This article is going to give a quick introduction to Facebook Fan Pages. The very basics of a why a Facebook Fan Page should be used by a business is not fully understood by businesses. And hopefully I can help with this article!
Permission Based Marketing
Let me start with the premise – the foundation – of why Facebook Fan Pages are so effective. It all has to do with “permission based marketing!”
What is permission based marketing? Permission based marketing is where an audience of interested prospects, new and existing customers, or an otherwise engaged group of people have VOLUNTEERED (very important word here) to receive information from you or your business.
“Volunteered” is an important term here because this means a person has actually, in essence, raised their hand and said “Yes, I want to here from you!”
Pre-Qualified Audience of Prospects
So again, at the very core of a Facebook Fan Page is the “permission based” marketing element. Because people “voluntarily” click your “Become A Fan” button, they are in fact giving you permission to communicate with them.
And because of that, your audience of Facebook Fan Page “fans” is what I consider to be a “pre-qualified” audience of prospects for your business – these are people that have volunteered to hear from you!
How a Facebook Fan Page Works
Here it is – the basic functionality of how a Facebook Fan Page works.
You start out by building “fans”. These are what I’m calling your “audience of prospects” who have voluntarily said they want to here from you (permission based marketing at it’s finest!).
So you have this audience of fans, and what you do is provide updates of information via your wall (see ideas as to what to update below).
When you (the Page owner, creator, or admin) type in a message on your Facebook Fan Page wall, that message is distributed to all of the “fans” of your page. The update will instantly appear in the news stream “home page” of each individual’s Facebook profile.
Plus, as other “fans” of your Facebook Page interact with your updates – liking something by hitting the thumbs up, or commenting on something you posted – that interaction appears on all of the “fans” home page as well.
So you send out your update > that update appears on all of your “fans” Facebook profile > and your “fans” are able to interact, engage, and follow anything that anyone says about your updates, all within their Facebook profile. And of course, with one click, they can come right back to your Facebook Fan Page.
Viral Marketing Power “word of mouth marketing”
The viral marketing power of what I describe above about how a Facebook Fan Page works, cannot be ignored!
Imagine you’re a business with a Facebook Fan Page and you just sent out an update. That update is now present on every “fan’s” home page wall. That means every other “friend” that your “fans” have can now potentially be exposed to your Facebook Fan Page!
So it’s like your having an army of promoters out there who are recommending your Facebook Fan Page to their personal friends.
This is what I call the “word of mouth” marketing effect that occurs with a Facebook Fan Page! But since this is taking place on Facebook – on a computer – it’s more influential type word of mouth marketing as opposed to friends talking in person.
The bottom line for you to remember is that all of your Facebook Fan Page “fans” have friends – and if you were able to count all those friends up, you’d probably be amazed at how many friends all of your “fans” have collectively.
So remember that each time you send out an update > and each of your “fans” receives that update > it is now present on their home page wall for all of their personal Facebook friends to see!
I hope you understand the relevance and marketing power of what I just described. There are businesses that have literally had to open new locations simply because of the marketing power of a Facebook Fan Page.
Engaging Your Audience in Conversation
You understand that the “fans” of your Facebook Fan Page are what I call a “pre-qualified” audience of prospects – because by them “becoming a fan” they are voluntarily wanting to receive information from you.
So now you have to communicate with them!
Because of the diversity of businesses that use Facebook, I’m not going to give specifics as to what information you should share. But let me layout some basic ground work to get you started.
Share information that tells your story, diseminates important information, updates your audience on changes, product / service ideas, blog postings, interesting articles and links.
In other words, share information that is actually interesting to your audience!
Let me say this – one fast way to lose your fans is to start spamming them with “buy now, buy now, buy now” type content. People don’t want to be sold to – they want to establish relationships, and since they are a fan of your Facebook Page, they want to establish a relationship with your business!
Respond To Every Interaction
One thing I try to do on mine, and my client’s, Facebook Fan Pages is respond to every interaction that takes place. So even if someone simply clicks the “thumbs up” button to “like” something – I respond to it if for nothing else to say “thanks for liking this!”
It’s a very small gesture and takes just a second, but I believe the impact is huge. It tells both that person, and your audience of “fans” who are watching (and they are watching, believe me…) that you are engaged, active, and you actually care.
Here are some additional resources to help you with your Facebook Fan Pages, and to get you set up for success:
* Create a custom username (URL) for your Facebook Fan Page
The Take A Way
The bottom line is that a Facebook Fan Page is – at it’s core – a permission based marketing tool for a business. Even better than that though is the fact that you can actually engage your audience win conversation.
Plus, with the powerful viral marketing (word of mouth) effect, there has never been a better way for any business, product, or service to build their brand and generate leads.
Finally, let me say this – it takes time to do this effectively, and it takes committment. You cannot expect to build your Facebook Fan Page and then have everything happen automatically.
It’s a lot like blogging – your return on effort will grow exponentially after you’ve spent the time up front building your audience.