Okay, I have a Fan page, now what?

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!

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 7

  1. Hey, Nancy;
    Yep, this is a big problem. For a lot of folks, including many of my clients, whom I set up groups for way back.
    Here is Facebooks official stance on the matter:

    I have a Facebook Group. Can it be converted into a Page?
    It is currently not possible to convert Facebook groups into Pages. We…
    It is currently not possible to convert Facebook groups into Pages. We recommend that you create a Page and notify your group members about it. Note that you will not be able to send your group a message if your group has more than 5,000 members.
    http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=12811

    So, basically, your SOL if you want to convert.

    You really have two choices: keep your group (and for really quick, viral marketing the group still rules–especially with that one-button “invite members of host group” thing) OR
    put up a notice on your group saying that you are converting to a fan page, and nicely ask them to become fans.
    I’ve heard folks say that they have up to 60% attrition on this. The hope is that you get new fans from different audiences to make up for the ones you lost…

    I guess you could still maintain both, but who has that kind of time????

  2. Great post. Question for you, though. I’ve been encouraging my artist wife to do a fan page, but she’s already active in a special interest Ning community devoted to her type of work. With the limited time we all have, should she split her efforts between FB and the Ning group, or just focus on one?

  3. I think the two might serve different purposes. My experience with Nings is that they are more of a support group (I’m guessing here, because I’m fuzzy on those details). A Facebook fan page is an adjunct to your website, a marketing tool. It is, essentially, your business’ presence on Facebook.
    I think it doesn’t need to be a lot of work. Obviously, there is a certain initial investment of time to get your page up and running and populated. But after that, as long as you post something to it 2 or 3 times a week, I think that is enough.
    Check out the list above for ideas of what to post.
    I repurpose a lot of stuff, as well, which makes for less work: a video, for example, would go on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and perhaps even my blog.

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