A Facebook Page Strategy – Why your business can’t afford not to have one

Facebook has over 750 million ACTIVE users and half of them login to Facebook on any given day making it the most powerful social network on the planet.  With that kind of volume, and Facebook’s efforts to become friendly to businesses the potential is significant for Business to Consumer companies. The potential is lower for Business to Business companies as Facebook in the workplace is frowned upon by many firms and even blocked in their servers.

Facebook pages, as part of an on-line strategy are relatively new. In late 2007 the page was introduced to allow brands to exist on Facebook but in a relatively static way. Before that, the terms of use allowed only individual users.  In March of 2009, pages became far more interactive with a format very similar to that of an individual’s profile and it continues to evolve increasing the interactivity that visitors can have with the page.  You might be thinking that your webpage is enough so what’s the big deal with having a Facebook page? 

The average Facebook user has 130 friends.  If they visit your Facebook page and you encourage them to click the “like” button, those 130 friends see a message that one of their friends likes your page which is a strong endorsement that it might be worth a visit. If 10 of those 130 decide to like your page it just got endorsed to 1300 more people and the pyramid builds. It’s a world where viral sharing is made easy and referrals are more impactful than ads. This of course assumes that you create the type of content that people enjoy enough to click the “like” button . We’ll talk more about this in later posts. In addition, you get to communicate with those people that like your page on a regular basis.  When you post to your wall it appears on theirs. This is a significant opportunity to get your message out and build a relationship. Use it correctly and your fans will continue to grow. Abuse it and you’ll find your page is pretty lonely (more on this in later posts). If the content is interesting or valuable enough they will share it with others and market for you.

Spend some time on Facebook typing brand names into the search box and see what you find. Try cars for example and see which ones make you want to “like” them to get more information, which ones look like a newspaper ad and which ones provide you tools to make your car buying experience easier. You might even find yourself confused by the search in general (Ford has lots of individual car pages but very little if you click on the main page that shows up first in search). See who’s page is actually many well organized pages or just one. See which page they choose to start you on or did it default to the wall leaving you somewhat lost?

Remember to be the customer and look at the page from their eyes and decide if you think the target audience would share the page with their friends. Axe sells body sprays, soap and deodorant targeted to teenage boys positioning it as a product to attract girls. Visit the Axe page and see if they got the content properly targeted and if their visitors will click the “like” button. I think they will. Decide if you think it reinforces their brand positioning.

Try your company’s brand and those of your competitors, what did you find? Is there opportunity or reason for concern?  If you find a company that you think is really doing it right, please share it with the other marketing badgers by replying to this post. If you’d like the badgers to look at your page and give you some honest feedback, please ask.

While Facebook pages are relatively new, the volume of data that is generated everyday is staggering. Doing well means having a strategy and following a process that will lead to success. Marketing badgers don’t just create a page and hope that something magical happens. They use the tools and data available to them and Facebook is going out of its way to help.  New posts will cover the process from strategy development to page creation to performance analysis so click that Facebook “like” button on the Marketing Badger blog so that you don’t miss any posts! Whenever possible, we’ll use the Symphony Marketing Facebook page to demonstrate page options.

Usage statistics quoted in this post are from the Facebook Statistics page.

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