Is it Google? Actually, no. Google didn’t make it to the top this year. Google was bumped to second place by the one and only Facebook. Who would have thought when Facebook began nearly 7 years ago, that it would become as large and as influential as it is today? There is a movie about it, there are more than 500 million people now using the site, and its users are visiting Facebook for more than simply connecting with “friends”. Facebook draws people from around the world – supporting causes, promoting brands and celebrities, and even shopping – while staying in touch with friends.
Recent numbers from Hitwise below show that Facebook has now surpassed Google in being the most visited site in the U.S. during 2010. What is interesting is that not only was Facebook the most visited site, Facebook was the most searched term in 2010. Should some of the credit maybe go to Google and other search engines? Of the top 10 most searched terms, variations of Facebook occurred 4 times, as shown in the image below.
If the current trend continues as we move into 2011, it would also be extremely advantageous for companies and brands not in Facebook to consider a strategy for building a presence there. Facebook has changed the way people find information and communicate with brands online. Also, as with most marketing efforts online, your Facebook efforts can be tracked through an analytics package as well as through Facebook’s Insights. It will be interesting to see what Facebook will bring this year, further enhancing the opportunities for businesses.
We all know by now that Facebook has become the dawn of the new age and creating a Facebook presence for your business should be a staple in your online marketing efforts. The question is no longer why Facebook is a valid channel to venture into, it’s how do I grow my Facebook Fan Page following?
The truth is this isn’t something that can be easily achieved overnight. It takes time, strategy, dedication and an ongoing commitment to build up a Facebook Fan base.
Below are a couple tips that will help your business grow their Facebook Fan following:
#1: Ongoing Commitment and Consistent Engagement
Creating a great first impression is vital. When prospective fans review and select Facebook pages to “Like’, quality content and active engagements may heavily impact their decision to “Like’ your page. Other factors that may impact their thinking when deciding whether or not to “Like’ a page include brand image or recognition. If their fellow Facebook connections have “Liked” your page, there is regular posting of new information or content and steady engagement from the administrator, your page has every reason to be “Liked”.
#2: Offer Incentives, Promotions or Rewards to Your Fans
Encourage fans to “Like’ your page in order to receive ongoing promotions or incentives. Offer your fans an exclusive offer that people who don’t “Like” your page won’t be privy to.
(Below is a screen shot of how you can offer incentives only to those who “Like” you page)
Rewarding your fans with special deals and incentives for their continued support will encourage them to spread the word to their friends by sharing the content and persuading them to “Like” your page as well.
Facebook has been very busy this month. Last week they released the new design of Profile pages and yesterday we got an accidental glimpse at the future of Fan Pages. What do these changes mean for your business?
The Facebook advertising model allows you to reach your audience by using targeting options such as location, likes, interests, connections, education, workplace and other personal demographics. However, advertisers can not target their ads to those who don’t take the time to update their information.
The new Profile Pages are now easier to read and update. Profiles have become more visually compelling and personal information is now more prominent. Facebook has found a way to encourage users to supply valuable personal information and give them a reason to keep it up to date.
We were able to get a sneak peak at the future of our very own Fan Page when Facebook accidently made some pages public for a brief period of time.
The most significant changes we noticed were the following:
The new design will also integrate features from Facebook Places, which is a noteworthy feature for businesses with a brick-and-mortar location. The number of check-ins will be displayed below your ‘Likes’ and your Facebook wall will now display a map of your location above the comments.
The new design of both Pages is more engaging and informative than previous versions. Providing more complete personal information on Profile Pages has the potential to increase the size of relevant audiences while new Brand Pages will offer potential Fans easier navigation and location maps. Facebook is always working on improving the experience of users while providing companies new ways to market to them effectively. We can be sure that 2011 will bring more opportunities for you to be successful in this channel.