Note: This is a guest post written by Mitch O’Conner from HalloweenExpress.com
Like it or not, Facebook’s involvement in both small businesses and big brands is here to stay. According to a Rice University at Houston study conducted in 2011, customers that are fans of a business Facebook fan page visit the business’ store 36% more often than customers unfamiliar with the fan page. What’s more, those fans also spend 33% more on the products and services offered by that business.
But there’s a lot of confusion about Facebook fan pages – they are not the same as a Facebook profile. Instead, they are specially designed pages for businesses that allow customers to interact with your products and services. These pages are about as close as it gets to efficient marketing on a social media site designed for community interaction. Creating a killer Facebook fan page allows you to make the right impression with your customers and target them where they spend a quarter of their time online.
Give Customers a Reason to Become a Facebook Fan
First and foremost, it’s important that customers have a clear reason to become a fan of your business on Facebook, whether it’s in the form of special deals or superbly high quality content. But this doesn’t mean that your page has to be overcomplicated. In fact, one of my most successful projects working for a social media client was when I was creating a Facebook fan page to convince visitors to buy their Halloween costumes at HalloweenExpress.com. As you can see here, the page is far from complicated. But here’s what it does provide to help generate more “Likes” and interactions from customers:
- The most prominent feature of the page is a large picture advertising special deals for Facebook fans. What’s more important is that the special deal actually works (tricking your fans into thinking they’re getting a special deal does more harm than good). If you click anywhere on the image, you are redirected to the physical site, and a message at the top shows that the “Coupon FBLABORFREE has been recorded and will be applied during checkout.” This will give your customers instant feedback on their actions, and will keep them coming back to check for more details.
- The page is not cluttered. The only true purpose of the page is that it acquires leads, and cluttering the fan page with needless content is not necessary. That’s what the main sales site is for.
- Only the most relevant content is promoted. If you look to the left of the page, you’ll see a series of tabs offering a store locator, coupons, discussions, and contests. This information is meant to make the viewer’s shopping experience easier, not load the page with countless widgets that your customers will barely use.
So, although the page took me all of about 20 minutes to set up, it offers great information that is not as readily available on the website. If you use your Facebook fan page to promote your website content, you’re making a mistake. Keep it simple and use the page as a way to connect directly to a targeted audience – don’t use it to spread the same message to yet another area.
Emulate Your Industry With Your Design
There is almost no limit to the design elements available on a Facebook fan page. Whatever design you choose, it has to mimic the desires and wants of your target audience – not show off the prowess of your design department. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some examples.
Skittles uses their Facebook fan page to appeal to a “return to childhood,” offering a colorful and friendly design to compliment their product. Also, Skittles remembers that this is a social community (which so many web marketers tend to forget) and adds a social element to the page. The “Rainbro of the Week” portion gives back to fans by featuring user-submitted pictures on the front page. Showing that your community is involved can be a powerful motivator for future fans to become involved as well.
Porsche uses their Facebook fan page in an altogether different way, emphasizing their product’s customizability instead of the community. The prominent feature of this page is the central image, where you can customize your own Porsche to your liking in the “Design your Porsche” tab. Porsche also involves the community through a Porsche Poll. The Porsche page has about a 10th of the Likes that Skittles has obtained, but that’s probably an indication of Skittles’ higher popularity than the quality of the page.
Always the master of direct marketing, McDonalds also “spices” up their Facebook fan page with a memory game involving their McNugget dipping sauces. There’s nothing complicated about this game (I can remember playing the same type of game waiting for a pizza at Little Caesars), but it does keep fans on the page longer, giving them more exposure to the products. Best of all, the leaderboard for the game once again gets the community involved with the page and sets it apart from other marketing methods used by the fast food titan.
These ultra successful Facebook fan pages, you should begin to notice, have some unifying factors that you can use in your own killer page:
- They involve the community, either through a game leaderboard, poll, or by featuring user submissions.
- They offer interactivity, which keeps visitors on the page longer and improves relative bounce rate.
- Overall, they’re all fairly simple in concept. You won’t find volumes of content because Facebook readers simply won’t read it. Facebook users want teaspoons of ready-to-digest content (just like Twitter), not a whole bucket of greasy semi-promotional content.
When creating a killer Facebook fan page, focus entirely on giving your community a reason to come back. They may not buy your products on their first visit, but as soon as they hit that “Like” button, their profiles become walking, talking advertisements for the rest of their time on the social media network. And that’s the power of a killer Facebook fan page.
Note: This guest post is written by Mitch O’Conner from HalloweenExpress.com