By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer
Coca-Cola is the leading brand on Facebook with over 3.7 million fans. More and more brands are creating fan pages to capture the hundreds of millions of Facebook users across the world. Facebook can be a powerful tool to generate website referrals, engage existing and acquire new customers. It’s about creating meaning in your digital space that people want to be a part of. We’ll discuss how to brand your page, build relationships and engage and empower your fans on Facebook.
1. Brand Your Page
When you arrive on the Coca-Cola Facebook page, it is clearly branded. The landing page is almost a mini-Coca-Cola site where fans can “celebrate” their love for the soft drink company and become a member of the Coca-cola community. This pseudo Facebook splash page introduces users to the brand in a way different that the typical landing page. From the start, Facebook users understand the Coca-Cola page not just to be another Facebook page, but a platform to discuss, interact and promote the brand.
2. Inform Your Network
Send personal messages to those in your network that might be interested in your page. Blasting requests to join your page might not be the best approach–as it might alienate some of your network. Consider how you can make your page more than just a self-promotional tool. Maybe your Facebook page is where you raise money for a social cause… If so, it is a great introduction between your friends and your business–making the page less about you and more about your positive impact.
3. Be a Catalyst
There are many tools to engage your audience on Facebook. Consider the hundreds of Facebook apps, from SlideShare to Mafia Wars. Select those apps that are both relevant to your business and your fans. Some businesses have even developed Facebook Apps. San Francisco’s mayor, Gavin Newsom offers an application that serves as a badge of support and a fundraising tool. Or, consider contests and voting. Target was able to engage their audiences by asking their fans to allocate their donation dollars.
4. Offer Rewards
Why would someone want to return to your Facebook page? Consider how Sears added coupons for the products on their Facebook page. Users simply printed off $10 off coupons and brought them into the store for a discount. Simple, easy and a great way to engage your audiences. Or, what about contests? Adding a lottery-like drawing can entice non-fans to engage in your brand.
5. Empower Your Fans
With the influx of blogs and social networks, more and more people are empowered to become publishers. To capitalize on this, consider how you can incorporate your fans’ content into your site. For instance, your customers could create commercials for your brand. Have your customers submit the commercials and turn the voting over to your fans. The campaign creators will drum-up support through their own networks to create incredible brand exposure.