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CREATING SUCCESSFUL FACEBOOK FAN PAGES
A GUIDE FOR BRANDS
by Dave Evans
Author of “Social Media Marketing an Hour a Day”
CREATING SUCCESSFUL FACEBOOK FAN PAGES
Creating a presence for your brand on Facebook, with a Facebook Fan Page, is the ultimate in word‐of‐
mouth marketing. But how do you create a Fan page that’s dynamic, engaging, and truly attracts fans?
In this White Paper we’ll cover the basics, from why you need a Fan page, to how to create a compelling
page and get your customers engaged and talking about your brand.
Increasingly, consumers are spending their online time on social networks, especially Facebook. More
importantly, social network users are connected to their friends…so what one person does, interacts
with, talks about and gets involved in is seen by their friends. It’s the ultimate word‐of‐mouth or friend‐
to‐friend marketing, conducted in the largest community of friends on the planet.
The Facebook Fan page is a way for brands to get involved in this community. Fan pages are the brand’s
“home base” on Facebook. Just like users have profiles, brands and companies have a Fan Page. A
brand can communicate with Fans, and post events, pictures, video, contests and applications all from
one place. With recent changes by Facebook, fan pages allow more control, monitoring, and statistics
than ever before.
Fan pages are proliferating rapidly. There are over 600,000 fan pages already in existence, although
fewer than ten percent have over a thousand fans. 1 The leading fan page, Barack Obama, currently has
over 6 million fans. With Facebook’s rapid growth and adoption by a broader demographic group,
Many top fan pages are pages started by individuals, not brands – such as leading fan pages for Coca‐
cola and Nutella. Many of those pages have gained popularity because of pre‐existing brand recognition.
But when a generic fan page is created for a brand, that brand has no control over the images,
messaging, and response to the fans.
TechCrunch: Facebook Users are Becoming Big Fans, and Other Page Stats, January 27, 2009
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Branded Fan Pages
It’s impossible to stop or control these conversations, so
brands are doing the next best – or perhaps even the
better thing – getting involved by creating fan pages of
their own. While still allowing fan participation, brands
can add their own message and be involved in the
conversations, in a way that’s transparent and acceptable
Some examples of branded fan pages:
M&M’s Victoria Secret
Red Bull NBC
The US Army Budweiser
One of the top fan pages is a generic fan page for
chocolate, with over 1.6 million fans, and there are over
20 fan pages with over 100k fans. Of those 20, only two
are branded – Cadbury and M&M’s pages. Some notable
chocolate brands are missing, and any of them would
have love to capture the current set of fans initially with
their own page, but now are going to need to get
creative to make their page stand out from the pack.
What if Cadbury’s or M&M’s
had been the first to create a
chocolate fan page?
How many fan pages already exist in
your industry? Isn’t it time you created a
fan page for your brand?
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Once you understand the importance of a Facebook Fan page, you may be tempted to jump right in.
First, however, think about your strategy and objectives. A strategic plan helps you to continually
develop your page over time rather than starting it and then not knowing what to do.
A Fan Page strategy moves through several stages. The ultimate goal of your investment is to create
customers – people who love your product and make repeated purchases. You don’t reach that point
simply by creating a Fan Page, or even by signing up fans. Many people will sign up for a fan page and
then forget all about it. A successful strategy moves customers through several steps, from seeing the
page and signing up, to recognizing added value in the form of promotions or specials, to truly engaging
with the product. When a consumer has interacted repeatedly with your page and spent time there,
they are likely to think of your product at the time of purchase. At this point, you’ve created a true fan.
Fan Page strategy follows these same steps. First, create a presence for your brand on Facebook and
include the basic elements fans expect. Next, provide value that your customers will recognize and come
back for. Third, use more advanced tools to truly engage the audience. Finally, keep your content fresh
and creative so that your fans keep your brand top of mind and continue to purchase your products.
In this paper we’ll walk you through each of these steps to demonstrate how to create a
compelling fan page.
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There are certain basic elements that should be on every fan page, and your first step is to collect these
elements together so you can build your page.
A. Brand logo, picture, mascot – Facebook is about visuals. A great image for your brand is far superior
to paragraphs of text.
B. Wall– this is the default landing tab for your site, so keep it interesting. Your fans can write about
you, but you should be posting interesting news and information to keep the conversation going.
C. Info – Present your company or brand information in a clear and concise format. If your product is
complex, break the information down into pieces so it’s easy for customers to read and understand.
D. Photos – This opportunity for visuals is more casual than your official brand image, but can still be a
captivating element for your fans. Be creative about how you can use pictures to show your brand in
action. A set of guidelines that allows for creativity but maintains your professional standards is a
In addition to the page elements, you’ll need a strategy for managing the page and its contents. Think
through these elements of your strategy:
Messaging strategy ‐‐ what are the main themes you want to share about your brand? What tone do
you want to set – fun, professional, quirky? One of the best ways to encourage your fan base to
write what you’d like to hear about your brand is to present a clear and consistent message
yourself. A set of guidelines for all your messaging, in its various forms, will help you be consistent.
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Content strategy – where will you find interesting content to post? Tap into all the other activities your
company is doing, and bring it to your fans here. Some great sources: promotions, sponsorships,
contests, charity, and volunteer efforts by your company. You can also feature interesting
customer or employee stories.
You may want to start small, following one company‐sponsored contest or a concert tour your
company is promoting. You can also leverage content created for other purposes – link to a
company blog or post television ads on YouTube and then link them to your page. Whatever tools
you use, make sure someone is responsible for posting content and writing on your wall,
responding to fans, and keeping the page’s content fresh and interesting.
Moderation plan – a big part of your goal is getting fans to participate, but you’ll want to keep an eye on
their submissions and make sure they don’t violate any guidelines you’ve set for your brand.
Assign someone the task of reading comments or checking uploaded pictures, once a day or on a
timeline that meets your needs.
It would be nice if you could just build the page and the fans would come. Typically, that’s not how it
happens. You’ll need to take some direct measures to build your fan base.
Optimize your Fan Page for conversion ‐ Think through the user’s experience when they arrive at the
page, and ensure that the Call‐to‐Action and value proposition for becoming a fan is clear and
strong. It may be worthwhile developing a different landing page for users that are not yet fans.
Targeted Facebook and other social ads – Use Facebook ads, targeted to your customer demographic,
to get things started. Since each person who becomes a fan from an ad creates a newsfeed update
to all their friends, the power of the ad conversion is multiplied.
Drive fans from your current website – add a “Become a Fan” widget at the end of your online purchase
process. Someone who’s just purchased from you is a great prospect for becoming a fan.
Leverage targeted applications – step up from ads and use demographically‐targeted applications to
bring engagement from fans.
Tap existing communities – work with companies that have already developed a user base that they can
connect with and create awareness of your new Fan Page.
As you add richer features to your Fan Page, you’ll have more opportunities to drive viral growth.
We’ll talk more about that in the section on Engagement.
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Once you have your page set up and a baseline of fans, you’ll need to focus on making your page a
destination that fans will want to return to again and again, rather than just passing through once. Do
this by adding features that fans value:
Events – keep fans apprised of upcoming special events for your company, partners, or sponsored
entertainment or sports relationships.
Coupons – train fans to stop by your page for the latest coupons. This can be a special coupon just for
online users, or a digital version of the coupons you’re using in stores.
Contests – generate excitement with a weekly or monthly giveaway contest. You don’t have to give
away huge amounts to generate buzz – in fact it’s often better to have small prizes given away on a
regular basis, so fans who don’t win can keep trying.
Promotions – use tie‐ins to offline promotions, product launches, and other campaigns. This is a great
way to add visibility to in‐store promotions.
Coupons and events calendars give your fans a reason to come back to your page again and again.
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The final step in creating a truly thriving and interactive Fan Page is to engage users. You’ve started
developing a fan base and giving them a reason to visit your page; now, make that visit memorable by
adding interactive tools that will inform, delight, and entertain your fans.
Social media content – adding videos, a blog, a Twitter feed, etc. to your page allows fans to read and
respond to your content, creating a true dialogue.
Polls and quizzes – find topics relevant and interesting to your customer base and create a quiz.
Embedded applications – embedding fun and engaging applications on your Fan Page gets current fans
to play, invite others, and create visibility for your brand. These applications can be pre‐existing apps
related to your brand, or custom apps sponsored and branded to give you even more visibility.
Using features like polls, links, discussion boards, videos, and
embedding material from your homepage, YouTube channel, or
Twitter feed are powerful in making your Fan Page an engaging
place for fans to stay up‐to‐speed on your brand.
As people use the tools on your site, follow links
you’ve posted, or add your applications, their
activity is visible to friends on their newsfeed in
Facebook. Seeing that activity often spurs users to
click through, investigate more, and become a fan
By driving engagement, you spread the word about
your fan page and gain more fans. The growth of
your fan page comes from this connection
between attracting new fans and then engaging
those fans so they spread the message to their
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It can be a challenge to create a compelling page, truly engage both existing fans and new customers,
and continually bringing fresh ideas to your page. What’s more, learning by trial and error can leave you
missing your objectives month after month.
How can Friend2Friend help? First, we understand the progression of basics to engagement, and can
recommend a strategy that’s right for your brand now, and allows for future growth. Our experience
with engagement helps you put together the right strategic plan.
Once a strategy is ready, our team of experienced developers offers a full range of services:
• Build the Basics ‐‐ Optimize the layout, features and interaction and messaging that will allow
you to leverage the Fan page in your marketing, and provide value and engagement for your
• Engage Fans ‐‐ Design and integrate widgets and social applications that take Fan engagement
to the next level, and as a result effectively engage the friends of your current Fans, and convert
them to Fans.
• Grow your Fan Base ‐‐ Friend2Friend is a marketing platform that’s been connecting people and
products on social media for nearly two years. Friend2Friend promotes brands’ social actions
built around products: ratings and comments, user (wish) lists, gifting, personal quizzes, custom
branded applications and Fan pages.
Friend2Friend has conducted over 45 product promotions/campaigns with a dozen top consumer
brands spanning consumer electronics, food and beverage, apparel, travel, retail and entertainment.
Our list of clients includes: Cisco/Linksys, Bacardi, Kohls, Mountain Hardwear, Godiva, Lionsgate
Entertainment, Sony, and others. In every campaign, Friend2Friend has successfully secured thousands
of brand advocates, activated the brand across the advocates’ networks of friends and delivered tens of
millions of lasting social impressions.
There’s a new fan created every second. Can you really afford to wait?
Contact Friend2Friend today and get your Fan Page created!
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