So by now, most of you have heard about or seen the new Facebook timeline and changes to how Facebook fan pages will display at the end of March, 2012. So what does this mean for small businesses?
1) If you haven’t branded your fan page yet, you’re in luck. Gone are the days of custom tabs where companies practically begged you to follow the gigantic arrow pointing to their “like” button. Now, companies simply have a place to post a simple graphic or photo in the top banner, which cannot be promotional in nature. The good news is that if you haven’t really taken the time to customize your page before, you haven’t wasted any resources thus far. But it’s a good idea to keep up with the times and get your fan page customized.
2) Your fan page should reflect your business brand. In many ways, the new format makes your Facebook page more about your brand. So think about what images come to mind when customers experience your brand. The Indianapolis Business Journal Fan page, at the time of this writing, has a cool mural of the city as its backdrop. Use this opportunity to incorporate a tagline or to tell people about your company. Incorporate the color scheme and graphics from your website. Or, simply change out the banner graphic as needed to tell the story and keep fans engaged. A good example of this is Coca Cola’s fan page.
3) Need ideas for good Facebook fan pages? Look to the national brands. On that note, if you’re struggling to decide what to put on your Fan page banner, check out some of the national brands such as, Arby’s who uses (at the time of this post) their fan page to promote a seasonal offering (I hate sauerkraut but this sandwich actually looks yummy). This could work for any business who offers products that they could highlight. Macy’s fan page, as of today, just posts a photo of one of their stores, boasting their tagline “world’s largest store.” This would be an idea for a retail or business that has a really cool office building or storefront, and would also increase visibility.
4) Think about the customer experience. What about taking photos of customers using or enjoying the products? If you have excellent customer service, or technicians in the field, show them hard at work. Use the area to display a customer testimonial quote or highlight a project that you have completed. Create tips or answer frequently asked questions, and rotate these on a regular basis.
5) Facebook has made it harder for people to want to “Like” you. With the new timeline and layout, companies can no longer give people an incentive (such as a giveaway or the like) for liking the page. And with the missing arrows and in-your-face promotion, your business will have to work that much harder to encourage “likes.” So the content that you post and share will make a greater difference, as people will view this to see if your page is worth liking. Thus, you need to make your posts count, and make them consistent and valuable to your audience of fans.
Need help with a Facebook marketing strategy? Let me know via the contact form on my site. I provide 1-1 social media training, can set up your pages for you, and also provide outsourced social media management for my small business clients.
PS: I’d love it if you’d like AimFire Marketing on Facebook! My new timeline brand/design will be revealed in the next week!