According to Facebook’s press room, Facebook is a superpower. Well, I’m paraphrasing, but that just about sums it up. Active users number over 500 million, the average user has 130 “friends,” more than 700 billion minutes are spent on Facebook (each month!), and users share more than 30 billion pieces of content with their friends. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
So it makes perfect sense for businesses, especially small businesses who have a tougher time reaching their markets, to get very involved with this online powerhouse. I started out with just a personal page. At first, I used it for keeping in touch with friends and family across the country (and the world). Later I expanded into connecting my blogs to my page, so my friends get instant updates whenever I post content on them.
Recently I took the plunge and started fan pages for this blog and my other blog, Marana Unwrapped.
What is the benefit of a fan page? There can be several, actually.
For one, you have a quicker way to interact with your fans. A blog post is usually a few paragraphs, and for me, it takes a bit of thought. Twitter is a useful mini-blogging platform, but there are so many tweets from others that your users have to read. I have a Twitter account, and I follow around 500 people, so I get multiple tweets in just a few minutes. There’s no way I can keep up unless I’m constantly looking at my Twitter stream.
But with a fan page, I can write shorter posts than on my blog, but longer than via Twitter. And unless your fan’s friends post constantly, your post will actually be noticed and read.
Exposure to new people is another benefit. When your fan first “like”s your page, it is announced to all of their friends on that user’s feed. You now have instant exposure to lots of new potential fans. And if your fan comments on your page or, even better, decides to share a post, you’ll get added exposure.
Facebook also has a built-in analytics feature, so you can find out how many impressions each post has received.
And your page doesn’t have to look just like everyone else’s. With Facebook Markup Language (fbml), you can personalize your page and make it stand out. If you’re so inclined. You can add applications and tabs, and even have new users land on the tab you want them to. Building lists can be done also, because you can request that users fill out contact forms when, say, joining a contest you’re running on your page.
The possibilities are almost endless. Harnessing the power of this social media giant is still in its infancy – Facebook has only been around since 2004.
Look to the sidebar on your right. You may have to scroll a bit. You’ll notice a nifty little rectangle right under the Donate box that mentions my Facebook fan page. Just click “like.” Or, if you’d prefer, head over to the Crayon Writer Facebook fan page directly. I haven’t done much with it yet, but like I said, the possibilities are endless (almost).
Do you have a Facebook fan page? How has it worked for your business or blog?