Friday, July 3, 2009

Facebook Fanomenon - 3 Tips for Building Your Brands Facebook Fan Base

Facebooks' relentless growth and roll-out of new products and features to create more value for users and brands seems to be gathering pace rapidly with a string on new API features and astonishing growth in new users.

According to Inside Facebook, the social networking giant is now growing by over 700,000 new users per day with a user base of around 250 million.

There is the plethora of new tools Facebook has opened up to brands like Facebook Connect, Open Stream and Live Stream that brings the viral power of social media to 3rd party websites outside of Facebook.

Then there is the Facebook Page for businesses - "a public profile that enables you to share your business and products with Facebook users". This is the starting point for building a brand presence on Facebook.

With the massive scale of Facebooks' user base and all these options available, it is understandable that businesses might feel lost when trying to understand how best to establish and build a brand presence for customers, or fans, to connect with them on Facebook.

While the tools from Facebook are free, like any marketing initiative it is important you have a strategy and plan in place before rushing out and jumping on the Facebook bandwagon. Many a brand has come unstuck by poorly executing their entry onto Facebook.

Once you have determined that Facebook is right for your business and established your plan you need to register your Facebook Page for you business. This will establish your brand presence and protect IP from imitators or cyber squatters.

Much like your corporate website, a Facebook Page isn't much value without visitors to your page. In the same way that you 'friend' your personal relationships on Facebook, customers and brand advocates 'fan' your business Facebook Page.

Building a fan base is critical to the success of your Facebook Page and here are 3 tips to get you on the way.

1. Value, Value, Value
If there 2 things that are going to destroy your reputation on Facebook quickly its spam and poor quality content. While Facebooks' user engagement time is impressive, if the quality of your page is poor and the value it provides low, visitors will leave your page, never to return again.

Your page must provide value - engagement, entertainment or education - pick 1, 2 or all 3, but provide genuinely valuable content.

There are so many content options available: 3rd party applications, news streams, videos, games, FAQs, blog feeds and the list goes on. Invest the time in creating valuable content.

2. Tagging
Everyone loves to see their own name up in lights, the viral power of Facebooks' news feeds help spread the word.

Uploading and tagging pictures and videos of company events that feature your customers, team members, partners, suppliers and even competitors will dramatically extend your reach by featuring in their personal newsfeeds.

3. Competitions & Sweepstakes
Facebook users love competitions, and lets face it, who doesn't want to win something for nothing? Many brands, both large and small, have successfully used competitions and sweepstakes to grow huge fan bases on Facebook.

Competitions that include a tagging element (like Dunkin Donuts recent Keep It Coolatta promotion) are a great way to get fans engaging with your brand and virally spread the good word on your business.

The are some great Facebook Apps available to help you quickly build and launch a Facebook competition, one we work with is WildfireApp. So no matter what size your business is there is no reason why you can't successfully run a your own competition on Facebook.

Like any new medium there is still so much for brands to learn to truly harness the full potential of Facebook.

If you have had experience and learned some lessons on using Facebook for business I'd love to hear your comments?



  1. It's not so difficult once you write your first viral app though. I documented the steps I went through at aleatory

  2. rutherford, thanks for the comment and link... a very useful guide.