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March 15, 2010

WTF – What The Fan-Page?! – For My Business?!

By Dean DeLisle

I was really shocked at the recent requests we have been getting from companies wanting to get onto Facebook, until I read the recent updated statistics combined with the results from our own clients. Then I noticed that Facebook is posting and tracking statistics on business segments, or should I say segments of Facebook that are of interest to us business owners.

So for your convenience I have placed the recent statistics as of this posting below – but please read on after that!

Interesting Facebook Stats:

  • More than 400 million active users
  • 50% of all active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • More than 35 million users update their status each day
  • More than 60 million status updates posted each day
  • More than 3 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
  • More than 5 billion pieces of CONTENT shared each week (i.e. web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.)
  • More than 3.5 million EVENTS created each month
  • More than 3 million ACTIVE PAGES on Facebook
  • More than 1.5 million local BUSINESSES have active Pages on Facebook
  • More than 20 million people become FANS of Pages EACH DAY
  • Pages have created more than 5.3 billion FANS

Groups vs. Fan Pages

So let’s first clarify the difference between a Fan Page and a Group Page, both of which are used for similar purpose.

Fan Pages by definition are started and owned by someone who represents that entity and are only allowed to be as such. So if you leave that entity, you MUST surrender that page to someone that is still part of that entity.  This prevents the Brand Pirates from stealing people, or at least makes it more difficult. The other point is that any admin of that page appears as that entity as shown below, not as an image of the person.

Groups can be owned by anyone, and are used to collect a “like-minded” community of people with a common interest. They differ however in that the administrators who participate in activities appear as themselves and not a representative of that group or organization. They also were in existence ahead of Fan Pages, therefore have set the pace for some of the business activity. Therefore, you will see a diverse split and usage of these “business pages”.

What types of businesses are using Facebook?

Almost every setup we are doing with companies on Facebook, from a pure company representation standpoint, are primarily using Fan Pages – so we will focus there. Our clients range from Retail, Celebrity, Technical, Consulting, Educational, Coaching, Training, Distribution, Membership, Associations, Property Management, Real Estate, Mortgage, Entertainment and a few others.

How are they using it?

This next question is application. Just because we did not mention your type of business, doesn’t mean you can’t relate to the usage mentioned next. Many use it for retention (yes, retention!) of customers, building a stronger connection and community with current customers.  They also use it as method by which to distribute information such as testimonials, discounts, privileges, benefits and value (yes, value!).

This takes us back to the basics – if we provide more value and we are more present than our competitors, then we will get the most business.  There are many other considerations; however we can only cover so much.  Bottom line is to be present, provide value and use this mechanism to communicate.

Most all of our clients are providing a value to their fans; some are as follows:

  1. Regular Updates
  2. Specials
  3. VIP Event Privileges
  4. Industry Updates
  5. News Alerts
  6. Course Registrations
  7. Tips and Tricks

Just remember to always provide value, have a commitment to be consistent, and communicate!  Then you will have a great start to having your business be present on Facebook, so that people will say OMG they are awesome!