links to a unique landing page based on the individual ad. When you visit the wall tab you will also notice that the specials are also displayed there and scroll all the way down the page. “Digital Brochures” of each vehicle are accessible via the brochures tab, the Nissan Dealer‘s complete inventory is listed and there is even a tab where consumers can post feed back. As a result of this, Facebook is MarlboroNissan.com’s 3rd highest source of traffic after Google and direct traffic. This is a site that averages 15,000 unique visitors a month. This is a huge volume of traffic as car dealers go.
The point is, it doesn’t matter if you are operating a flower shop or Bass Pro Shops; in this example both are guilty of having a poor facebook marketing strategy and yet they can both equally benefit from starting an effective one and so can you!
UPDATE (9-14-2010): YouFloral, the flower shop referenced above, has hired Wikimotive to complete their fan page design. When this article was originally posted they had 41 likes at the conclusion of their campaign they will have a guaranteed minimum of 10,000. What could that do to boost your sales? I will update this post with our findings.
In the next article we’ll be talking about blogs: What various blog platforms are available and what the benefits are to keeping a blog. Thanks for reading! Please comment and REMEMBER: There are NO stupid questions!