Facebook fan pages: 6 tactics for driving traffic to your site

As authors, we can take a page from companies who are marketing using Facebook fan pages…

As visits on the social network skyrocket, here’s how to funnel in potential customers

Facebook is racking up astounding numbers.

Last month, 132 million U.S. visitors frequented the site—the most to Facebook in its six-year history (founded in February 2004)—according to Compete.com.

Among the various ways that businesses and nonprofits can use Facebook to interact with customers and clients is the fan page.

How to set up your fan page
Mari Smith, writing at MarketingProfs.com, offers good advice on how to create a Facebook fan page.

Fan pages, similar to profile pages in design and function, enable users to write on a wall, upload photos and videos, and participate in discussion groups they or the company starts.

Fan pages have many advantages, such as the ability to reach millions of current and potential customers. Unlike the rest of Facebook, fan pages are indexed on Google, which helps your SEO strategy. There is also no limit to how many fans you can have. Personal profiles limit to 5,000 the number of friends you can have.

According to the white paper, “2009 Channel Preference,” by www.exacttarget.com, an important point is that “becoming a ‘fan’ is not the same as granting permission.” The white paper goes on to say, “If you can avoid treating your fans as members of yet another direct marketing list, you will find success in this new and evolving channel of social media.”

Driving traffic from your fan page to your site

There are at least five ways a company can use its fan page to drive traffic to the company site.

1. Coupon campaigns. As reported in “We Play in Traffic,” you can link coupon campaigns to your seasonal marketing, as Best Buy did with this coupon over the Christmas shopping season.

You can also run a Facebook-only campaign for users who become fans of your page. This works to build your site. McAfee is running an offer for a six-month complimentary subscription to McAfee® Internet Security. This page sends you to its site to sign up.

2. Engage your fans. Answer fan questions, resolve their problems, and send them to your site’s FAQ when necessary. Kohl’s Facebook fan page is a good example of a responsive communications effort. Also, notice how Kohl’s gets so much positive press via fans’ compliments.

3. Invite to special events. Invite your fans to upcoming events, special in-store and online sales, even fundraising events. Send them to your site to sign up for news on the upcoming event, and get their opt-in permission for your event newsletter.  Both Kohl’s and Starbucks (see below) do it well.

4. Polls and contests. Invite your fans to interact through a poll or contest, directing them to your site. Starbucks invites fans to buy a product through the site or enter the contest by posting on its wall.

5. Listen. Social media is for connecting and building affinity groups. Above all, listen to your fans, and participate in the conversation as a human being.

6. Use the side bar widgets to invite your fans to communicate in the best way for them: e-mail, text message, visiting your corporate site, inviting them to put a banner of support on their site. The nonprofit World Wildlife Fund handles all these processes well.

One more thing: Stay abreast of Facebook news, including Fan Page rankings, at Allfacebook.com, billed as “the unofficial Facebook resource.”

Journalist, author and coach Beth Barany works with aspiring authors. She helps them get their books written, marketed and out into the world.

First published at Ragan.com

Article comments from Ragan.com:
Tuesday, January 26, 2010 12:56:19 PM by Tess
Great list! Though there are a few things to be wary of when running a Facebook promotion. Limitations exist such as marketing to individuals who are under the age of 18 and conditioning a user to provide content on Facebook, such as making a post on a profile or Page, status comment or photo upload.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010 6:09:05 PM by Robyn Quinter
Thanks for a valuable list. Several of these suggestions are geared toward retailers. Do you have any recommendations for driving Facebook traffic to those offering professional services rather than those offering tangible products? All insights are appreciated.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 9:11:03 AM by Laurie Creasy
Thanks for this post, Beth.

One concern: I looked for the ranking of our fan page here at Penn State, which is pretty lively, has close to 73,000 fans, and is growing at about 100 fans/day, but it’s not in the Allfacebook.com rankings for Education.

What’s up with that?

Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:25:10 PM by Beth Barany
Tess: Thanks for posting the Facebook guidelines. Yes, we need to keep them in mind.

Robyn: This site shares some general guidelines: http://www.slideshare.net/forwardprogress/forward-progress-how-to-promote-your-fan-page-class-2. Mashable also has some general suggestions: http://mashable.com/2009/09/22/facebook-pages-guide/. I’ve personally seen service professionals use contests and giveaways to grow their fan base. Hope that helps.

Laurie: I suggest contacting Allfacebook.com about their rankings policy. Good luck. Go Penn State!

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    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! Good luck with your endeavors!

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