On 21 July, Facebook crossed 500 million members. To put it in other terms, were Facebook a country, it would be the third most populous in the world, after China and India. Brands all over the world are struggling to tap into the vast markets of India and China. And the really clever ones are tapping into the vast market that the Facebook republic holds.
So obviously, really obviously, your brand needs to be on Facebook. And not just a brand page stuck somewhere; that’s the real world equivalent of a tiny barber shop with a tinier board. You want to be a ubiquitous, visible brand, screaming from the hoardings, posters and wall graffiti of every street in Facebook land. How does one get from ignominy to omnipresence?
We put together some of the tried and tested solutions from across the web. That doesn’t mean that if you follow these solutions to the letter, your brand will be as drilled into people’s heads as that of Coca Cola or Barack Obama’s is. No. But these represent minimum hygiene. The rest is your brand personality, and all those human factors that make your brand a big hit offline.
Best Practices Set #1: You’re dealing with human beings
- Be a person, or at least a group of people. Don’t be an anonymous logo. Facebook is for people. It’s a social network, not a business network.
- Keep privacy in mind. People like to engage your brand and talk about it, but don’t push them too far to reveal more about themselves. How they use your brand might be important to you, but they’re not going to tell you all you want to know.
- Customise your tabs. Make them relevant to your fans. There’s more to life on Facebook than Wall, Info, Photos, Discussion (More in Set #4).
- Remember to keep it simple. Life is good does. With simple status updates (much like the name of the brand itself), Life is good elicits more pondering from its fan community. Their most recent update: “Whatever you are, be a good one.”
- Your page is for your fans, not your brand. Put content that is meaningful to them, that gives them a reason not to ‘unfan’. Limit your Status Updates to one or two per day. People are on Facebook to socialise with your friends, not see your brand all day.
- Don’t be dreadfully serious. People are there on Facebook to have fun. But don’t be ridiculously flippant either.
- Don’t try and make sales pitches on Facebook. If people want to see ads, they’ll look at ads. They don’t like ads that masquerade as status messages. Your Facebook page is a page, not a jumbo banner.
- Facebook is not a magic wand. It doesn’t just work by itself. You also need to be present on Twitter, YouTube, run your own blog, whatever other social network that is relevant. Make a co-ordinated effort on all. You need an army, not a platoon.
- Don’t create fake IDs to become fans of your pages. People can tell fakes from real in a jiffy. Real people have hundreds of interests on FB. Better create an exclusive ID to run your page, and use your personal ID as just another fan. You as fan are more credible than you as admin with lots of fake fans.