What You Need to Know About Facebook Fan Pages

By Kimberly Moniz

It seems as though there is a Facebook Fan Page for just about everything – from Starbucks and Pepsi to Mr. Ed and Men in Kilts.  Over the past year, I’ve learned quite a bit about creating and managing a brand’s Fan Page.  Here are 10 things that I didn’t know about Fan Pages in 2008, but have become second nature in 2009.  I wonder what 2010 will bring…

  1.  Choose the creator carefully – Until recently, I didn’t realize that the creator of a Fan Page can never be removed as an admin of the Page.  Once a Fan Page is created, the creator will always have the ability to make changes to the Page.  Moral of the story: don’t let the intern create your company’s Page.
  2. Update often, but not too often – There is some debate about how often Fan Pages should update.  Too infrequently and fans are disengaged, too often and they are inundated.  I’ve settled on twice a week as a happy medium and I think that keeps fans interested without overpopulating their feeds.
  3. Content is King – Status updates are great, but posting unique videos and cool photos is a great way to keep fans interested and involved.
  4. Create a custom tab – The Static FBML application is a fantastic tool that allows brands to personalize their Page with the information that is most relevant for fans.  Threadless is a great example – their “New Tees” tab gives fans a look at their catalog of shirts.
  5. Land with a splash – The default landing tab for your Page will be the wall, but how boring is that?  Take your newly-polished custom tab and make it the default landing tab.  Check out Dunkin Donuts’ News/Promos tab – much more interesting than the wall.  NOTE: only non-fans will land on the tab you set as the default.  Fans will continue to land on the wall.  Not sure why Facebook made this the case, but here’s to hoping brands can alter it in the future. 
  6. Don’t be a wall flower – If a fan writes on the wall asking a question or reporting a problem, by all means answer them.  It can only improve your relationship with fans and show that you are actually listening.
  7. Messed up?  Fess up – Fans will know when you mess up, and they will call you on it.  So if you mess up or there is a problem with your Page, let fans know you are working to fix it.  Fans will appreciate knowing you are aware of the situation and trying to resolve it.    
  8. Beware of contests – Facebook has recently announced regulations for hosting contests on Facebook.  Contests that require commenting on or responding to items in the News Feed are not allowed.  It could be tricky to make sure your contest falls within the legal limits, so be careful while planning. 
  9. No easy way to get the word out – Want to send a message to your fans?  It’s not as convenient as you’d think.  Instead of appearing in fans’ inboxes, messages from brands appear in an almost secret “updates” location within the inbox.  From my experience, no one checks these updates.  I’d stick with communicating on the Page. 
  10. Loosen the reins – Let your fans interact with the Page by allowing them to tag photos, post on the wall and upload videos and photos.  If you don’t like fan content, simply remove it, but fans will appreciate being able to contribute and interact with the brand.

6 Responses to “What You Need to Know About Facebook Fan Pages”

  1. 1 Parry January 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Thanks, Kim, for this basic but helpful information about Facebook.

  2. 2 Meg January 13, 2010 at 12:05 am

    All good recommendations, Kim!

  3. 3 Chris Norton January 19, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Great list – I often ask my clients to really think about Facebook before they dive straight in creating a presence.

    The first question should be what is my objective for Facebook and how will a page really help my customers?

    If it is a B2B client for example often it’s simply not worth starting as there are far more productive social media channels that will work much better.

    The key to social media is to be committed as you should never walk away from a conversation but I see quite a few brands starting pages and then not updating them enough. Although I do admit it can be hard to get the balance right sometimes between too little and too much.

  4. 4 guillermo January 19, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Very good and useful tips, thanks Kim

  5. 5 Sal February 5, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    How can I find out the creator of a fan page?

    • 6 Kimberly February 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      Sal, the creator and admins of a fan page are not public, so there is no way for a fan to know who the creator is. Groups on the other hand, list the officers on the group’s page.

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