By Carl Heaton on

A Fanpage is much more than a place to advertise your business it is an excellent way to connect with your users, post news, pictures, videos, ask questions and connect a variety of your other networks all in one place.


Web Courses Fanpage

Everybody is still raving about Facebook and that does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. Google Plus is a barren waste line of great features but nobody to use them and Twitter is great for nibbling but we need a home for our online social persona; facebook fanpage enter stage left.

A Fanpage is much more than a place to advertise your business it is an excellent way to connect with your users, post news, pictures, videos, ask questions and connect a variety of your other networks all in one place.

Facebook have done fanpages well. They give you interesting insights into who and what you users do. So how do we setup a successful fanpage?

Research First

Well the first hurdle is finding the dam link to make a fanpage. The one I know resides right at the bottom of the page, however as you scroll FB automatically elongates your news feed thus making your scroll down again. So to save you loosing hair like me, here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php

If you are setting up a specific fanpage for your business, website, dog or whatever do some research first. Just type in the kind of keywords you will be featuring e.g. web design training centre or bags and purses and see what pops up. Knowing what is out there will help you decide what will work and what has been done for you fanpage.

Type of page

Choosing the type of your page is an important first step as you cant (as of writing this this article) change it once chosen. My advise is to always be as specific as possible. If you are a business then choose the category you are in, for us we are Education.

Types of Fanpage

There is an advantage of choosing a Local Business or Place and that is people can check-in. This also means you will be listed with the Bing maps (via facebook) and popup when people search for local places. Be sure to be accurate with your address (something that can be quick difficult in parts of Asia).

When facebook asks you for your fanpage name you can relax knowing that this can be changed. Just be careful changing your name later as this will effect the initial URL you are assigned and if you have already have links pointing to it, changing it will result in a page not found. However once you choose your user name, buy inputting a code sent to your mobile, that cannot be changed. You have been warned.

A Catchy Name

catcy fanpage name

Brand plus short tag line. That is the best way to name your fanpage e.g. Web Courses Bangkok - grow your ideas online, Mikes Garage - we get it sorted, Surraya Jewelry - quality in perfection. Short is sweet.

As you can see from above, you can choose strange, wacky and weird ones and there is no problem with that.

One example of a fanpage idea that worked was for a customer selling hangover pills. Now I am terrible at affiliate marketing unless its my own product but the idea was to create a fanpage named "I hate hangovers", everyone hates them! So over time the fanpage many likes in its first few weeks.

Make the Most of Your Fanpage Details

fanpage details

Fanpages can rank highly on Google so make the most of the details that you add. Keep it very short though as people on facebook hate reading, no they hate it so stop thinking about copy and pasting your about page and mission statement. If people see a large chunk of text they will not read any of it (okay there are exceptions but most do not) so by keeping it short and succinct you have more chance of getting your message across.

Get The Most Out of About

Notice how our URL is at the start of the About section, this means it will show nicely on the left hand side of the fanpage, click able and all.

With the about there is a little trick, put your domain right at the top and then the main message (about 70 characters). When the info panel is displayed the user will see your domain, a clear couple of lines on what you do and then facebook shows a more where they click to see the rest of the text. By doing this you get your domain seen quickly which makes it easier for users to go straight to your website.

A Clear Enticing Banner

[nggallery id=17]

I have experimented with the maximum size and it has changed a few times but a width of 180px by 450 - 500px seems the maximum you are aloud. I personally go for around 480. The banner needs to be inviting and instantly give the brand message of your fanpage, why? Because eye tracking studies have shown its the first place people look.

Your banner should not remain the same as it is a wonderful place to advertise new things happening. We change the banner every month to mix things up and all your fans will be notified that you made the change and bring them back.

Choose your thumnail

When designing your banner keep in mind you need a square section that will be shown whenever you make a post on the fanpage so make it clear. For example if you have a person in your banner make sure your logo is close to their head that way you can choose a smiling avatar with logo to represent your posts.

Connections

RSS Feeds from Web Courses

You can connect just about everything up to a fanpage, we have YouTube, RSS (shows our latest posts including this masterpiece) Flikr and Twitter. I must admit there is a low chance of people clicking the tiny icon on the left below the banner but I like the idea of everything coming together in one place.

Chat with us

One of the best, but still has a few kinks is, Involver. Perceiver with this one as one of the pages shows an error when you go through Facebook, so my advise is to go straight to their website, click install and it will take you to your fanpage ready to install.

Custom Landing Page

Custom Landing Page

Making custom landing pages consists of 2 steps. 1. create a web page(s) on your own server, 2. add the custom page to your fanpage and set the specific tab to be the first page that is shown to new users. The slightly confusing part is that the custom page that is shown is hosted by you and not on facebook. In the old days you had to use FBML but that came with a lot of restrictions, now you can edit the custom page as easy as changing a file on your server.

How To Add A Custom Landing Page

This will be our next article, so please follow us on twitter or like our fanpage (shameless plug!)

Embedding your Fanpage in your Website

Fanapge intergration

I like this for two reasons, one is that it is a good way to get more likes for your fanpage and secondly it shows the visitor that others like this page and help build confidence in the website. If you saw a fanpage, relevant to the site you are on, and it showed 1,600+ people liked it then it shows that this page has something to offer.

If you are like me and rarely remember URL's and your bookmarks are overflowing with websites you intend on reading then just Google "Facebook Developers Fanpage", click on the first result and you will be taken to a page that creates the embed code for you. Personally I like to remove the stream and header, choose your height and then click Get Code.

They have updated the code but I do find that I sometimes need to add a height, so embed, check and see if you need to do the same.

Inviting Your Friends

Invite all friends

A lot of businesses ask me should I create a business profile and I say yes. Now that goes against Facebook policy IF you use the profile as a purely selling front and end up annoying people. I have a webcoursesbangkok Carl profile which is the WCB site of me but still me. As I have said in all our previous Social Networking posts you must be real. So the WCB profile uploads stupid pictures, likes friends posts, interacts with them and even has the occasional rant. At the end of the day you need to build a profile that is real and then you can invite the friends on your list to your fanpage.

To invite all your friends at once I use a little script:

  1. Goto the fanpage
  2. Click Invite Friends
  3. Move to the bottom of the list (this may take time if you have over 2500 friends like my profile)
  4. Put the script into the URL bar of the browser (note: if you are using chrome you will need to re-add the word javascript as it is removed automatically by chrome), see below:
  5. javascript:elms=document.getElementsByName("checkableitems[]");for(count=0;count<elms.length;count++){setTimeout("elms["+count+"].click()",100)}
  6. Wait while the script selects all the friends.

Tip: Mentions

A little way that I help advertise our fanpage is to always mention it when adding new friends or accepting requests. When a person friend requests me I always say "Thanks for the friends request [insert name], have we met before or do you know me through @webcoursesbangkok".

See my article on getting new friends as the more you have the more you can invite to your fanpage.

Keep Things Interesting

Keep your facebook fanpage interesting

Dont use your fanpage as a dumping ground, find the best of what is happening about your company and share them on your fanpage. For example we:

  • Post the best posts of websites like NetTuts, Smashing Magazine and UX Booth (to mention just a free)
  • We crease collections of websites e.g. Dark Design and ask our followers to comment which they like. You will notice that on every picture we have links to a relevant course (smart A!?)
  • Ask questions, there is a nice new question feature where you can create a small poll e.g. Which is best Joomla or WordPress?
  • Post videos of testimonials, how to’s or even small snippets about what you do. Whatever you post, make it worth watching.
  • Choose your voice! This is an important one, are you funny but sometimes serious, corporate or representing an established brand. Whatever the voice of your fanpage keep it clear, interesting and engage with any feedback.

Facebook interactionsKeep an Eye on Interactions

I really like it when I comment or post something on a fanpage and the admin, or other fans, respond quicky and intelectually. This keeps me coming back for more.

Whenever you logon to facebook keep an eye on your interactions and respond to as many as you can.

 

Facebook Marketing Course

Facebook Marketing Bangkok

If you are interested in learning more about using Facebook to bring new customers and interact with your current client base, then we teach more in depth skills as part of our Online Marketing course which features Facebook Marketing.

Did We Miss Anything?

Please comment below and share your ideas and tips.

carl68

About The Author

Carl

He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.

Do you have ideas you want to grow?

We run design courses and here in Bangkok that will
bring life to your ideas.

tick

20+ courses taught by industry experts trainers. Learn how to create a website from scratch, a full branding guideline or how to master SEO.

tick

Now you can learn online and all our courses with come with fantastic worksheets, video tutorials and you get as much support as you need.

tick

We are a fully accredited school by the Ministry of Education and soon we will offer a full Education Visa allowing you stay in Thailand.