fan pages

Facebook Fan Page Measurement: Insights and Google Analytics

Facebook insights is a fairly good feature for fan page owners, if you are not using it; you are greatly missing out on all sorts of reports and statistics which are vital to steering your page into the right direction. There is one problem though, for those who are familiar with Google Analytics, Facebook insights simply does not provide enough information. As marketers, we want to know every detail about what happens on our website, or in this case our Fan pages.

Adding Google Analytics to Pages

I have looked in all the nooks and crannies of the web and I did finally find a method of setting up Google Analytics on our pages, even on our wall. Further research was done and I actually attempted to add the corresponding tracking code, however it requires inserting your tracking code within FBML tags. This action is currently not possible, as Facebook will be decommissioning their FMBL support. Basically, Facebook has since updated their pages in order to put more emphasis on their insights tools.

All that said, it is still possible to add Google Analytics to some parts of your page. You can add the tracking code within your custom tabs. If you don’t have any custom tabs currently, and your using Facebook to help your business, it essential you begin using them. The benefits fall back on the ability to add any HTML code, including JavaScript and CSS, practically everything you would on a regular web page within custom tabs – including your tracking codes.

There is a huge flaw in this though, although it is doable, there is an extremely limited amount of information you will receive because it won’t track information from the whole page when a user is on your tab. It will just track the goings on within the custom tab. For ecommerce fan pages or those tracking a conversion/lead of some sort this is a big opportunity to better measure your ROI.

Conclusion

We would all love our Google Analytics to be on Facebook, but we cannot fully edit the source code of Facebook, thus we cannot use Analytics to the fullest of its potential. For now, we will just have to stay put and be “thankful” for what we have, which is Facebook insights. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed for an update in which we can see more information and more detail in our fans activities on our pages.

Guest Author Byline:

This post was written by Lewis Austin and he works for SEO Positive as the Social Media Manager. If you would like to find out more about SEO Positive, follow their Twitter profile or Blog.

Guide to Facebook Page Upgrades for Business

As of March 10th, all Facebook pages have received an updated layout and several new features to help you engage with your fans. Here are some of the Facebook page upgrades:

  • Notifications when fans interact with your page or posts
  • A place to showcase photos along the top of your page
  • A news feed for your page
  • The ability to Like and post on other pages as your page

The transition guide below will help you understand the changes in more detail and help businesses and brand managers get a stronger grasp on the potential for Facebook Pages following the redesign.

Here are is a fan Page upgrade checklist for anyone who already has a Facebook Page:

  1. The Page profile picture size has changed. Be sure to review your profile picture and upload a re-sized picture if needed.
  2. An optional feature will now allow you to feature other Pages and Page admins. If you have any cross-promotion to do this is a great opportunity to take advantage of!
  3. This is also a great time to review your Page category. You can update this at any time by visiting Edit Page > Basic Information > Category
  4. Review the five thumbnail photos that are now displayed in the “photostrip”. X-out any photos you do not want to appear in the top right of each thumbnail and tag your Page in the photos to center the thumbnail picture.

Facebook Fan Page Transition Guide

Feel free to download the Facebook Page Transition Guide!

Facebook Changing Become a Fan in Favor of Like

Facebook Like Button

Facebook has announced it will soon be changing the “Become a Fan” button that you’re so accustomed to seeing on Fan Pages to a more universal “Like” button. According to Clickz, Facebook has started sending out confidential emails to ad agencies informing them that the “Become a Fan” button which functions as a subscription/membership button  to fan pages will be changed to “Like” button within the next few weeks.

Quite simply, Facebook believes that by changing the “Become a Fan” button to “Like”  will increase engagement between consumers and brands. “Like” offers a simple and consistent way for Facebook users to connect with the things they are interested in most. Facebook did some research and found out that users are more two times more likely to “Like” something instead of becoming a fan.

“‘Like’ offers a simple, consistent way for people to connect with the things they are interested in. These lighter-weight actions mean people will make more connections across the site, including with your branded Facebook Pages. We believe this will result in brands gaining more connections to pages since our research has shown that some users would be more comfortable with the term ‘Like’. The goal is to get the most user connections so that you can have ongoing conversations in the news feeds of as many users as possible.”

What do you think of this change? Are you more likely to “Like” a brand on Facebook vs. become a fan of one?  While you’re at it “Like” Only Facebook!:)

Bill Gates Rejoins Facebook & Gives Twitter A Try Too

Bill Gates Joins TwitterLast summer, Microsoft founder Bill Gates made the somewhat surprising announcement that he was quitting Facebook after being inundated with friend requests, explaining “It was just way too much trouble so I gave it up”. It looks like he’s decided to give Facebook another try. A few days ago, Gates launched both a new Facebook Page and a Twitter account (@BillGates).

TheNextWeb noticed Gates first updates on Twitter – mostly related to the crisis in Haiti. Most importantly, Bill Gate’s new Twitter account has been verified by Twitter as the real deal.

Facebook has also confirmed that the account is real and appears to have been created last month. Bill Gate’s first update was a link to his charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation while, no surprise here,  his second shared item was a link to Microsoft.com. Other shared items include photo albums of his trips to Africa and India, and a link to the homepage of the prep school he attended.

By choosing to go the route of a Facebook page and Twitter account, Bill Gates won’t have to deal with the countless friend requests that caused his prior exit. Both Twitter and Facebook Pages use one sided connections — allowing anyone to follow him without any action required on Gate’s part.

1-1000 Facebook Fans in 35 Days

One of my favorite blogs, Freelance Folder, created a Facebook fan page on October 6th, 2009. On November 10th,approximately 35 days later, they reached the one thousand fan milestone. How did they do it? I’ll show you how they accomplished it and how you can to!

First things first, we’ll run through a quick guide to creating fan pages. From there we’ll move into some of the fan growth strategies.

Getting Started With a Facebook Fan Page

To create a Facebook fan page you can simply visit the public page that allows you to create ads and pages. Click on Create a Page. You will be given three options:

  1. Local
  2. Brand
  3. Artist, Band, or Public Figure

Creating a Facebook Fangpage

Simply choose the category that suits your business the most and follow the instructions. As you can see, creating a fan page on Facebook takes about five minutes max. That said, building it and growing a community within that page can take months.

Now that you’ve created a fan page for your business or site, let’s start growing it.

Get Your Friends Involved

The first thing you want to do to grow your fan page is utilize close friends on Facebook. Let your friends know that you have created a fan page and ask them to be a fan. It’s almost guaranteed that they will become a fan without hesitating.

Save the first few days for the close-knit group and then extend invites to a larger group.

Now it’s Time to Send Some Invitations

Suggest your fanpage to friendsNow that you have asked your close friends to become fans, it’s time to send out invites to your acquaintances.

If you have a few hundred friends, do not send out invites all at once. You don’t want a spike of fans one day and be dead in the water the next day. A great ‘rule’ to follow is to send out invites in sets by first letter.

 For example, you can send out invites to those folks with names thta begin with the letters A, B and C on day 1. On the second day, send out invites to people whose name begin with the letters D, E, F and G and so on.

This way you don’t end up getting fifty fans one day and nothing the rest of the days. The Suggest to Friends feature is on the left right under your fan page profile picture as seen in the image above.

Now that you’ve sent out your invites, you need to decide whether to run an ad campaign to promote your fan page.

Run a Facebook Ad Campaign (optional)

Being a freelancer myself I know that budget are extremely tight. That said, if you can spare $5.00 to $20.00 I highly recommend running an ad campaign. Facebook allows you to target your ads and gives you the option to pinpoint who sees the ad. You can target ads based on age, gender, location, profession, etc.

Facebook ad campaign

You can either pay for impressions or for clicks. I recommend the impressions model because the main goal is to get the page seen by as many people as possible. Even if they don’t click and sign up when they see the ad, there is a possibility that they might come back later.

To create an ad, go to public page that allows you to create ads and pages.

At this point, you can start promoting your fan page through your website.

Cross-Promote Your Fan Page

Now that you are done asking for help from your close group of friends and sending out invites, it’s time to start promoting on your web properties.

Talk about your fan page on your blog or your site – and don’t forget about Twitter! Grab a fan page box and embed it on your blog.

Promote with a Fanpage box

After you are done implementing the above tips, be sure you are engaging with your fans. Above all, make sure your fans are interacting. There is no point in having a fan page with thousands of fans where no one really interacts. So let’s see some of the ways to pull in people without really having to ask them to become fans.

You should follow the tips outlined below as soon as you get your fan page up and running.

Your Updates Should “Call For Action”

Ask questions to draw participation

One of the best ways to “call for action” through your updates is by asking a question – something that Freelance Folder does extremely well. People love to voice their opinion and share their expertise. Make sure your updates ask them to do that. Simply linking to each article you publish on your blog won’t help you much as far as growing your fan page goes.

Two of the best ways for your fans to interact are through the Like and Comment features.

Like and Comment Are Your Best Friends

Facebook "like" feature

These Like and Comment features are extremely important to growing your fan page. Every time someone comments on your update or clicks the like button it shows on their feeds. Your fans’ friends see their profile or feed on the main page. They also see that one of your fans have been commenting on or using the like feature on your fan page. This can creates a viral effect.

If the update is good enough and really thought-provoking, those users who didn’t know about your fan page might join because they saw someone they knew on Facebook actively using it.

The key is to make sure your fans are participating and using those Like and Comment features so that it shows on their feeds. This is one of the best ways to get your fan page exposed to as many people as possible.

Now onto third party apps…

Utilize Third Party Apps

Blog and Twitter Tab on Facebook page

One of the reason Facebook is so popular is because of all the third party Facebook apps that are out there. I am talking about the apps that actually add value to your fan page.

If you look at Freelance Folder’s fan page, you will notice two tabs at the top that are not default tabs for fan pages — News and Twitter. If you click on the News tab you will see our recent posts. If you click on the Twitter tab you will see our Twitter updates.

These apps allow for a single stop information source for their fan base. (you can find these apps at involver.com for free). Now fans can quickly check Facebook updates, see what’s new on the blog, and even see what is being tweeted.

I personally think one of the best Facebook apps is the FBML application, also known as FaceBook Markup Language. You can use this app to create customized tabs, etc.

Here is a good example of a custom welcome page created by AllFacebook for their fan page using FBML.

Using FBML app to create a custom page for your fanpage

We’d love to hear your experience growing your Facebook fan page! Do you have any additional tips to share?

How To: Customize Your Facebook Page & Attract More Fans

Facebook Fan Pages are gaining popularity due to their high adoption rates among Facebook’s 300+ million users. Currently more than 10 million users become fans of Pages each day. However, the basic fan page layout is quite, well, basic. Adding some simple modifications can really make a Fan Page standout and  attract those valuable fans. By doing so, you’ll benefit not only improved appearance, but it is easy and cost effective as well.

The average Facebook Page lacks the ability to modify a page so that the visual appearance can match that of your website, promotional material or landing page. One simple application can add this functionality to your pages and pull in Facebook statistics as well.

The application Static FBML will allow you to create a new tab on your Facebook Page that can be completely customized to mimic your web presence and branding by displaying HTML and FBML so that you can render a truly customized section for your fans. Here is a step-by-step look at how you can implement this tactic.

First, you must have an active Facebook Page that you have admin access to. Then, head over to the Static FMBL Page and choose the “Add To My Page” link:

Static FBML

Once clicked, you will have the ability to choose a page (or pages) that you can add this application to. The application will then be added to the chosen Page(s) and will be labeled “FBML.”

Next, you will want to click “edit your page” then choose to edit the “FBML – FBML” application.

Change Name of Box

This is where the magic happens and the customization occurs. You can use simple HTML to fill this page and really have it stand out from your competition. Important: javascript is not supported, so stick with plain old HTML for best results.

There is also a good deal of helpful conversations which can enhance your troubleshooting within the “Discussions”  box of the FBML Page if you get stuck.  Coca-Cola and Gap both offer a great example of a customized FBML Page if you are looking for a few creative ideas.

Now, you should have your customized look in the newly named box … but you are not done yet! If your newly created page is really important for your brand (timely promotion, special savings or just an all around improvement from your wall) set this new box as your default location that users will arrive on when they visit your site. You can accomplish this by simply editing your “Wall Settings”. Select your new box in the “Default Landing Tab for Everyone Else:” drop down tab.

Default Boxes

So there you go! With these simple steps, hopefully you can step up the presence of your Facebook Page and differentiate yourself from your competitors!

How To: Send Facebook Fan Page Updates

Over the weekend Facebook removed the sidebar action link that sends Fan page updates to your Facebook fans directly. You will now need to go through an extra click to get your updates sent. According to All Facebook, since the new Facebook inbox launched the click through rates on Fan page updates has increased significantly! We highly recommend Page administrators take advantage of this increased visibility.
So how do you send the updates? Simply click on the “Edit Page” link on the sidebar. On the right hand side under “Promote Your Page” you will see a link which says “Send an Update to Fans”. Despite the decreased visibility page updates are extremely useful for reaching those Fans who’s feeds your stories may not be displayed in.

As Fan Page updates continue to be implemented we’ll be sure to keep you up to date!

Facebook Fan Page and Fan Analysis

Facebook fan pages – you know, those public pages on Facebook that are created for brands, media outlets, celebrities, and wanna-be celebs, etc. Well, it turns out many of them just aren’t that popular!

According to Sysomos, a social media analytics firm, 77% of Facebook fan pages have less than 1,000 fans.

Sysomos analyzed 600,000 fan pages on Facebook and came up with the fan distribution curve in the chart above.  The majority of fan pages have only 10 and 1,000 fans.  Only 4 percent have more than 10,000 fans, and less than 1/20th of a percent have more than a million fans.  In their upcoming report it breaks down the additional data as follows:

  • 95% of pages have more than 10 fans
  • 65% of pages have more than 100 fans
  • 23% of pages have more than 1,000 fans
  • 4% of pages have more than 10,000 fans
  • 0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans
  • 0.047% of pages have more than one million fans (297 in total).

Here is what I found most interesting – Facebook fan pages tend to be updated only once every 16 days.  When you consider the craze around Twitter which measurs popularity on how often a profile is updated and followers are built because folks want to hear what is being said. Facebook seems to represent exactly the opposite. Fan support seems to be built on affinity rather what is being said or broadcast.

What are your thoughts? Why do you ‘fan’ a page?