Friday, April 16, 2010

Facebook Fan Pages: The New Word of Mouth

By Brandon Moore

A Facebook fan page is a company profile page that is utilized within
the company to connect to new and existing clients. Fan pages can be
used to introduce new products and services as well deliver a lasting
message to a mass audience. Facebook fan pages have become the new
word of mouth marketing for the online generation. These fan pages
allow people the ability to have conversation, discussions, post
messages, videos, and pictures. This is a great way to allow customers
to interact within your business.

The advantages offered by Facebook fan pages are plentiful. The fan
pages allow for a great range of accessibility and freedom.  One of
the biggest advantages that the fan pages has is that all pages are
public. Facebook allows the fan pages are visible to people that are
not yet registered within the Facebook community which extends a
companies' reach. Because fan pages are not behind a login it allows
the search engines (yahoo, google, etc) to index the data and your
profile will receive more recognition. The fan pages allow give
companies the benefit of free links. Because the pages are public, the
links will be posted on profiles and search engines the company will
get some free face time on Facebook. News feeds are posted live
therefore anytime someone joins your fan page it posts a link on their
profile. This makes fan pages somewhat viral. Like a Facebook profile,
the fan pages allow the administrator to send live updates to fans
whenever they want. This feature is a great tool when building a
companies' client base. The advertising promotion that Facebook offers
with the fan pages is a big draw for most companies.

With a reach of over 200 million people you are bound to find someone
that fits your ideal client profile. The Facebook fan pages can be
created into an advertisement that is displayed on the right side of
personal profiles. These ads are created personally, by you, the
administrator of the fan page. Ads are NOT free, but still are great
way to boost revenue. The last advantage to the Facebook fan page is
that it is FREE and Easy. Since making a fan page only takes a few
minutes there is no reason every company shouldn't have one.

Every action has a reaction, as does Facebook fan pages. There are a
few downsides to these public fan pages. The first of which is the
public posting. Because these profiles are all public this allows for
the conversations and discussions between your fans to be viewed by
anyone. Not only this, but fans can write whatever they want.
Administrators have the right to delete comments, but there is always
a chance you won't catch one. The second drawback to the Facebook fan
page is that until that page gets built up in numbers the company will
have to be doing a lot of posting. The posting on the page is what
keeps it fresh and up to date, thus incresing your fans and traffic.
One of the greatest fears of any business owner is the thought of you
hurting your own business. In this technology driven world a website
may be a companies' 'make it or break it' point. Therefore having a
good company fan page is extremely important. A poorly done fan page
linked to your company profile can hurt your inbound search engine
optimization and kill your site traffic.

Facebook utilizes a number of tools to measure the effectiveness of a
companies' fan page. Facebook implemented graphs that allow the
administrator to view different types of fan interactions with the
page over time as well as count of active fans this week, with a
age/sex/location breakdown. Facebook has made a name for itself due to
the high quality marketing it allows it users. Since Facebook is such
a stickler for quality it is only right that they have a post quality
rating system that rates fan pages from 1 to 5 stars.

Through my 'findings and test' I have found that the advantages of the
Facebook fan page far outweigh the disadvantages. The fan page allows
companies to get some free advertising and link placement. This is a
great way for new companies to get their name in front of a large
captive online audience. It is a great idea for every company big and
small to jump on this online marketing phenomenon.

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