Get in the Game: Take Your Facebook Page to the Next Level
“Sports are 80 percent mental, and 20 percent everything else.”
I am a sports fanatic, which might explain why I chose a career in marketing. Just like in sports, the success of your marketing is determined more by the thought and strategy than anything else. This general principle also holds true when working on a specific component of your marketing plan, such as your Facebook Page. In fact, just like sports, I believe Facebook success is 80 percent mental, and 20 percent everything else.
It takes the right mindset to have a truly successful Facebook Page. You can’t take the “if I build it, they will come” approach. On the flip side, you also need to avoid the “spam” mentality, where you constantly bombard people with irrelevant messages. Instead, a business needs to think: “What’s in it for the customer?”
After adopting the right mindset, it’s time to develop your game plan. Concentrate on the fundamentals – presenting a regularly updated Page with relevant and engaging content. All of this should be figured out before your first game. Once you’re in the game and you’ve determined your Facebook strategy and have begun maintaining and monitoring your Page, there are a few ways you can take your game to the next level. There are also some mistakes to make sure you avoid.
UPPING YOUR GAME
Don’t be afraid to change your starting lineup. Facebook’s default tabs are limited. You can dramatically improve your Facebook Page by creating one or more custom tabs. Rather than directing new visitors to your Wall, a custom tab can be used to better position your brand. Starbucks and McDonald's are two high-profile companies that make good use of custom Facebook tabs. However, you don’t need a big marketing budget to make this happen. Any web programmer that knows HTML and CSS can create a custom tab for your Page using the powerful Static FBML application. For example, we’ve added two custom tabs to our Villing & Company Page - Welcome and Games.
Don’t forget opportunities like give-aways and news or special event information. Everyone likes free stuff. Why not reward people for being loyal to your brand by offering those who “Like” your Facebook Page an incentive? When news spreads of your offer, the chances are pretty good that the number of people who engage with your brand on Facebook will increase. Be sure to provide an offer multiple times a year so that the new people who “Like” your Page also feel they are being rewarded for engaging with you.
Events are another way to drive engagement. Facebook has an Events tab where you can include all of the details of the event and people can RSVP directly from Facebook. What better way is there to find out what your target audience is looking for than to be able to speak with them in person at your event? The feedback you get at your event can help you provide relevant content on your Facebook Page. And if you can’t physically hold an event, host a Q&A session on your Page where people can ask questions about your company, products/services or your industry as a whole. This is a great way to stimulate discussion and engage your audience.
There's no "I" in "team." Your Facebook Page should not stand alone. It needs to be connected to your website, as well as the other social media sites and relevant Internet marketing opportunities. It should be a one-stop destination that incorporates your blog, YouTube Channel, Flickr account, etc. Your Page should make it very easy for people to connect with you, not only on Facebook, but elsewhere on the web. Facebook is only one part of your entire Internet strategy.
The right play isn’t always the easiest. Often Facebook’s default settings aren’t optimal. For example, you can easily import an RSS feed into your Wall by using Facebook’s Notes feature. This instantly populates your Facebook Page with posts from your website or blog. Here’s the problem: rather than linking directly to your website, people who click these headlines are taken here:
It’s not immediately obvious, but the only way to actually read the full article is to click the tiny “View Original Post” link. Unsatisfied with this behavior, we created a separate RSS feed specifically for Facebook that includes direct links to our website in the summary of each post. Now it’s much clearer in the Wall post how to read the full article and you can get there in one click.
This simple change increased our click through rate by 550 percent.
Don’t shoot from the hip. Just having a Facebook Page is no longer enough. You need to have a strategy behind it. You need to know exactly what kind of content you are going to include, who is going to update it, how often it will be updated, etc. Your Facebook presence cannot be spotty. You are bound to get booed and have popcorn thrown at you if you consistently let down your fans.
As with sports, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. Take some risks. And most importantly, keep your head in the game.
To get our latest articles when they are posted, please subscribe by e-mail or RSS.