The following is an excerpt from the Facebook Marketing Bible, the comprehensive guide to marketing your company, app, or brand on Facebook. The full version of this article includes instructions as to how each of these strategies can be implemented by any Page.
How does a Page attract new fans and convert existing fans into valuable customers? Many Page admins assume if they follow the vague social media catch phrase of “Engage your users”, they’ll quickly begin to accrue Likes and make money. In reality, there is a great deal of nuance to creating a successful Page. While each must tailor itself to its target demographic, below we outline three specific strategies which Pages can employ, with detailed examples of how they’ve been used by some of the biggest Pages on Facebook.
Tab applications allow Pages to run flash or display other types of rich content to users. Through creative use of tab applications, Pages can encourage Liking, run contests, solicit content contribution, present games and provide a more dynamic experience for users. Reordering tabs and setting default landing tabs help keep Pages fresh. Most importantly, by replicating or refining the functionality of an external website in a tab app, admins can create valuable standalone Page users will want to share with friends.
Best Use of Tab Apps – YouTube
The YouTube Page’s Top Videos, Life In A Day, and YouTube Play tabs are all great examples of how a Facebook Page can be more than info and the wall.
The Top Videos tab distills the enormous range of choices on it’s website into an immediately compelling video discovery experience. Set as its default landing tab, users first see large video players for two of the most popular videos on YouTube, followed by a search bar and selections of popular videos from various categories. Instead of copying the YouTube home page which displays multitudes of registration options and video thumbnails which can cause decision paralysis, Top Videos presents a smaller set of choices designed to get users watching and enjoying YouTube as quickly as possible.
Life In A Day originally asked users to submit videos of moments from their lives, inviting them to join a project which could show their footage to the world. Now, visitors can search or spin the beautifully rendered globe to find pieces of the video collage which make YouTube’s world-wide user base seem more like an interconnected community. The YouTube Play tab presents a collection of jury-selected creative videos from a collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum. This curated experience makes it easy to find high-quality, artful content.
Instead of having a low content landing page dedicated to pushing users to Like the Page, YouTube added a small banner stating “Like YouTube” with an arrow pointing to the button at the top of each of their tab apps. By showing the best of its site’s content, getting users involved, and creatively driving Likes, YouTube has become the 5th largest Page on Facebook with 25,437,451 Likes and our pick for the best use of tab applications.
Fans who feel like they are part of a community and have a stake in a brand become loyal supporters and evangelists. Pages can foster this feeling by allowing fans to do more than just Like and comment on broadcasted updates, such as by setting a Page’s wall tab to show user posts, allowing users to add photos and videos, and highlighting user content in Page updates, tabs, and the profile picture. A community-focused Page can serve as a great alternative to institutional advertising for brands which don’t need to explain much about themselves, like simple consumer products.
Best Community-Focused Page – Coca-Cola
Coke makes it clear to Facebook users in its “House Rules” tab, “This is your Fan Page and we encourage you to leave comments, photos, videos, and links here. However, we will review all comments and will remove any that are innapropriate or offensive.” The Page’s default landing tab is the wall which displays user posts, and it uses it’s About Me section to link to the House Rules tab which describes its moderation policy.
Offensive or off-topic posts are deleted, leaving a wall filled with authentic praise for its products. Users who visit internalize these positive sentiments, and frequently Like and comment on the posts of strangers, generating the sense of community.
On its Coca-Cola tab, the Page features “Fan Highlights” which are a selection of the best photos uploaded by fans. The chance to get this recognition inspires users to create and submit high-quality content.
The Page admins comment on the user content and respond to complaints in the discussion forum, making users feel like someone from Coca-Cola is listening and cares about their opinions. All of these efforts lead users to return to the Coca-Cola Page often, solidifying the brand in the mind of its customers.
Intimacy and Gratitude
A Facebook Page can give users a deeper understanding of the lives and inner workings of the people and things they care about. By making the Page a source for this special access, users will frequently visit, avidly await updates, follow calls to action, and tie their identity more closely to what the Page represents. Intimacy is particularly effective for Pages representing public figures since it can make users feel like they are friends with someone they admire.
Best Use of Intimacy and Gratitude – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is the most popular living celebrity on Facebook, yet she still makes each of her 25 million fans feel special. She posts photos from her bed, the recording studio, and her tour bus, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at her life. These updates have much greater impact on Facebook than on Twitter or her website because they comes alongside similarly personal updates from a user’s friends. The intimate writing style makes users feel as if they know Lady Gaga, not that they just follow her.
The musician refers to her fans with the pet name “little monsters” derived from the title of her last album “Fame Monster”. Status updates where she speaks in the first-person and uses this pet name get significantly more Likes and comments than drier posts of song lyrics or updates which talk about her in the third-person. The grouping of her fans under one name also makes them feel like they are part of an in-group, validating their appreciation for the pop star
Lady Gaga frequently show fans her gratitude for her support, explaining that they give her strength, and that the work she does is for their benefit. In July she posted a special Facebook-specific thank you video, concluding by saying “become my friend on Facebook, I’ll never forget you”. By making believe they’re responsible for her success, they feel compelled to obey requests to vote for Lady Gaga in polls, click links, buy music, and follow other calls to action.