For many companies a Facebook fan page is an integral part of their social media campaign. But, what fundamentals help fan pages build up large followings and what can brands do to emulate the success of others? I’ve put together a list of specific basics that I believe have helped create fan pages with large, engaged, followings.
1. Networking with other platforms
Building a large following requires a network of other platforms, working in conjunction to drive visitors to your fan page. One brand that does that well is Victoria’s Secret with their PINK line.
As you can see, on their PINK landing page they have a link to their Facebook fan page and their MySpace profile. Victoria’s Secret leverages the traffic their home page gets and pushes them to their Facebook fan page.
Many companies lack this level of dedication, expecting their consumers on Facebook to find them automatically. However, that’s not usually the case.
When is the last time you went looking for a brand’s Facebook fan page? More often than not, a consumer will stumble upon the page, either through a friend or from a hub, similar to Victoria’s Secret’s PINK page.
Understandably, the fact that the demographic targeted by Victoria’s Secret PINK, aligns exactly with the demographic that is most active on Facebook, has helped grow the group as well.
2. Creating a resource
Some pages are used as connection hubs, but others offer information relevant to their consumers. They use the information as added value to have consumers create a connection with the brand.
Dell has done a great job with their social media resource for small businesses. Understanding that small business owners buy computers, by offering them this resource, small business owners interested in social media keep Dell top of mind.
Although, Dell can’t explicitly gauge the success of this program in ROI, it is a branding exercise. Also, since they offer deals and updates on new products on the page – the page does have a chance to convert small business owners into Dell consumers.
3. Empowering pre-existing pages
One of my favorite stories about social media involves the Coca Cola Facebook page. The fan page was created by two users who liked Coke. What started as a fan page for fun, turned out to be the largest product fan page on Facebook.
Coca Cola, instead of taking over the page and making it their own, rewarded the fans by bringing them to Atlanta and giving them a tour of the Coke facility. The fan page remains theirs, but now they have the blessing and help of Coca Cola.
By empowering the fans to keep their fan page, Coke ensures a passionate page owner.
The Coca Cola marketing team was also smart enough to realise that letting others know what happened here would work in their favour. The fan page creators were told to make a video of the history behind the fan page, and how Coke had reached out to them and rewarded them for this.
The video shows future ‘brand enthusiasts’ that creating successful groups around Coca Cola can result in rewards and recognition.
4. Targeting the proper demographic
Sometimes no matter what you do, your Facebook page won’t grow. This can simply be a side effect of Facebook’s demographic. There are just some brands that will not have a strong presence on Facebook.
Understanding the demographic presence can help you decide if Facebook is worth it for your business.
A report in the US from Quantcast estimates, we can tell that Facebook skews towards female youths. Interestingly, 53% of users have kids and a majority make over $60k a year salary. Obviously, over 50% are under-graduates. The demographics that make up Facebook are changing quickly, as more stay at home mothers have begun to join and the college market has become saturated — so be sure to keep checking up on demographic changes over time. As Facebook changes, your campaigns may need to change with it for maximum effect.