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.

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