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How to Create a Facebook Fan Page

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Many marketers I know tried to stay away from Facebook for business for quite a while.  There was something overly familiar about connecting everyone you know from all walks of life – past meeting present, work meeting play – that made it sort of uncomfortable for many to bring their personal/business social graph into the marketing fold.  Nowadays, many have simply accepted Facebook into their business persona…either that or maybe it was the Hitwise data crowning Facebook as the top site of the web.

So you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of Facebook pages.  Maybe you already have but are looking to be better? Here are some tips that you’re sure to glean something, no matter where you are on the scale:

1 – Make Your Logo Stand Out

Note that the image on the left of the main content area only has a standard width – most people don’t take advantage of how tall to make them.  Facebook lets you make 200×600 images, so take advantage of what everyone else who isn’t reading this post doesn’t know ;)

2 – Create a Custom Landing Tab

Facebook pages have tabs.  By default, the first tab uses see is the wall tab.  You can easily make your Facebook page more engaging by making a custom tab.  Note this is for users that are not yet fans haven’t yet hit “I like this.”  Tamar has a great post on this in further detail.

3 – Get More Fans

If you know your way around Facebook, you probably know how to bring fans to your page.  It helps if you are already an established brand or if you’re showing up in Facebook / Bing search results.  If all else fails just put a quarter in Facebook’s meter and pay up for Facebook advertising.

4 – Keep Your Content Fresh

There are a number of apps that you can feed in content from elsewhere: Ping.fm, Hellotxt, Selective Tweets and Hootsuite all come to mind.  One in particular I’d recommend is RSS Graffiti, as it can parse an RSS feed and still give the fans people that like the page a preview image.  You should also mix in content you manually place on there as well as content from other sources.  Come on, you’re heard this already about Twitter.  The rules apply on Facebook as well.

5 – Get a Vanity URL for Your Page

Many of us remember the Facebook vanity url gold rush of last year, but what was rolled out a bit quieter was the Facebook fan page vanity names.  Simply go to the the Facebook username page and click on pages (note: you’ll need at least 25 fans).

6 – Expand Beyond Facebook

Your presence on Facebook should be known outside of Facebook too and the interactive Fan widget.  The Facebook widgets page offers a variety of widgets and fancy things that include most anything you’d be looking for, regardless of your ability level.   My favorite is the Facebook fan box which offers one-click access to your on-site website visitors to become fans of your Facebook presence.

7 – See What Others are Doing

Here are a couple of Facebook pages I enjoy:

Viperchill

Our friend Glen at Viperchill does a good job showing the user the interactive landing tab, effective logo, fan diversity and varying content and is using RSS Graffiti – keep up the good work, Glen! :)

SEO Dojo: Before

Our friends at the SEO Training Dojo have just started the process of fleshing out these tips.  We see here that the fan base is only underway and there is no custom landing tab.  The logo could be larger and content needs to be updated.

Update: SEO Dojo After:

The Dojo got a facelift :)

Bonus Tip: Utilize the Facebook Like Button

Be sure to now use the like button, so you too can be a cool kid :)

Seriously though, it basically turns any non-Facebook page into a Facebook page using the new Facebook Open graph.  More info here on the Facebook developer page.  There’s a handy code generator there, so no special programming skills are required.

What other tips and tricks do you recommend for Facebook Pages? Let me know in the comments.

Comments

  • Brian, THANK YOU for the Facebook fan page tutorial! You’re amazing. We asked in the Dojo for your insights and help, and you delivered <24 hours later!

    I had no idea about RSS Graffiti and admit that I, too, have been reluctant to merge Facebook with my business life. I started there for business networking, then it merged into connecting with people from all walks of life. It's time to start embracing the crowd. Thanks for showing us how to optimize it!

    posted by Dana Lookadoo on April 28th, 2010 at 3:04 pm
  • @Dana: thanks for stopping in to comment. Sorry for the delay on the post ;)
    Glad to hear that these tips helped you – what’s wild is that this is just the tip of the iceberg in what’s achievable through Facebook!

    posted by Brian Wallace on April 28th, 2010 at 3:06 pm
  • Thanks Brian for this awesome Facebook fan page how-to! Been meaning to sink my teeth in the creation of these buggers, but never knew where to start!

    Thanks :)

    posted by Mike van der Heijden on April 28th, 2010 at 7:14 pm
  • Hey Bri…. once more, thanks a bunch on the tips and hand holding on our baptism by fire. I shall continue to implement the suggestions and see where it all leads. Not sure if you’re a good teacher, or I am just old, but it was a pretty easy undertaking when you know what to do. Woo hoo… thanks again…and again…. and again.. :0)

    posted by Dave on April 28th, 2010 at 8:33 pm
  • @Dave: my pleasure – it’s good to see the Dojo Facebooking away. :)

    posted by Brian Wallace on April 28th, 2010 at 9:41 pm
  • pretty great story. I have a local fan page at http://www.facebook.com/myrtlebeachfun its easy to create a community with facebook around most anything. The biggest thing is, how do you get them from facebook, to your email list?

    posted by jason on May 1st, 2010 at 6:23 pm
  • Great Post..I’ve used a variety of these tools mentioned in your post, and can say they are working..I’m averaging 15 new people to my page every day or so…without advertising yet, so it des work! It’s not yet a massive operation…but a little seedling…keep up the great work!

    Facebook/iBenRoweFan

    posted by Ben Rowe on May 1st, 2010 at 6:40 pm
  • Nice bit of insight into the ways you can use FB to your advantage as a business.

    I think one of things you’ve missed is utilising FB as a platform to distribute special offers i.e money off vouchers or half price deals, something along those lines.

    The sidebar on the SEO Dojo afterwards looks so much better btw!

    posted by Alison on May 4th, 2010 at 3:31 pm
  • @Alison: Thanks for commenting – agreed on special offers, though that probably is a post in and of itself! :)

    posted by Brian Wallace on May 4th, 2010 at 4:08 pm
  • Awesome tips! At this emerging stage of marketing via social media and specially relying on Facebook, we really need to stand out of all and here your tips can make it possible! I appreciate it! Hope one day Facebook will start a tutorial on how to optimize FFpages just as Google landing pages!

    posted by Allen - Social Marketer on May 6th, 2010 at 10:58 am
  • Other things you can do is add polls, promotion, and e-commerce tabs to your Facebook Page, depending on the type of business. Polls seem to be very effective for spreading content around on Facebook. Also, adding pictures to your Facebook Fan Page is definitely important for the people that are visual and like to look at images.

    posted by Cassie Rice on May 11th, 2010 at 5:00 pm
  • @Cassie Rice – most definitely – this post was really meant to be a “first steps of building a Facebook page” sort of post – hope to have a Part II sometime soon! :)

    posted by Brian Wallace on May 11th, 2010 at 5:41 pm
  • Some cool tips dude thanks!

    I’m about to redo our website and make it a little more “social” as I feel there is a lot to be gained from the likes of FB / Twitter in terms of sales generation.

    Looking forward to hearing some more…

    posted by Mike @ Moving Co on May 25th, 2010 at 5:18 am
  • Thanks for the good advice! I’m just starting to market my crochet business and as a “young person”, I’m already familiar with Facebook, now I’m learning how to switch to the more professional side by creating a Fan page. Your tips were very helpful. Thanks – I’ll be back for more!

    posted by Jayna on June 28th, 2010 at 10:43 am
  • I think the information mentioned in the subject is actually wonderful. I have been conducting a basic research regarding the subject and your writings really cleared up a good deal of questions I had. I am doing an essay and term paper for my English class and actively following more than a few blogs to research.

    posted by Rory Heslin on September 15th, 2010 at 7:30 am

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