As first seen on ideacafe.com.
According to several sources, Facebook will pass the one-billion user mark in the near future. Does that mean, however, that one billion people know how to use it to its full potential? Absolutely not – that would be too easy!
The majority of Facebook’s users are only there for the social experience. The benefit for us, as advertisers, is that the vast majority of Facebook users have little or no inhibition when it comes to providing the website with an extensive amount of personal information. (And, hey, this lack of inhibition gives us some interesting photos to look at!)
What’s Already at Your Fingertips
When creating a new profile, almost every Facebook user provides his age, sex, geographic location, interests, hobbies, and more without a second thought. Users constantly provide more useful information as they interact with different apps, friends, and fan pages. While not all Facebook users fully understand the site’s various uses, advertisers can acquire very extensive insight into the interests and information of nearly one billion potential customers.
The average user learns Facebook’s features by noodling around. As a very user-friendly site, it’s easy to find anything on Facebook with a few keywords and a click of the mouse. Can businesses afford to learn through casual use as well? Do they need more formal education in Facebook as a tool? (The answers to these questions, by the way, are no and yes.)
What You Need to Know
While there certainly are businesses that can successfully utilize Facebook casually, I would argue that success has more to do with the unique skill set that each business (or, more importantly, the people behind the business) possesses. Some business owners are naturally able to infuse personality and life into their marketing. Others, unfortunately, are not. Regardless, there certainly is a point at which further expertise is needed. Without it, your success is limited until you fully understand more advanced and less obvious features of the site.
What, you ask, are these less obvious features? For businesses, the most useful ones lie within fan pages. Facebook has done great work with fan pages since their debut in 2010. The current iteration features several tools that are able to help any business – even those lacking in obvious personality – attract potential customers.
Fan Page Features to Focus On
The first of these can be found at the very top of the page. Facebook’s cover photo serves as a first impression for new visitors. A high-quality cover photo with the right imagery can make all the difference. Some pages use the cover photo as a digital business card, nesting contact information and other important text there, making such information readily available to any customer.
The other big feature is the custom tab. Unlike any other social media platform, Facebook allows a business to create custom pages within the fan page that can be customized to include just about anything. On my company’s page, we use our tabs to allow users to join our mailing list for free info, videos, and strategy. Giving your fans the opportunity to take an action beyond simply clicking “like” has huge implications for business, and it allows users to feel more connected to the page.
In addition, the tabs are excellent places to collect leads. Our page features multiple tabs, which focus on different products and services we offer. Each of these serves a specific need, allowing users to get answers for an array of different questions right from our fan page. We send fans to different tabs, they sign up for a training newsletter, and we move them toward a buying decision. The more self-informed you can make your clients, the happier you’ll both be. Everyone could use lowered customer service costs!
The secret to Facebook truly is mastering fan pages. Gathering Facebook fans is great, but it’s much more valuable to turn fans into true leads through the use of custom tabs, cover photos, and other connections. One billion potential customers are out there; it’s up to you to draw them in.