With over 5 million active Facebook users—50% of which who log on daily—and over 150 million users accessing through their mobile device, Facebook’s reach is enormous. The average Facebook fan also spends 7 hours a month on the site. So, with all of this traffic, how can you maximize your message to grow the audience you want?
I’ve participated in a number of Facebook tutorials online (thanks to @MariSmith and Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner) and I decided to write up my “Top Ten” Great Tips that really made me go “Hmmmm – Good idea!”
10. The “Suggest to Friends” call to action isn’t the best way to promote a Facebook Page these days. I don’t know about you, but I get requests to “Like” a lot of Pages. Did you know that you are only limited to ‘liking’ 500 Facebook pages? Yes, 500 seems like a lot to many Facebook users—but the numbers do add up over time. For a while, I was receiving 3 or 4 Facebook Page ‘referrals’ everyday from friends and colleagues promoting their own businesses, products, charities, etc. The sheer volume of these “Suggest to Friends” emails quickly diluted the “special X factor” of receiving (what used to be) highly personalized email requests.
9. The “Share +” button IS an excellent way to promote a Facebook page (or your own Facebook page) to all of your friends and it enables you the ability to make a comment prior to posting on your wall (and subsequently to your friends’ news feeds). So the “comment” can be a simple call-to-action such as “Come join us!”
8. Using @tags is a GREAT way to refer back to your own Facebook page in both your status updates and on posts or comments you make on other friends’ Walls. By hitting the @ symbol and then typing the name of your facebook page, you automatically include a link within your comment without having to “Add a Link” etc. Example: you can locate a comment or status update of a friend asking a question and you can insert your reply or answer and include a reference to a Facebook page (hopefully your own). SHOW VISUAL here. This is a great, and more subtle, way to promote new fans to different people that you might not be able to target through your own network.
7. Call to action on Facebook has become quite vague. We used to say “Friend Us on Facebook!” But, since the change from “Fan” to “Like,” page administrators are asking themselves, “Now what?” Many people are using “Join us on Facebook!” I particularly am fond of “Join our Facebook Community!”
6. Posts to your Facebook wall should focus on your existing fans. Ask questions, opinions and phrase your questions to “YOU” – it makes your question more personalized.
5. Every topic you promote within the Discussion tab has their own unique URL. So, post discussion topics and then send the links out via email newsletters, twitter updates, LinkedIn status updates, etc.
4. If you post a link within your status update (or photo) it will automatically go to your wall and will NOT appear as your current status. So, if you want your status update to appear as ‘current,’ don’t insert a link or photo.
3. Create a custom FBML tab that “welcomes” new visitors and encourages them to click the “Like” button. This FBML tab can incorporate graphics to promote your employment brand, it can request information (an online form), it can include animation or videos, the list is endless. Facebook enables you to set this “Welcome” tab for all new visitors to your page. All other visitors (once they become fans) view the Wall tab.
2. Set your Wall tab default to show your pages posts as well as your fan posts. Facebook is all about engagement and sharing, why wouldn’t you want to automatically show all comments and feedback? If you don’t set this option correctly, people visiting your page will need to click on the Feedback or Comment link to view “others” information.
1. Automate where it makes sense, not spam. Set your Facebook page to automatically post updates from your blog (or other relevant blog content) as status updates (my favorite is Networked Blogs) AND set up your Notes Tab to import an RSS feed of your Twitter channel tweets. These two automatic functions help to promote continued engagement.
That’s my Top Ten for now. Things within social media are constantly evolving, if you’d like to learn a lot more about Facebook and how experts in the field are using different tactics and methods for marketing, sign up for the Social Media Examiner’s Facebook Success Summit 2010!