Facebook is an extraordinary phenomenon. Depending on the day, it’s either the #1 or #2 most-visited site on the web. It’s inspired a movie. It has half a billion adherents. And it’s become an imperative point of presence for businesses (or has it?).
Whether you’re anxious to get started marketing on Facebook, already there but looking for better results, or not sure if Facebook is right for your company (despite the eye-popping audience numbers), you’ll find guidance here in some of the best posts on Facebook marketing so far in 2010: tips, tactics and best practices for building Facebook pages, growing your fan (or “like”) base, advertising, optimizing for search, using Facebook apps and tools, and more, from experts like Mari Smith, Lisa Barone, Ching Ya, John Haydon, Brian Carter, Marty Weintraub and Shel Holtz. Also included are a few posts from Facebook proponents, and skeptics, to help you determine if you even really need to be concerned with any of this — or if your social media marketing efforts might be best directed elsewhere.
Facebook Marketing Tips and Tactics
How to set up a Facebook fan page that works by Direct Creative Blog
Dean Rieck shares his top 10 tips for creating a managing a successful business Facebook page, from using FBML to create a landing page to promoting your page through email and your company blog.
How to Better Engage Facebook Fan Page ‘Fans’ by Social Media Examiner
As Mari Smith explains, “There are two primary components to Facebook fan page engagement: 1) Sharing quality, relevant content and 2) inciting comments. In this article I’ll tell you how to best engage with Facebook fans.” Tactics include tying your post frequency to number of fans, creating an editorial calendar and varying the types of content posted.
Facebook Marketing Tips: Make the Most of Your Fan Page by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
Michelle Bowles offers five tips for “making the most of your fan page” such as keeping content fresh, encouraging interaction and offering discounts, promotions or information not available anywhere else.
How to Create a Campaign to Get More Facebook Followers by Proimpact7
Jan Petrovic presents a case study on how Lands’ End used a creative incentive campaign to draw 25,000 additional fans to its page.
5 Fantastic Facebook Fan Page Ideas to Learn From by OPEN Forum
10 Secrets of a Winning Facebook Fan Page by Palmer Web Marketing
Justin Palmer suggests 10 “must-do’s” for Facebook marketing success, like responding to every comment, strategically timing your updates and leveraging your fans to attract more fans.
10 Secrets To Creating Your Brand’s Facebook Presence by All Facebook
In another “10 secrets” post, Christopher Parr shares his tips for brand success on Facebook, such as talking like a friend (not a company), adding value through content, and doing some housekeeping (e.g. keeping your page free of “clutter, profanity, and MafiaWars spammy links”).
Creating Facebook Pages Customers Will Want To Join by Outspoken Media
Opening up with “most fan pages ARE vomit-inducing…but it doesn’t have to be that way!,” the prolific Lisa Barone details four ways to make your customers and prospects on Facebook feel like they are part of something — not just following a self-promoting brand.
9 Ways to Enhance Your Facebook Fan Page by Social Media Examiner
Noting that “Facebook fan pages number among the few social media channels that allow page customization for users,” Ching Ya shares nine great ideas for creating a unique and vibrant Facebook presence. An excellent “what to do” post though a bit light on the “how.”
10 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Page Following by Social Media Examiner
In the sequel to her post above, Ching Ya provides recommendations such as rewarding loyal supporters, leveraging your other social networks and integrating Facebook social plugins with your website in order to build a Facebook fan base.
10 Ways to Create a More Engaging Facebook Page by TopRank Online Marketing Blog
“The average user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events. This means that aside from all the other Facebook friend activity that goes on, your page is one of 60 trying to grab attention a fan’s attention.” How do you do it? This post offers 10 helpful ideas such as using a custom landing page, tagging fans in photos, using contests, and most importantly – persevering.
Facebook’s new functions (and how to leverage them) by iMedia Connection
Doug Akin previews six new features (as of May 2010) in Facebook that enable brands to expand the functionality and engagement potential of their Facebook pages. “If you only look at Facebook as a place to have a fan page, you are missing the greater offering and will likely be sitting on the sidelines when the future arrives.”
The Changing Face of Facebook Marketing – 5 Things you MUST Know by Social Media Today
Shama Hyder writes that “It seems like every day we wake up, Facebook has implemented a new policy or added a new dimension overnight.” Hell for companies and users, heaven for Facebook consultants. But given this environment, Shama outlines the “top five things you need to know about Facebook marketing” about fan pages, ecommerce, ads, apps and other subjects.
Facebook Tabs: What They Are & How to Use Them by ReadWriteWeb
In yet another post about keeping up with Facebook’s continual interface and function changes, Richard MacManus explains the difference between application tabs and boxes, why Facebook made this change, and how to effectively add and use tabs.
11 ways to promote your Facebook Page outside Facebook by John Haydon
Since, and John Haydon notes here, “Most likely, your current presence is much bigger outside of Facebook – especially if your Page is new,” you may want to take advantage of some of the ideas here to promote your Facebook presence elsewhere, such as adding your Facebook page link to your email template, answering webinar follow-up questions on your Facebook wall, and placing a LikeBox on your website.
13 Facebook Page features that will make your day by Socialbrite
***** 5 stars
It’s John Haydon again, this time in video form, answering 13 common yet vexing questions about Facebook like how to edit your thumbnail, how to set up a custom view for new visitors, and how to easily create a custom URL for your Facebook page.
4 Tips for B2B Marketing on Facebook by Mashable
While acknowledging that Facebook may have limited use in b2b marketing, Leyl Master Black nevertheless offers “tips for creating a powerful presence on Facebook that will engage a business audience” such as becoming an industry resource by sharing blog and webinar content, expanding beyond your wall using ecommerce or lead generation promotions, and “lightening up” through the use of humor, quizzes and polls.
Facebook Marketing: Ultimate Guide by SEOmoz
***** 5 stars
Tim Soulo has compiled a fantastic guide filled with best practices and tips for Facebook marketing success, starting with setting up the profile of your “brand ambassador” and progressing through your creating your avatar and adding applications, and ending with using other social media services to promote your presence on Facebook.
Facebook 101 for Business: Your Complete Guide by Social Media Examiner
***** 5 stars
Mari Smith ambitiously provides a “comprehensive guide to using Facebook” from setting up your profile (including Facebook’s mysterious and frequently-changing privacy settings) to making Friend lists to a six-step for building a Facebook business page.
Pay Per Face: 52 Facebook Advertising Tips & Best Practices by Search Engine Journal
Brian Carter uses this post along with a white paper and video to share more than four dozen tips and best practices for Facebook advertising, which he describes as a combination of “AdWords’ copywriting and analytics with image-oriented linkbait.” Among his tips: use CPM bidding, change ads frequently, and “Always test multiple ads. Always. Always.”
10 Tips for Advertising on Facebook by PPC Hero
Christine Laubenstein recommends getting familiar with Facebook’s advertising guidelines, understanding the different ways to target users, and using Facebook’s bid estimator to help you set your bid before diving into advertising on Facebook.
How To Rank #1 In Facebook Search In 60 Seconds For Any Term by All Facebook
***** 5 stars
Dennis Yu provides an outstanding tutorial on how Facebook search works, what factors are most important, what to do (and what not to do) to rank highly in Facebook search, and what changes are likely coming to the search algorithm.
Facebook SEO Ranking Factors, 2010 Study Results by aimClear
Marty Weintraub explains, in exhaustive detail, the top ranking factors for “Suggest,” All Results, Pages, Groups, Apps and more. His aside on the Adult Filter in Facebook is NOT safe for work but is quite amusing in a completely inappropriate way.
Facebook Apps and Tools
15 Applications For A Better Facebook Fan Page by Interactive Online
Lucas Cobb lists his favorite tools for boosting the popularity of your brand’s Facebook presence including Static FBML, SlideShare, Reviews and Notes.
12 Applications to Make Your Facebook Page More Engaging by Social Media Today
Sarah Hartshorn recommends Twitter for Pages, Page Maps, Eventbrite and other apps to help “dress up your Page and make it more interesting and fun for your ‘likers’.”
How to Customize Your Facebook Page Using Static FBML by Social Media Examiner
***** 5 stars
As Nick Shin notes, “Maybe you’ve seen those really attractive Facebook pages and wondered, ‘How’d they do that?’” The answer is frequently Static FBML, a uniquely powerful and popular Twitter app, and in this helpful post, Nick walks through how to use it to achieve a variety of effects and accomplish different tasks.
How To Get Traffic from Facebook Social Plugins by Daily Blog Tips
Chris Webb explains how to use the Like Button (for blogs) and Like Box (for Facebook pages) to generate more Facebook traffic.
Contending that “There are umpteen number of ways to plug websites of any shape & kind into Facebook thereby nurturing a community, encouraging conversations, improving user engagement and increasing page views,” Justin Stravarius presents 15 such options including the Like Box, Echo, Fotobook and Facebook Connect Wizard.
Facebook Marketing Strategy
Ensuring A Successful Corporate Facebook Presence by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Aaron Strout presents what he terms the “four golden rules of creating a successful Facebook presence,” and supports these using Dunkin’ Donuts as an example of Facebook marketing success.
Six questions to ask before launching a Facebook fan page by a shel of my former self
The legendary Shel Holtz proposes half a dozen questions companies should ask before plunging into Facebook in order to avoid looking “lame and clueless to all but the least sophisticated Facebook users.”
Why You Can Say Facebook Is Worth $35 Billion With A Straight Face by Business Insider
Jay Yarow uses the theory of cognitive dissonance to explain why “Facebook pages are the best ads in social media.” Facebook pages are ranked against six other ad types such as banners, enewsletters and widgets based on their effects in driving recommendations and purchases.
Facebook Facts The Numbers Are Insane! by PRUnderground
500 million users, 3rd-largest “country” on earth, yeah we’ve all heard the numbers. But sometimes it helps to see them. Alex Miranda presents an infographic of Facebook facts, figures and myths.
Why Businesses Should Think Twice Before Investing Money or Time in a Facebook Page by Social Media Today
Given Facebook’s never ending stream of changes (many of which seem to break or eliminate earlier features) and ultimate control over all content on the site (no matter how much a business has invested in developing that content), Maggie McGary questions whether it’s really advisable for companies to rely too heavily on this platform.
Does Facebook Work? by iMedia Connection
Noting that “While 49% of marketers surveyed by MarketingSherpa think Facebook is very effective at brand awareness only 12% think it increases sales revenue,” Daniel Flamberg presents statistics and real-world results from leading brands suggesting that whatever the benefits of Facebook marketing, it generally isn’t producing “the kind of results the reach, usage and loyalty of Facebook would otherwise suggest.”
“Does Anything Other Than Facebook Really Matter?” by iMedia Connection
Taddy Hall does such an awesome job of chilling down Facebook fever with the cold water of reality that I’d like to just republish his entire post here, but will limit duplication of his brilliant content to this: “When it comes to how we (marketers) approach Social Media, I’m reminded of the drunk looking for his car keys beneath the street light because the light is better than in the dark alley where he last saw his keys. Sometimes doing what’s easy trumps common sense…Facebook is not just another broadcast media outlet where marketers can buy inventory and interrupt consumers. As P&G’s General Manager for Interactive Marketing and Innovation, Ted McConnell, remarked with characteristic flair, ‘what in heaven’s name made you think you could monetize the real estate in which somebody is breaking up with their girlfriend?'” Yes, Facebook works quite well for some companies (particularly large consumer brands), but it’s not always the ideal venue. Do your research (particularly for b2b marketing) and pursue audience quality over quantity.