Guest post by – James Brack (www.dreamscapedesign.co.uk)

Hearing about the role Facebook can play in your marketing strategy has almost become a cliché, and has driven many business owners into a state of panic causing them to blindly create a fan page without any strategy. This can clearly be seen in the Facebook graveyard, consisting of pages that started with so much promise only to be left at the wayside with no fans and a wall which hasn’t been updated for over a year. These business owners will tell you that Facebook is a waste of time and not to bother with it, but it doesn’t have to be this way. As with any marketing tool, without a well planned and executed strategy, it is not going to bring home the bacon. The truth is there is no magic bullet, and the people who have used Facebook as a successful business tool realized this early on.

So, you ask, how can I make my Facebook company page a success?

The first and most crucial step is to start building up your fans. Remember, a Facebook page without fans is like a gun without bullets. Without a following of loyal fans your page will be targeting nobody, and will be doomed to join the Facebook graveyard.

Facebook networking

It helps to think of social media with the same methodology as traditional networking. Promote your Facebook page on your website; email your clients, suppliers and friends; shout about it from the rooftops. Make sure that you keep the page fresh with company news and information, but don’t limit this to corporate details. Forge a relationship with your fans by involving them in conversations and asking their opinions. Remember, social media should reflect a friendly, less-corporate side of your business, so keep this in mind when dealing with your fans.

OK, I’ve started my page and my fan base is growing steadily… What now?

The important thing to remember is that you have to keep your existing fan-base interested, in order to keep your fan-base growing. An active and thriving community is far more likely to attract new fans, and keep those fans engaged. It is worth bearing in mind, if your page is active with regular discussions and wall posts, then these posts will show up on the walls of your fans, which in turn will be seen by their friends.

Right, I’ve chatted with my fans and kept them amused, but I’m running out of things to say… What now?

There are many ways to keep your fan page interesting and engaging. Remember, the key is to keep your fans connected with your brand, and make them feel like they are important to your brand. Some Facebook marketing ideas include:

  • Exclusive fans only news feed
  • Competitions
  • Promotions
  • Fans only vouchers
  • Games
  • Polls

The most effective strategy will depend on the industry, products and services your company is involved with. For example, a news site will benefit from providing their fans with exclusive news items, or access to restricted portions of their main news site. A fashion brand will benefit from providing fashion tips to their fans, running product giveaway competitions, or requesting fan tips and gallery submissions based on the brand’s product range.

Another benefit, which should not be overlooked, is the customer service approach to social networking. Whilst people are familiar with emailing or telephoning for support, these methods have also led to frustration during recent years. This provides fantastic brand enhancement opportunities for companies to chat directly to their customers and answer any questions quickly and effectively. Customers love to have their questions answered and problems resolved quickly, and your brand will be remembered positively for this.

The key is to build a clear strategy for your page and identify the goals that you want to achieve. You can then incorporate tactical marketing ideas to help achieve your goal, build up your fan base, and keep your fans engaged with your brand. Remember, your Facebook page is an additional marketing avenue and if used correctly can help to grow your brand image. If you follow these simple tips, you too can start hitting the Facebook bulls eye and stop shooting yourself in the foot.

Author Bio:
James Brack is Technical Director at UK-based web design and online marketing agency Dreamscape Design. James is a SEMPO certified professional and specializes in SEO and social media marketing.