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Facebook Marketing: 10 Dos and Don’ts for Your Business Page

Facebook. The social networking giant that we all love to hate. Whether you love it or hate it, you and your business can not live without it.

Every month, Ignite Social Media creates a list of the “Top 50 Branded Facebook Pages.” By analyzing the tactics of the top and bottom 10 pages, I have compiled a list of what you should and should not do in order to make your Facebook fan page a success.

Here’s what those top 10 sites are doing right:

They interact with their fans: It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. The best Facebook pages interact with their fans regularly, ask questions of their fans, and encourage fans to tag their brand in photos and statuses. Oreo holds a “Fan of the Week” contest every week to encourage their fans to take photos with their product and tag the Oreo page for a chance at the “World’s Fan of the Week” title and to have their photo displayed as Oreo’s default photo for one week.

Oreo's Fan of the Week contest

Oreo's Fan of the Week contest

They’re not shy: Want people to “like” your page? Don’t beat around the bush! Be obvious, like Red Bull (see photo from their official page below) and Coca-Cola. If this is done right, it will come off as tasteful – not tacky – and encourage more people to click the “like” button.

Red Bull on Facebook

Red Bull on Facebook

Their page offers extra/supplemental content: The best pages have supplemental tabs on their fan page. If you check out Coke’s Facebook page, you’ll see that their sidebar includes more than just the “Wall,” “Photos,” “Info,” and “Events” pages. In fact, there are over 15 Coke-specific tabs. All of those tabs mean that Coke is providing 20 different ways for fans to interact with their brand that they couldn’t get from a regular advertisement.  In addition, brands like MTV and YouTube offer exclusive sneak peeks and in-depth articles or videos that can’t be found on their website or TV station.

… And here’s what the bottom 10 are doing wrong:

They aren’t present: The main thing the brands at the bottom are missing? Original content and feedback! Some of the pages at the bottom of the list go months without posting any original content, ie. 5 Gum – there was a 2 month timespan between April and June where 5 Gum posted absolutely nothing new! For other brands, customers post on their page – sometimes positive, sometimes negative feedback – and there is no response from the brand. It is not enough to simply ask a daily question for your fans to answer. Fans want to hear back from the companies that they are posting to!

Mountain Dew on Facebook

Mountain Dew’s Facebook wall consists mainly of fan-generated content

There’s no incentive: The best way to get people to “like” your page and your brand is to give something away! If you’re thinking that people are going to become a fan and stick around without offering them any exclusive deals or promotions, you are sadly mistaken. You can create hype and encourage “likes” by offering coupon codes or holding contests specifically for your Facebook fans.

Their page is one huge advertisement: It’s one thing to release exclusive information about new products and services, but it is entirely different if your Facebook page is a regurgitation of your print or TV ads. Pages like Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister seem to offer product descriptions that could easily be found in a catalog or on their website – they don’t offer any exclusive releases or supplemental information.

A & F on Facebook

Abercrombie & Fitch on Facebook

Some of the brands at the bottom offer coupons and exclusive deals, but don’t interact with their fans. Other pages offer supplemental content, but don’t offer any discounts. What does this mean? In order to be successful on Facebook, implementing just one of these best practices is not enough – all of them have to function together seamlessly.

What do you think? Which Facebook Fan Pages do you “like” the best? Which ones do you hate? Do you have any other tips for marketing on Facebook?

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Jenna Markowski

Jenna has a much easier time writing about the media and pop culture than she does writing about herself. She enjoys the simple things in life, like puns and typography. She is an avid fan of pop-punk, Halo 3, Spider-Man and origami, with a slight Taco Bell obsession. Her spirit animal is either a bulldog or a panda bear. You can also connect with Jenna on Google+ and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Jill Tooley

    Great post, Jenna. No Facebook page is perfect (not even QLP’s) but it’s good to see that we’re on track with most of the “dos” you mentioned.

    Surprisingly, I don’t follow many brand names on Facebook, but maybe I should if they have contests like the ones you mentioned! There are tons of TV shows that appear in my news feed (anything that’s listed on my “Favorite Movies or TV Shows” section automatically shows up in my feed), and at first I thought that would be an annoyance. But actually, some of the pages’ moderators do an excellent job of engaging fans after new episodes air! Sometimes they’ll post parts of memorable quotes and have contests to see who can finish them or have a poll/trivia contest related to the show, and winners get merch or exclusive content. Normally I’d block excess posts from my feed, but not if there’s a chance I can win something! ;)

    Anyway, thanks for the tips. Any community manager would be grateful to have them (myself included!)

    • Jenna

      It’s so true that no page is perfect, because it is virtually impossible for one company to do everything right — especially considering that the ways people react with social media are constantly changing and evolving.

      That’s a great point! I’ve followed some brands in the past, and more often than not their posts were too spammy so I unfollowed. But there are some (the ones in the entertainment industry seem to have this down to a science) that offer really interesting content and giveaways. For me, and I think most people, there has to be some sort of incentive for following the brand. Just because someone “likes” Mountain Dew, BMW, or 5 Gum, doesn’t mean that they want a constant flood of advertisements in their News Feed.

      You’re welcome, and thanks! :D

    • Vern-Matic

      Those contest on Facebook are like Publishers Clearing House, NOBODY WINS THEM!!!!! They expect you to forget that you ‘liked’ their page so they can keep spamming your wall.

      • Jenna

        That may be true for a lot of companies, but not for the ones who are succeeding with social media. The companies that really do reward their contest participants and stay true to their word are the ones ranking at the top. The other may think that mindless wall-spam is working, but the fact of the matter is that it’s not. In order to be successful on any social site, your posts have to be engaging and interactive.

  2. Joseph Giorgi

    Oreo’s “Fan of the Week” contest is a fantastic concept, as it encourages interaction with the brand both online and offline. In an indirect way, it drives sales as well, as fans obviously have to purchase Oreos in order to participate. Pretty brilliant if you ask me.

    You’re absolutely right when you say that “implementing just one these best practices isn’t enough.” So many brands on Facebook think that they’re using social media to their advantage, but really they’re just barely maintaining a social presence, which just doesn’t cut it. Brands have to engage and interact with their fans on a consistent basis — end of story. If they don’t, they’re not doing their job.

    Excellent tips, Jenna! :)

    • Jenna

      I hadn’t even thought about that with the Oreo contest! Good point! I think it’s safe to say that Oreo has really nailed it with this contest.

      That is so true — it’s not enough to just sign up for a Facebook account and let your fans take it from there. (Unless you’re Coke, because apparently their entire fan page was created and is run by fans) One of the biggest things that the bottom 10 was missing was consistent, original interaction with their fans. All of those “likes” mean nothing if there is no relationship to encourage brand loyalty.

      Thanks, Joe! :)

    • Amanda

      Nice point Joe–I hadn’t thought about that either. Oreos are so good! And with a killer Facebook page too–they’re sticking around for a long long time! =)

  3. Vern-Matic

    Nice post, it seems to be a fine line for companies and their marketing strategies on Facebook.

    • Jenna

      Thanks, Vern! There is definitely a fine line for companies. On the one hand, constant interaction with fans is necessary, but on the other if they post too often or don’t post quality content it will come off as spammy. Brands have to be careful to keep what they post in a delicate balance.

  4. JPorretto

    I love how you emphasized SOCIAL in social media. Sometimes terms like that will become more of a label than anything, and people forget how/why it started being called that in the first place.

    Nice post!

    • Jenna

      Thanks, Jeff! I totally agree — people are on social networking sites so that they can interact with their friends and brands that they love. They want to communicate, not just be talked at. I don’t see the point of even having a Facebook page if you are not going to post content for your fans, and just allow your page to serve as a forum for customer feedback.

  5. Jana Quinn

    Awesome analysis, Jenna. The patterns you pointed on on the top and bottom sites make a lot of sense, promotion wise. The bottom line: you want to initiate conversation, keep people involved, and provide calls to action all without controlling the conversation, being too pushy, or being bogged down in corporate speak.

    • Jenna

      Exactly. As Vern mentioned earlier, it is a very thin line to tread. But if it’s done right, it can prove to be very beneficial for any business.

  6. Mandy Kilinskis

    Great post, Jenna! I never sat down and thought about why I’ve continued to follow brands on Facebook, but a lot of the reasons you highlighted are, in fact, why I do! I love when brands just post questions. Even though a million people answer it, I like being able to put my 2 cents in. And I also love contests. Even if I don’t win, who doesn’t love a good contest?

    • Jenna

      Thanks, Mandy! I’m glad that I’ve touched on the right things here! You’re right, a lot of times those questions can be fun — especially when they spark a debate with hundreds of comments so that i can spend hours reading and watching Facebook drama unfold. And contests are a great, fun way to get customers involved! :)

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