It seems like every week, I get an invite from a friend on Facebook suggesting that I become a fan of their company’s fan page. In addition to the countless event and group invites and watching my status feed, I just find my attention span shrinking by the moment for Facebook and social media in general.
Why? That’s the question that I find myself asking when people suggest I become a fan of their page. That’s the question every fan page owner should ask before they promote their page. Why should anyone devote his or her attention to your page? Why should we add your page to the countless other pages, friends, and information that we are already following on Facebook?
I’ve come to realize that most page owners have not answered this question much less given thought as to how to make their page stand out from the existing online noise. They have YAF- Yet Another Fanpage.
In the eyes of the invitees, we see no discernible value to joining Yet Another Fanpage. You have YAF if your page suffers from any of the following.
- No engagement — You have no interaction between you and your fans. It is simply you engaged in a monologue as opposed to a dialogue.
- No landing page –You have an ineffective landing page when users land on it.
- No reason –You invite your friends to join the page but don’t give them any special reason beyond the fact that you’re friends and they should do a pity join
- No applications — You are not utilizing widgets and applications to power your fan page.
How to avoid YAF
Encourage a conversation. Start a discussion. Ask for opinions. Do something that will encourage a dialogue between you and your fans. You need to avoid the same old, same old promotional messages that everyone is doing on their page. If no one is responding to your update status and other content, then chances are, you have not developed a successful engagement strategy. Smart Social Media is heavily dependent on your ability to get your fans talking and engaging with you.
Gary Vaynerchuck has probably one of the highest engagement levels due to his natural ability to converse with his 30,000+ fans.
2. The landing tab
Set the landing tab to a customized page that will create a call to action. Applications such as the FBML app allow you to create customized designs with HTML and CSS. This can really pretty up your fan page all the while grabbing the attention of a prospective fan. The landing tab of a fan page should serve a similar purpose to that of a website homepage. As soon as a visitor lands on your website, they should be able to quickly scan and understand the purpose of your business as well as be lead to the next section of your website. You should accomplish the same goals for your Facebook page.
A customized landing tab will include various call to actions and should have a succinct and clear message for your page and/or business. Here is a customized landing page that we designed for a business-to-business network group. We knew exactly what type of actions we wanted the visitor to take and incorporated that into the customized page.
As soon as you land on The Dippin Dots page, you know you’re in for something special. They took the time to design a unique landing page that will grab your attention and give their brand a favorable first impression.
3. Give a reason
Offer your fans a prize or reward for becoming a fan. Some brands have allowed fans to download coupons to be used towards the purchase of the brand’s product or services. Other page owners have gotten creative by offering a freebie if someone became a fan. Whatever it is, make sure you try to incentive the process for people. Hold a contest, promotion, or giveaway. Do something to get the buzz going!
Bobby McKey tries to grow their fan base by giving fans a printable coupon as soon as they land on the page. Assuming that this is the only place that I can find this coupon, then this also allows for them to track and measure the success of this marketing tactic. Social media is very fluid so constant adjustment is needed.
There is an abundance of Facebook applications that can help power your page. Applications exist for polling your fanbase, importing RSS feeds, showing videos, and so much more. You simply have to do a search for what you’re looking for and try out these applications to see what works best. If utilizing a social media tool like a Facebook page is akin to engaging in a conversation with your audience, then applications are the tools that give you a voice to be heard.
The iLike application is one of the most popular applications for musicians to power their fan page. It takes engagement between musican and fans to a new level.
Now look; I’m sure you think you have a great product, cause, or service to promote via your page. However, marketing in the age of social media requires creativity and forethought. Successful marketing requires engagement and utilizing conversational tactics to get your fan base to spread your message.