on May 01, 2014
By: Doug Maclean
For my innaugural blog, I had thought about writing about taking a technical subject and trying to make it manageble for the non-technical, but I'll save that for another time. I think instead, I'd like to talk about Facebook Fanpages. What are they? And more importantly - How do you make them outstanding.
Facebook Pages: What are they?
To those users who've been with Facebook for a while, a Facebook Fanpage may seem like a replacement for a Facebook Group; however, the distinction isn't so linear. Here's a nice chart that I found:
We can get into what the various rows stand for in more detail later; but the point is to see that a group doesn't have a smaller set of features than a page, but instead, they have commonalities and differences.
One of the biggest differences that I've been in love with lately is the "Support for Applications" - I'll get into this below.
The other difference between Groups and Pages is the strategy underlying how you will use these. We recommend to our clients to use a Facebook Group as a forum for discussing, organizing or giving feedback. The ability to mass messages to your membership is only available for groups, so, when you're organizing an event, the group is ideal. Facebook Fan Pages can also be used to promote events, but it's only a group which can have an event that allows mass messaging. A strong Facebook Group may be ideal for those who are hosting events regularly.
As a developer who is taken as a Facebook Expert, Our clients and friends often say things like this to me about their facebook development experience:
"I learned how to use them once, but now it's different, and I just don't have the energy to do it again"
"How does such and such do this and that with their Facebook Page"
There have been numerous seemingly fundemental changes to the Facebook page infrastructure making it quite difficult to keep up. The worst part about these changes is that your page might look great under one revision from facebook, but it may have overlapping text or mismanaged content in another revision. Here's an example:
This looks great right! When this page was first picked up and went viral on gizmodo, it was a heavily blogged about item. But what about now? If you take a look at Alexandre's current facebook page, it doesn't look nearly as impressive because facebook disturbed the order of the top photos of the page which form Alexandre's eyes. It's interesting that they changed this, and one has to wonder if it was on purpose or just part of facebook's design - that's another topic.
Facebook Pages: How do you make them outstanding?
So, up until now, I've writen about a lot of complications regarding Facebook Pages; it's true that they're combersome; however, they're also one of the most valuable tools for talking about your organizations products and services.
Here's a couple of ways to use them effectively:
Assume the identity of your Facebook Fan Page to write on other people's walls
If you want to appear professional while also being social, you can become the identity of your facebook page. This means that when you post on someone's wall, the posting will be made by your organization with your oganization's profile picture. Since you can allow multiple members of your company to be administrators of a page, with this strategy, you can appear as once cohesive message rather than a collection of members. This is a distinct advantage of a page over a wall.
It's really exciting for me to create new Facebook Applications, and it's even more exciting when clients install these applications on their pages.
As a case study, we created a website http://canadatalentsearch.ca which allows visitors to vote (by using the facebook like button) on candidates for a crazy amount of prizes in a contest of personal branding. In order to make this campaign go viral, we decided to make a Facebook Application for this page.
With this application, the user can vote, leave comments, and support their friends to the top. Moreover, all of the sponsor’s of the event can install the application on their Facebook Page. It’s a great way to integrate a campaign into any collaboration.
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