Branding with Facebook Pages - dummies

By Jan Zimmerman, Deborah Ng

You may think you know Facebook pretty well because you have a personal account, but Facebook Pages for brands (formerly called fan pages) and your Facebook profile have major differences. Facebook Pages have to follow specific rules to avoid coming across as overly spammy. For example, you have to follow specific guidelines for selling or running contests.

The purpose of the Facebook Page is simple: to promote a brand. The goal of most brands is to have as many individuals like them as possible in order to best get their message to the masses. Some brands (such as Coca-Cola, with over 90 million followers) can reach more people with one Facebook update than with a television commercial — and it’s cheaper, too. So a major brand’s goal is to make their Facebook Page as interactive as possible to get those Likes.

After your brand has accumulated fans and followers, a variety of interactions can occur. A representative of the brand posts an update in hopes of getting as many Likes, comments, and shares on that post as possible. When an individual likes a post, comments on that post, or shares a status update or image, that content appears in that person’s status updates, which means it’s exposed to even more people.

If a brand’s update gets liked and/or shared by hundreds of thousands of people, it has the potential to be seen by millions of people. This visibility leads to higher brand recognition, even if the people who viewed the update didn’t share it in return. You want as many people as possible to at least know about your brand on Facebook.

If your Page is truly interactive and offers some cool perks, your community will be inspired to invite others to like the brand, as well. So another ­purpose of the Facebook Page is to create a community of brand advocates and word‐of‐mouth marketers.

Facebook Pages are a way to humanize your brand and make you seem more real to your customers or community. If you take the time to answer inquiries, post updates, and make them feel as if they’re part of the brand, too, your fans will put their faith and trust into you and are more likely to support your efforts.

Brands are taking advantage of Facebook Pages because they’re a way to reach people honestly and effectively. The most successful brands on Facebook aren’t shouting out, “BUY ME!” or posting only product updates. They’re having conversations with their communities, and it’s working.