By Guest Blogger Mari Smith – Social Media Speaker and Trainer
With Facebook’s near 500 million strong active userbase, this giant online social network is a goldmine for authors. By building out a compelling Fan Page, driving targeted traffic to it and creating buzz, you can easily create valuable visibility for your book.
When a potential fan clicks on to your Facebook Fan Page, your goals are to (1) immediately grab their attention and make them feel they are in the right place, (2) inspire them to become a fan, (3) draw them in to engage with your page and (4) keep them coming back – often called “stickiness,” in other words, your fans keep coming back to engage with your page.
Facebook Fan Pages are (currently) the only feature fully indexed by Google. By inserting keyword-rich text throughout your Fan Page and updating regularly, you can create tremendous search engine optimization.
Using Facebook’s Social Ads, you can then drive very targeted traffic from the entire Facebook site directly to your Fan Page.
Plus, with Facebook’s new Social Plugins, you can add all manner of nifty widgets to your main website/blog to drive traffic back to your Fan Page.
Here is the direct link to create your Facebook Fan Page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php (you’ll want to select Official Page).
Following are ten elements of dynamic Facebook Fan Pages that will help you stand way out and keep your fans coming back for more!
1. Title Your Page
When first creating your Fan Page, you need to choose a title that could be your brand name, personal name, or business name and possibly a few descriptive words. You can set up an unlimited number of Facebook Fan Pages – many SEO experts recommend this. You may wish to have a Fan Page dedicated to the title of your book. Typically, though, the shorter the title the better because each time you add content to your Fan Page, your long title will append to each post. There could be some SEO benefits to that too, though.
2. Choose A Picture That Pops!
Facebook’s recommended size for your Fan Page image is 180px by 540px – it looks rather like a bookmark shape. (The optimal size used to be 200 x 600 but Facebook is introducing new dimensions shortly). Whenever you post on your own Fan Page, the thumbnail is a section of the main picture; you may need to experiment with your graphic artist to get the image just the way you want it.
3. Secure Your Username
As soon as you get your first 25 fans, you’ll be able to register your unique username (often called a Vanity URL) at http://facebook.com/username. For example, instead of being a big long unmemorable link, you can shorten and choose your brand name, company name or book title to facebook.com/yournamehere.
4. Set A Landing Tab
You can create a fully customized “landing page” for your non-fans, with images, keyword-rich text, links, even video. How? Just add the Static FBML app, paste in your FBML code (similar to HTML), then edit your Fan Page settings to select the specific tab you wish non-fans to land on. For a detailed tutorial, see this post: http://www.marismith.com/how-to-add-a-custom-landing-tab-to-your-facebook-fan-page/.
5. Write an Appealing About Us/Bio
There’s a small text box area just under your Fan Page picture; use this area strategically to summarize what you do, what your book is about, and who should read it. Even better, include a call to action with a hyperlink (be sure to include the http:// so it’s clickable).
6. Import Your Blog Posts
Using the Networked Blogs app, import your blog feed so that each time you publish a post on your blog, your Fan Page automatically updates and your fans can read and comment on the post. This also helps to add consistent content to your Fan Page and keep it engaging.
7. Show Posts by Page & Fans
There may be strategic reasons for only showing posts by yourself as the Fan Page or only by your Fans, but I highly recommend setting to show both. That way, anyone who comes to your page can see the interaction from both sides.
8. Encourage Your Fans To Add Content
Your fans can add their own photos, videos and comments on your wall using the publisher. Ask fans to add their specific reviews of your book on your wall, including page number(s). Allowing and encouraging your fans to add their own content will make them feel more a part of your online Facebook community and that content goes out into their feeds creating more visibility for you too.
9. Respond to Your Fans
Providing quality content is just one aspect of building a good Facebook Fan Page, or any social networking presence for that matter. Another critical aspect is engagement. By proactively responding to your fans comments, questions, suggestions, ideas, etc. you show that you’re a person/company that cares, that listens, that takes action and engages your community. For my two-part post on fan page engagement, see http://bit.ly/fan-page-engage1 and http://bit.ly/fan-page-engage2.
10. Broadcast to Twitter
Using the Facebook Fan Page to Twitter app http://facebook.com/twitter you can write status updates up to 420 characters that will go out as a tweet on your Twitter account and truncate at about 120 characters with a bit.ly link back to your Fan Page. Great for cross-promoting and extra visibility!
11. Add Social Plugins To Your Website/Blog
I added in a bonus tip with the recent announcement at the f8 developer conference! Using the variety of Social Plugins now offered by Facebook at http://developers.facebook.com/plugins – you can instantly create more visibility for your book/brand by having your site visitors interact with the Like button, for example, and when they do that automatically pushes out into their Facebook stream (their wall and their friends’ News Feed), thus creating valuable (free!) visibility for you!
Mari Smith is an in-demand Social Media Speaker and Trainer, and has been a passionate leader in the social media industry since 2007. FastCompany.com describes Mari as “a veritable engine of personal branding and a relationship marketing whiz.” Mari writes a blog about social media – Facebook marketing in particular – at http://marismith.com. And, find her book Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day (Sybex/Wiley) at all major bookstores and online at Amazon.com and BN.com.