I ‘heart’ Facebook and use it regularly. Based on the usage numbers, you probably do, too. More and more, we’re not only using Facebook for friendly connections; we’re tapping into it for business promotions.
I’m averaging three requests a week to join a group or become a fan of a business, and even more times a week, I’m being asked about the best methods for using Facebook tor create buzz for businesses. The most common question is “do I need a group or a fan page?”
Here’s the short of it:
Create a Facebook group if
- you want to bring people with a shared interest or involvement together.
- you want to encourage interactions and discussions.
- you anticipate participation of group members in posting items, photos, etc.
- you are open to the input and content creation of others and are fine with simply being the facilitator of the interactions.
Examples of groups:
- Event planning committees (group may become obsolete after event is done)
- Book clubs, discussion groups, etc.
- School, church or family reunions
- Topical exchanges for business or amusement purposes in which all members are encouraged to contribute
I created my “misADventures” group to create fun interaction amongst interested individuals on the topic of humorously bad advertising and marketing campaigns. Anyone can post pictures, start discussions or make comments. I couched this page as a “brought to you by Small Biz Big Time” to help create a light-hearted affinity all around, with a very subtle and secondary brand message.
Create a Facebook fan/brand page if
- you want to build buzz around a brand name or create interest/support of a product or service.
- you want to convey information to a core group of people who show interest in your specific topic.
- you want a place for comments and feedback, yet with less focus on interactions and discussions.
- you prefer to guide the tone and content of the page as it represents the person, company, product or service being promoted.
Examples of pages:
- Musical artists, celebrities or public personalities
- Businesses or brand names
- Products or services
- Events – for purposes of promotion, not planning
My husband, JP Williams, is an independent singer songwriter, so we opted for a fan page to promote his music. We uploaded a music player and are using that page to message members about upcoming gigs and events. Facebook even lets you target group messages by location and a few other factors. Click on “Insights” to see group demographics and page views. It’s a handy tool, for sure!
Your group memberships will show up in a logo-infused list on the “info” tab of your profile. That’s just one more subtle way these pages build branding. Your group memberships will go into a running list in on the “info” tab of your profile.
As with most social media endeavors, these things can really take off and grow organically. One connection can lead to another. However, it’s still in your court to inject your group or fan page with new content, consistency of message and fresh imagery. I rarely hear from any of the groups or fan pages I’ve chosen to join, even though they could message all of us members with just a few clicks.
And remember, these things are all about relationships. Whether you create a group or a fan page, carve out some value-adds for your members a few times a year. Offer some exclusives to make your circle feel special – a white paper, a coupon, a free song download, whatever! If people take the effort to “join” you, make it worth it for them, and you’ll have friends, fans and groupies all around!
p.s. – Look for the “misADventures” group on Facebook. It’s a fun virtual water cooler break!