Are you ready for a Facebook Fan Page?

facebook fan pageOn November 6th, reported that according to Facebook’s advertising statistics, the social media super giant just reached its 325 million subscriber mark.   In a follow up article on Mashable by Ben Parr the author does a little math that is equally impressive.  “From September 15th to November 6th, Facebook grew by 25 million users. That’s 53 days, if we include the start and end days. Divide that by 25 million you get a daily growth rate of 471,698 users per day for Facebook. That’s a small city joining Facebook every single day.”

A small city every day.  I thought that deserved repeating.  So, lets stop the debate about whether Facebook will stick around, or whether or not it will benefit your business.  The question should now be, how do I harness this incredibly powerful tool?  And yes, I will admit there are some businesses that are not the right fit for Facebook Pages.  And if you have a specific question about your business please contact me.  I’d be happy to give you some guidance.

I just recently launched a Facebook Page for my consulting business.  This was a mind shift for me, I’ll admit it.  Up until a few weeks ago,  I wasn’t sure how I would use a Fan page to support my business.  The purpose is now crystal clear.  My page will serve as a hub for sharing information and answering questions about Social Media Marketing.  What could the purpose be for your business besides a blatant advertisement?  Remember, it is about providing value.

In just one week the page has attracted 91 fans.  These fans consist of clients, former workshop attendees, friends, and a lot of new faces who must have caught an update in their friend’s timeline and followed to join.  Perfect.  That’s exactly how it should work.

Fan pages have some new features that are very helpful for Admins.  One is the ability to target your updates to fans by geographic area, age, and sex.  Another incredibly useful tool is the Page Insights.  In Facebook’s own words:

“Facebook allows you to engage with your fans in more ways than ever before – and Insights now allows you to dive into the context of those interactions with deep analytics. We now show you how users are interacting with your page, broken down by Wall posts, likes and comments. Your Post Quality shows you how engaging your posts are to your fans, and your star rating compares your Post Quality to other pages of similar size. Your Fans Over Time graph now lets you track when users decide to unsubscribe from your posts in their News Feed. And we now provide statistics on where your fan base is located and which languages they speak. If you would like to export your reports, please click “Switch to the Old Insights” in the menu and follow the Export link. Check back frequently, as we will be adding new metrics in the coming weeks and months!”

So, could your business use a Facebook Fan Page?  It’s time to get creative and put your thinking cap on.  I’m posting here some links to some fan pages that are getting it right to give you some examples and food for thought.  I am purposely not showing you the big brand pages developed by the big brand marketing departments.  Here are some small businesses and charities who are working it, without the big budgets.  They may not have thousands of fans (except for the first three) but their fans are interacting and the Admins are keeping things fresh and varied with photos, videos, events, and questions and their getting comments from their fans.  As I work to develop my Fan Page (psst, see the Facebook badge to your right?  Click on it and become of Fan)  I will be putting together a series of articles on Fan Page development, so be sure to subscribe to the blog either through email or RSS feed.

As always, if you have questions, I’d love to hear from you.  Either post them here as a comment below or on the Fan Page.   And if you have a Fan Page that is working for your business, please leave a link below.  We’d all benefit from more examples.

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