Facebook Pages are becoming the hottest thing in social media marketing right now.
There are some excellent examples of great pages popping up. The key question any business should ask is ‘Why do I need a Facebook Page’ and ‘What do I want my Facebook Page to achieve?’.
If you can’t answer these questions then this article will help you. In it, I’m going to discuss both issues and give you examples of what I consider effective pages and why. Just as with all other marketing tools, it’s not always the flashiest that is the most effective.
But first – some important background information about using Facebook for business:
Formerly called ‘Fan Pages’, Facebook Pages should serve a very specific purpose. Besides getting your message across to a targeted audience, they’re a means of engaging them in ongoing communication with the end goal of increasing your sales.
Although Facebook requires every profile to be an individual’s personal profile, a Page can be ‘owned’ by a business. And, although you can set up a Page independently of a personal profile, it limits the functionality quite severely. Facebook doesn’t allow it show in searches and you cannot ‘invite’ people to like your page the same way that you can when it’s attached to a profile. This means that getting it seen by your target market becomes a lot more difficult.
The trickiest part about setting up a business page attached to a personal profile is that you cannot have more than one personal profile on Facebook. You can’t set up a profile for yourself to use with your friends and another for your business communications. If you do, you run the risk of being banned from Facebook altogether.
This really complicates things when it comes to any business larger than a small owner operated organization. Who gets to tie the company Facebook Page to their personal profile? You can imagine the issues arising from that.
The good news is that if you get to be the lucky one who has to tie the company page to your profile, it is completely separate from your personal profile in all it’s operations AND you can appoint anyone who ‘likes’ the page to be an administrator so that they can access the page to update it and manage it without them having any access to your personal profile.
So… why does your business need a Facebook Page?
Essentially, it’s an integral part of a complete online presence. As they say, if you want to hunt ducks, hang out where the ducks are, not with the duck hunters. The ‘ducks’ are all hanging out at Facebook.
- Facebook has more traffic than Google and it has half a billion active users.
- 50% of those users are on Facebook any given day
- People spend 700 billion minutes on Facebook every month
- The average user is connected to 80 pages and has 130 friends
- Over 71% of the 206 million US internet users are on Facebook
- Facebook was the most visited web site in 2010
- More than 2 million websites have integrated with Facebook
To recap: Facebook is where the ‘ducks’ hang out – and the ducks you are after are more than likely amongst the flock and if they aren’t yet, they soon will be.
This is why your business needs a Facebook page.
People no longer look in the Yellow Pages for things they want to buy – they look online (including checking out online reviews) and they ask their friends and look at who their friends are friends with – which is easy to find on Facebook.
What do you want your Facebook Page to achieve?
The only reason that most businesses have for wanting a Facebook Page is to help them sell more. Or that should be their primary reason. Any other reason is really peripheral. Having said that, we do recognize that part of the sales process is establishing credibility and building relationships. All three issues are easily dealt with through a Facebook Page.
If your page doesn’t achieve any one of these major objectives, it is not fulfilling its potential. Looking pretty is not a reason for having a page.
Here are some examples of Facebook Pages with my analysis of just how effective they are when judged by these criteria:
What’s wrong with these great looking Facebook Pages?
Diet Coke has a good looking page and it even has a reveal tab. But the call to click on the reveal tab is pretty weak – they don’t give you any incentive to do so either – and when you do, there’s no real reward.
On the other hand, they offer room for fans to participate on the page which is important.
LiveScribe has a beautiful page but absolutely no call to ‘like’ them which means they can’t follow up with their fans. This page has tons of functionality too and offers the user a variety of options – unfortunately most of these options take the user off the Facebook page and onto the web site where they hope you’ll make a purchase.
It misses opportunity to ensure ways to keep the conversation going and take advantage of the way Facebook is evolving to be a ‘one stop’ venue for internet users with video, games, conversation, Q&A, messaging and soon, email facilities.
Toys ‘R Us also has a great looking page. However, instead of having a reveal tab that provides an incentive for users to ‘like’ the page, it instead offers a poll on the landing page. Polls are great for interaction, BUT, that ‘like’ is essential for easy internal Facebook follow up.
Here are a few simple, but effective pages:
Lake Nona Pools tells users exactly what to do and shows them where to do it…
So does PageLikeMagic page – which tells users what the incentive is to take action… that’s even better! They get a video and can choose to be sent more information.
This page from Focused Lead Generation also tells users exactly what to do and what they’ll get for taking the action – once they do, they get to watch an informative video and there’s another call to action with an offer of a free white paper in exchange for inputting an email into the submission box just below the video.
This page also offers interactive polls, more videos and articles to engage the user.
While the last few examples may not be as slick as some of the first examples, they do have an advantage. They keep things simple for the user to understand and they make very clear
- what action needs to be taken
- why? what’s in it for me?
- and, they have systems in place to further engage the user in order to build the relationships necessary to sell to them.
While it’s not that easy to sell directly off a Facebook Page (most ‘buy now’ action requires moving off Facebook to an ecommerce site) this functionality will soon be readily available on the same platform.
Depending on what it is that you’re selling, your sales cycle may require more time and more input than an impulse purchase of $27. This is usually true for B2B Facebook pages. The aim with a B2B Facebook Page is use it as a lead capture system that plugs the user into a strategically planned sales funnel. We’ll discuss this further in upcoming articles.