We’re no saints. We’ve made our own fan page mistakes. But please, allow us to have taken the lumps for you. Here are a few common fan page mistakes we run into time and time again. If you’re guilty of one of the mistakes here, don’t fret: we’ve provided the antidote.
Mistake #1: Wrong page type
If you’ve ever paid attention to the Info tab on fan pages, you know one thing to be true: All fan pages are not created equal. Step number one when creating a fan page is to select what type of fan page you want. It would seem that Facebook is attempting to confuse you right out the gate.
Here are your choices:
You are probably tempted to select local business. After all, most of us are pretty proud to be a local business. But you’re short-changing yourself if you pick this option. Here’s what you’ll end up with:
The Info tab fields for a Local Business fan page include hours of operation, options for parking and public transportation, and a website address. That’s great for a retail location or a venue, but it stinks for the rest of us.
Choose a page from the middle section (as shown above) and here’s what you’ll get:
Quite a difference isn’t it?
Unfortunately because it’s a permanent setting the only way to undo it is to delete your fan page and start all over. If you’ve got less than 25 fans, go for it. You’re not losing much, and you can probably get them back.
Mistake #2: Default Wall Settings
The moment I lay eyes on a fan page, I can tell if the person knew what they were doing or not. And it’s all due to the way Facebook set up the default Wall posting settings. Unless you’re Coca-Cola or Dave Ramsey, your fan page should not have the Fans and Page Wall posts divided out.
The whole point of a fan page is user interaction. The reason it’s OK for Coca-Cola and Dave Ramsey to separate Wall posts is that they have so many people posting on the Wall, they wouldn’t be able to get the Page posts to stand out enough for people to see them. They are literally drowning in fan posts. I hope that for you someday, but it’s probably not today.
An easy fix for this one. Simply click Edit Page, then select Posts By Pages and Fans.
Now you’re interacting!
Mistake #3: No applications or customization
There is a whole world of applications available for Facebook fan pages. A business can use these applications to streamline social media efforts (think blog posts auto-posting to your fan page), perform functions (conduct polls, for example), and turn your fan page into a mini-website. So, to utilize none of these is, in our humble opinion, a mistake.
Start browsing the Applications on Facebook that can be part of your Facebook strategy. Steer clear of applications that are clearly made for personal pages, like FamilyTree, and gravitate toward those that will help you achieve what you want to do with less effort or add functionality to your page.
Some of our favorite Facebook fan page applications: FBML, PollDaddy, Extended Info, SocialRSS, Poll, Reviews, RSSGraffiti, SlideShare,
Mistake #4: Spam-worthy page suggestions
We’ve all experienced that friend who just won’t stop sending his or her fan page suggestion over and over again, day in and day out, despite many pushes of the Ignore button. One of two things is happening here: either the friend who is suggesting it is blindly clicking the Select All button on their friends when they are suggesting the page without realizing that it is being sent to the same people again (whether or not it was ignored), or the friend is intentionally spamming his or her friends.
So how do you go about increasing your fans without spamming your friends who have ignored previous page suggestions you’ve sent? Do not send mass page suggestions every day. You will be spamming people. And that creates ill sentiment, which you generally want to stay away from in the social media sphere. Do one mass suggestion when you first create the page, and then just send periodic (say, once every month or two) page suggestions.
You can also use the Lists function to group your friends into lists according to geography (city, state, university, etc.), relationship to self (family, friend, client, colleague, etc.), political persuasion, and so on to ensure that you aren’t sending irrelevant page suggestions.