Saturday, October 30, 2010 @ 7:09 PM

12 Ways to Create an Effective Facebook Page

Facebook is one of the most popular web destinations today with 500 million users from around the world. As such, businesses have taken note of how Facebook can be used to reach customers. Facebook presence is now considered an important marketing tool for big and small businesses alike.

Facebook offers the Fan Page where businesses can create a page and interact with Facebook users. The more engaged your fans are on your Facebook Page, the more successful your Facebook presence will be and the more likely future fans will be to join your Page.

But how do you create an effective Facebook page? Here are some tips we’ve compiled on how to create a Facebook page that works for you:

1. Study how your competitors are doing their Facebook page. It is important to know your niche and what makes FB users tick. Study what your competitors are posting. Take time to find the FB pages of businesses in your niche to see what the users are following. Look at the types of posts that get the most comments, the most likes – and consider using those types of content in your FB page to use as bait while you build your fan base. Also look at the tabs your competitors are using as well as the applications on their FB page.

2. Provide interesting content in your FB page. What you post in your FB page must be engaging and informative enough so users will like your page. More importantly, you want your fans to return to your page and even visit your website and the links that you post in your FB page.

3. Run Facebook ads. Big brands and well-known websites and businesses can easily attract thousands of Facebook fans immediately. But not many small businesses. You may need a little help getting the word out about your FB page and an effective way is to run FB ads if you have the budget for it. FB ads allow you to target potential audiences and can provide you with the beginning traffic for your page. Target your competitors FB pages or friends, or other specific demographics) and bring them over to your page. Run one or two ad campaigns until you’ve reached a predetermined number, or your page becomes viral on its own.

Note, though, that you can control what tab users will land on your FB Page. So you can create specific landing tabs for each of the campaigns that you run.

4. Don’t underestimate the power of the page image. This icon will represent your brand on FB. It is important to create an eye grabbing, sharp and clean logo or icon for your FB page. It’s a 200 pixel wide box and make sure that your image fits into that box. It will appear as the icon beside all your posts in your FB page as well as in the newsfeeds of all your fans.

5. Think of ways you can tag users in photos and videos. When you tag a user on FB, their network of friends sees it. If they even check out the photos, which reside in your Page’s album, then you get more users to check out your page. The challenge though, is finding out ways you can ask users to submit photos and videos to you so you can tag them from your page. Tagging is an effective method for spreading the word about your fan page, though not the easiest to implement.

6. Keep your Wall interesting. The “wall” is the first thing users will see when they come to your site. It is the front door to your FB page; and in many cases, the only page users will look at. Keep it full of relevant information and keep it interesting.

7. Experiment on the optimal patterns of posting. Some businesses try to limit their posts a day (some even post only once) as posting too often – and hijacking the news feed of followers – is one of the fastest way of losing fans. Check also what time is best in terms of posting where you get the most interaction to your posting. Some users find 11am – 3pm EDT as the best time period for their postings, but it differs based on your type of business and audiences.

8. Use apps to increase engagement. Your goal in your FB page is to keep the fans coming back and share the content on your page. Oftentimes, posting on the Wall is not enough. You need to use various applications to keep the engagement level high. There are more than 55,000 applications on the Facebook platform, and a huge number of them can be integrated into your fan page. Some of these apps can help you expand the functionality of your FB page, such as Static FBML which allows you to put in interactive elements to your Page, such as clickable images, anchor text and interactive content.

9. Consider separating your business account with your personal account. Just announce to your personal friends your Facebook page and keep a link to it in your personal profile. Your personal friends may be annoyed to constantly see you posting links about your business. They are not your target audiences: remember, they friend you on FB because they want to interact with you, not with your business.

10. Watch out for spammers. There will be Facebook users who will try to spam your FB page and put their business opportunity or other non-relevant postings in your Wall. Have a strategy on what types of postings you will allow in your Wall, what you will consider irrelevant and what types of postings need to be deleted.

11. Constantly review what your audiences look for in your page. Know what interests your audience. Monitor the postings that get the most response on your Facebook wall. Find out the topics that generate the most discussions. Then be sure to provide those content or information to them.

12. Be persistent. Facebook marketing is not a one-day thing, and for most, does not happen overnight. It is important to keep engaging your fans regularly. Continue posting interesting content, constantly looking for ways how your Facebook presence can fit with your overall business goals (e.g. increased sales, more site traffic).

If you’re not yet on board with Facebook, why are you passing up what is, essentially, free advertising?

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