I have been reading and hearing more and more conversations about Facebook Business Fan pages. The most frequently asked question is, “are they really effective”? Honestly, the reviews are mixed. If you ask 10 people how effective their Facebook business page is, (provided they are not lying to you…oh and they will, and they do.) you will get everything from “waste of time” to “they’re great!”.
In my personal and professional research I have come to the following conclusion: You and your business may not be able to do a Facebook Fan Page. That’s not an excuse for you to avoid creating one, but I am convinced that there are reasons why some “Fan” pages are more successful than others. Even if you were to do everything suggested there is no guarantee that the will be effective for your business.
Typically I focus on the “what to do to make you and your business better”. Today I am going to focus, “how a Facebook Fanpage Fails”. Here are a few of my observations.
Prescriptions for Failed Business Fan Pages:
- Lack of a Plan and Strategy.
- This is perhaps the number one reason why business pages fail on Facebook. People will create a page and just expect it to work. They believe in their own “Field of Dreams”, “if you build it they will come”. Let’s be clear. Facebook pages are not webpages. They are not static. Unlike a web page where content can help you get indexed on the search engines, that is not the case with a Facebook Business page. You need to a have a plan going in of what the intention of the page is. How frequently are you going to post? What are you going to post? Who will be responsible for the posting? Who will keep the conversation going when you do get interaction, etc? If your idea is to post and hope…go with hopeless.
- The wrong people are “Liking” Your Page.
- I have been observing how people are trying to get “Likes” on their pages. True you need “Likes”. However, why are you getting “Likes” from people in your own field, or other businesses, or your colleagues? Why are you doing exchanged “likes”? What’s the benefit? There is none! Are they really your potential customer or client or are you exchanging “Likes” so you can have a nice looking big number on your page? “Like exchange” for the sake of getting numbers has little to no value. If your plan is to help your business then you need to encourage those people who will potentially doing business with you to “Like” your page, not your colleagues and cronies. It’s not the number of “likes” that are important; it’s the number of conversations that your page is generating.
- Narcissistic Business Posting
- When I see very few people commenting on a “fan” page, I check to see what the business is posting. What do I find? The business is talking about what the business. Typical narcissistic “look at my business”, “look at us”, “we are great”, status updates. Let me give you a little Facebook secret…we don’t’ care. We already know you are “narcissistic” you have your own “fan” page for crying out loud! Don’t make it worse. Remember, we are as narcissistic as you. If you are going to have a “Fan” page then give the “Fans” what they want hear, not what you want them to hear.
- Lack of Conversational Consistency
- Imagine you meet a person for the first time and you really enjoyed their company. You can see that you and this other person could be really good friends. You have some things in common. You like their personality, etc. You want to develop a relationship. It is a bit awkward at first. You maybe go to an event together, or possibly grab a coffee and you have a conversation. The more you talk the more you both come to realize that there are no hidden agenda’s here, and there is real possibility that you the two you may be able to develop a positive mutually beneficial friendship. Then, suddenly, you don’t talk to them for a very long time. How long do you think that friendship is going to last? Not long. You may say, “but the phone works both ways”. True, but if it is really that important to you, you would be doing the calling. Inconsistency killed the relationship.
- A big issue with Facebook “Fan” pages is inconsistency. It’s no wonder your page is not working for you. You post once a month, orr you will post in spurts. You are posting great for a few days or couple of weeks and then…nothing. Either way keeping your fans on a consistent schedule of posting is necessary to consistently build relationships. Our human psychology is that we like stability. You demonstrate that when you are consistent in your posting, but perhaps more importantly when you are commenting and having conversations with us.
- Making it Personal, Not Professional
- Remember Facebook is a culture all of its own. Think of it as a foreign country (for many of you I am sure you feel that way). However, it truly is. It is really not a microcosm of society. The people that are generally on Facebook are here because quite frankly it gives them an opportunity to interact on a personal basis. When people start getting professional we start to see some evidence of “psychological reactance”, this is when people react in the very opposite way you intended because of a perceived threat of an individual’s freedom. Now I know that your intention was not to take away anyone’s freedom. However, the people that are on Facebook are talking with family and friends. Some of it is mundane, some of it exciting, some tragic, some funny, some not so much, but 99% of it is personal on some level. Now a business person comes in and starts getting all professional on their personal newsfeed and there we have it…threat. “How dare you take away my personal enjoyment of my newsfeed by posting your business $#!+%*. You have interrupted my schedule of enjoyment. You are trying to steal my freedom of enjoyment. “ Game on! Now you risk the silent killer for all business pages…getting “unliked” or “unsubscribed”. If you press the professional too long, you get “defriended”.
- Facebook is a personal culture. Make sure your business page is less business and more personal. It fits in with the unwritten cultural norms, values, rules and expectations of the culture. It also connects people to your business page on a real human level. Rather than talking at them, you are talking with them. All business is about relationships. Facebook business pages can help develop those relationships. However, you need to understand that those relationships will cross over to the professional, only when you take the time to be personal.
Jay Izso, Internet Doctor®