If you have a business, be it a art business or not, and you’re on Facebook (and if you’re not on Facebook, you need to get on!), you need a fan page.
For a while there, I was on the fence: I was telling people that a group might still be a good option for them. But if anyone were to ask me these days, I would say, unequivocally, that a Fan Page is the way to go.
The advantages of having a Fan Page:
- You can distance your personal self from your business on Facebook. Any emails or invites sent from the Fan page will come from the name of your Fan page (ie: your business), and the icon will be whatever image you choose for your Fan page (ie: your logo).
- Any updates to create on your Fan page will show up in your Fan’s regular feed, the same as any of their friends.
a Fan page is not limited by the number of fans you can have.
- Fan pages are indexed by Google (groups are not) and they also have metrics build in, so you can see your page-view stats.
- You can use Fan pages to create PPC ads
- You can create events from your Fan Page
How do you create a Fan Page? Click here for a step-by-step tutorial.
All right. I’ve convinced you to get one. You’ve got one. Now what?
You need to populate your page with content. I think the biggest mistake you can make is to have a fan page, an then just let it lie.
The key word in social media, of course, is social, so this is about using Facebook to create a dialogue with your clientele.
Here are some ways you can populate your Fan page:
- Make sure you fully fill out the “Info” tab. This makes it possible for people to find you off of Facebook: your website, location, etc. Also, it is extremely important to fill out the little section on the left-hand margin that tells folks about you.
- Photos: create photo albums of your artwork and upload them. If you are a theatre company, upload albums of your past productions. This helps to create a sense of history.
- Events: got a show coming up? Post it as an event. Encourage your fans to share it.
- Videos: Upload your own videos, or link to them from YouTube. For ideas about video, read my Flip Cam series.
- Media coverage: Got a story in the paper? An interview on BlogTalkRadio? Cross-post it here.
- Discussions: One of the tabs available to you is “Discussions.” Start a discussion with your fans. Poll them: ask them what they’d like from you, or ask them to weigh in on a debate. For example, if you were trying to decide between two plays next season, put it out to your audience.
- Link-sharing: find a really cool YouTube video in your travels? Is a friend holding a fundraiser? You can share links and promote other peoples’ events and blog posts on your Fan page.
- Reviews: In this day and age of shrinking media coverage, offering your audience a space to write their own reviews is very powerful. Don’t forget to post this option in a status update, in case some people don’t know it’s there.
- Blog: You can import your Blog’s RSS feed automatically using Networked Blogs. Click here for a tutorial.
- Contests: everyone likes getting something for free! Give away something you got for Christmas but can’t use, give an hour of your time, some free tickets, a CD.
- Share your expertise: before Christmas, one of my clients, The Wellness Show, offered Holiday wellness tips every couple of days through our Fan page.
- Connect your page to others’ pages: if your company is part of a festival, you can “fan” other people’s Fan pages, and vice-versa. It’s kind of like link-sharing. Click here to see how.
Some final tips:
- Aim for, on average, three interactions per week. If it helps, get a calendar, and map out what your status updates will be for that week.
- Once you hit 25 fans, you can trade in your old, long, ugly URL for a vanity URL (ie: www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname). Click here for that.
- You can connect Facebook to your Twitter account, so that every time you post a status update, it gets posted to your Twitter account. (I don’t recommend this to everyone, but if you are just getting started, and are strapped for time, it is a possibility). Click here for that.
Now, go forth and Facebook!