It’s hard to overstate the impact of Facebook. Having long ago passed MySpace as the most popular social network, Facebook recently replaced Google as the most-visited website in the U.S. It started 2010 with roughly 350 million users and is now on its way to 600 million. Founder Mark Zuckerberg was TIME magazine’s person of the year, was interviewed on 60 Minutes simultaneously with new features being rolled out on the platform, and had a movie made about him and Facebook’s beginnings.
And though a website used primarily by young people to post embarrassing pictures of themselves and by older people to share cute pictures of their progeny would seem an odd venue for selling after-shave or enterprise software, both b2c and b2b marketers have embraced the platform in droves simply due to its incredible scale and reach. So how does a marketer capitalize on this unruly and ever-changing platform to drive business results? How can you stand out from the crowd, grow your fan base, get “likers” to come back to your page, engage your audience, target your prospects, conduct research, and basically prove to the CFO that all of this work isn’t just a colossal waste of time?
Find out here in three dozen of the best Facebook marketing guides of last year—along with some interesting stats and even counterpoints from a few naysayers and holdouts.
Facebook Marketing Tips and Guides
The 12 Best Ways To Customize Your Facebook Pages by TechCrunch
3 reasons your brand doesn’t have more Facebook fans by iMedia Connection
According to Scott Meldrum, “Brands should market their Facebook page in every available channel they can, including their website, landing pages, email communications, and ad creative” among other recommendations for increasing their following and level of engagement on Facebook.
Using Facebook as a Strategic Marketing Channel by Green Buzz Agency
Pointing out that putting up a Facebook page and hoping fans will find you is not a strategy, Erika Jolly Brookes provides a detailed set of tips, considerations and questions to ask yourself when crafting a true Facebook marketing strategy, from developing a creative brief through putting together a “conversational calendar.”
5 Ways for B2B Companies to Engage on Facebook by Social Media B2B
Conceding that Facebook is often viewed as the “red-headed stepchild” of b2b social media marketing and that the world’s largest social network has done a lot of things wrong in from a B2B marketing standpoint, Karlie Justus reminds us that nevertheless, “Facebook has more than 500 million reasons for B2B companies to create and foster an interactive, informative community for employees, partners, customers, retailers and distributors.” She then offers five recommendations for B2B Facebook use including offering a mix of original content and industry news, and asking questions. I’m still not sure that Facebook has more than one effective use for B2B marketing, but Karlie makes an interesting case.
How to target Facebook wall posts to specific fans by Socialbrite
John Haydon provides detailed instructions on how to send Facebook wall posts to specific groups of fans based on location and language. For example, although a significant proportion of the population of Quebec is bilingual, many of those people have a language preference. If you know that and have an upcoming event in that region, you could send separate wall posts in French and English to your Quebec fans based on the language they prefer.
A Blog App for Your Fan Page by Trailblaze Social Media with Josh
Joshua Lyons explains how the Networkedblogs app makes it easy to automatically feed your blog posts through a Facebook fan page tab, and easy for your fans to follow your blog.
How to Design a Kick-Ass Facebook Fanpage by 1stwebdesigner
As more brands jump on the Facebook bandwagon, it’s getting more challenging to stand out from the pack. Piotr Krzyzek recommends using a portrait-size profile picture, creating an opt-in landing page, adding contact information and links everywhere possible, and of course fan interaction and quality content.
Branding & Engagement, pt. 2: My New Favorite Facebook Page by Inkling Media
Ken Mueller uses the example of Dave’s Ace Hardware in Wisconsin to demonstrate how to optimize business engagement on Facebook: be personal, use photos and video, provide great customer service among other things.
Fans are fickle: How to inspire loyalty after the “like” by iMedia Connection
People are busy. They may like your Facebook page, but most won’t come back very often without a reason. Scott Meldrum (again) suggests rewarding loyal fans and customers, targeting your wall posts (see John Haydon’s post above), and responding promptly to questions and comments among other methods to encourage repeat visits.
Facebook SEO by Blind Five Year Old
***** 5 Stars
A.J. Kohn presents a remarkably comprehensive yet understandable guide to taking advantage of the search capabilities within Facebook. As A.J. explains, “This isn’t about optimizing your ‘fan’ page to appear in Google search results, but instead is about optimizing your own site and pages to appear in Facebook search results.”
After explaining why a custom Facebook landing page is important and what can be done with one, Francisco Rosales provides a detailed, richly illustrated 10-step guide for creating a landing page that’s as unique as your business—even if your business isn’t writing code.
7 Simple Tips for Using Facebook to Promote Your Business by Digital Labz
Basic but nevertheless helpful tips for successfully marketing on Facebook, such as adding a Facebook widget to your blog, highlighting your personality, updating your page regularly, and participating on other pages as well.
5 Staggeringly Simple Ways to Create Custom Facebook Landing Tabs by Convince and Convert
“With the exception of baking the ‘like’ button into your website, the best way to generate new fans on Facebook is to create a custom landing tab,” according to Jay Baer, and in this helpful post he reviews five options / apps for creating a custom landing tab on Facebook.
22 Inspiring Examples of Facebook Page Designs by DreamGrow Social Media
Priit Kallas highlights almost two dozen examples of dazzling Facebook design to get your creative juices flowing, like Kit Kat, Victoria’s Secret and Sony, all of which direct new visitors to somewhere other than the brand’s wall page.
26 Tips for Enhancing Your Facebook Page by Social Media Examiner
***** 5 Stars
Need inspiration for new ideas to keep your Facebook page up to date with fresh content? Debbie Hemley offers “26 practical ways to use good content for your Facebook pages, everything from A to Z,” literally–starting with Alltop and business updates and running all the way through YouTube and Zen. Highly creative AND useful!
Facebook Advertising Tricks for B2B Marketers by Buzz Marketing for Technology
Paul Dunay provides three brilliant tips for b2b marketers to optimize their use of Facebook advertising, such as “Put the 20 top companies you want to target into the Workplaces field. Facebook unlike Google works off of the ‘or’ operand not the ‘and’ operand so you can use this to your advantage by placing as many of the companies you want to target into the Workplaces field and thereby target the employees of all of those firms.”
What happens after someone “likes” your page—will they ever come back? Really? Pam Moore offers 20 tips for making the “like” just the beginning of a Facebook relationship, including developing an editorial calendar for updates (with a mix of different types of content), focusing on value to your audience, and making it fun.
7 Simple Facebook Page Tricks by AboutUs
Kristina Weis supplies helpful instructions for how to do things like target your posts to specific audiences, create a custom URL for your Facebook page and get into your fans’ “top news.”
Top 75 Apps for Enhancing Your Facebook Page by Social Media Examiner
Facebook marketing rock star Mari Smith reviews the top 75 Facebook apps that enable you to “customize your landing tabs, add your blog, add videos and photos, add chat, add polls, contests, geolocation, scheduling, email, ecommerce” and much more.
Facebook Changes and New Features
Facebook Rolls Out New Like Buttons For Publishers by All Facebook
Caitlin Fitzsimmons provides a quick rundown of the features of Facebook’s revised “like” button for publishers and differences from the original version.
8 Recent Updates for Facebook Business Pages by Masterful Marketing
Since Facebook changes it interface the way Lady Gaga changes dresses, Debra Murphy attempts to sort things out here, detailing eight changes made in the latter half of 2010 including the ability to remove the creator admin for business pages(critical in the case of employee turnover), ability to view insights per post, and the end of boxes.
Facebook Overhauls Profile Page by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Speaking of changes, Mark Walsh here details the end-of-year changes Facebook made to the profile page, and the implications for users.
Facebook Groups – a Complete Guide by Jesper Åström
Jesper Astrom explains what the new Facebook Groups is, how to create a Facebook Group, what you can do with it, and the benefits and risks of using Facebook Groups.
Ken Mueller (again) writes about a new tool from Facebook to invite fans to “like” business page: “In addition to using the ‘Suggest to Friends’ and ‘Share’ functions…it is now possible to invite people via email. This is especially helpful if you have any sort of business email database. Facebook now allows you to upload email addresses from a variety of platforms in order to send an email to your contacts to invite them to ‘like’ your page,” and shows how to use this new capability.
Facebook Is Becoming Your Company’s New BFF by MediaPost Search Insider
Derek Gordon reports on Mark Zuckerberg’s 60 Minutes interview and simultaneous release of Facebook’s new profile functionality. He outlines the new functionality and speculates on the motivation behind some of the new features.
Facebook Top 10 Lists
Top 10 Facebook Fixes by lifehacker
Noting that you don’t have to use Facebook exactly the same way everyone else does, Spencer E Holtaway offers “ten tweaks to make Facebook better,” such as accessing it from a different client, backing up your account, getting your privacy settings right, and preventing friends from revealing your location.
10 Top Facebook Pages and Why They’re Successful by Social Media Examiner
Amy Porterfield suggests ways to make your company’s Facebook page more popular, interactive and effective by borrowing ideas from highly successful pages from brands like Red Bull, LiveScribe, Oreo and the Travel Channel.
10 Tips & Tricks For Your Business’s Facebook Fan Page by Hongkiat.com
***** 5 Stars
Ever come across a really cool brand page on Facebook and wonder how they created it? Michael Vreeken provides step-by-step instructions on how to use Static FBML to create a custom landing page, embed videos, create a “fans only” content area, insert Flash content or image rollovers, track your fan page visits with Google Analytics and more.
10 Facebook Tabs to Add by ReadWriteWeb
Richard MacManus explains how to create 10 common types of Facebook tabs, including Flickr, Slideshare, Questions and YouTube tabs.
Facebook Added 5 Million U.S. Users In August by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Mark Walsh reports interesting stats on Facebook’s continued growth in the U.S. and elsewhere. For example, Facebook’s membership (as of August) reached 44% of the U.S. population, 13.2 million users in India (still only 1% of the population there)—a 179% increase in the past year—and 3.2% of the rapidly growing Brazilian social network market.
5 Fascinating Facebook Infographics by Rhino SEO Blog
A handful of cool infographics loaded with Facebook facts, stats and trivia such as the fact that Facebook is now available in over 70 languages, hosts over 1.6 million active pages (700,000 of which are for local businesses) which collectively have 5.3 billion fans, has 3.5 billion pieces of content shared on it each week, requires more than 10,000 servers to run, and has more than half a million applications written for it. Collectively, users waste, er, spend, 8.3 billion hours on Facebook each month.
Facebook Commentary and Observations
I Really Don’t Like Everything I “Like” on Facebook by Inkling Media
Ken Mueller notes several situations where you have no choice but to “like” a page or company on Facebook even if you really feel no affinity toward it, such as when conducting research or even to express displeasure with a company’s product or service on their fan page.
Breathtaking Facebook Fan Pages by DesignsMag
Need some inspiration for creating or revamping your Facebook presence? Check out 40 stunning examples of pages for movies, artists, food & beverage brands, fashion and more.
The Death of Facebook by Geoff Livingston
Asking “Who in their right mind would predict the death of Facebook given its ever increasing dominance?,” Geoff Livingston proceeds to do just that, arguing that it’s only a matter of time before Facebook’s increasing cluttered interface, confusing privacy settings and other issues allow an as-yet-unknown new competitor to eat the leading social network’s lunch. Not sure I buy this, but I do agree with Geoff’s larger point that it’s best not “to become too entrenched on a mega social network like Facebook (or Twitter)” but rather maintain the nimbleness to “move with our community” to new networks as social media tools continue to evolve.
The Facebook Reckoning by Anil Dash
Anil Dash takes Facebook to task for its privacy policies; not weaknesses but conscious choices made by privileged Ivy League founder Mark Zuckerberg, specifically “impos(ing) an extreme set of values on its users without adequately communicating the consequences of those choices.” Anil holds out hope though that Facebook can become more truly inclusive “by engaging more with its users in an honest way about its radical stance on public sharing.” But as Facebook’s popularity continues to expand globally, it’s not clear that Facebook’s ambiguous and confusing privacy policies matter much to users, or to Zuckerberg. And some of the comments following this post are possibly even more thoughtful enlightening than the post itself.
Is Facebook Forever? by iMedia Connection
Andrew Edwards muses about the fates of brands like AOL and MSN, and delves into several reasons why he believes Facebook will follow their path into obscurity, including the fact that it’s a closed system, the observation that the vast majority of the chatter there is inane, and the insight that despite the fact every company on earth thinks it needs a Facebook page, the platform is in the end a poor fit for business (“Most users of Facebook want to look at stuff like baby pictures and make fun of each other”).
Tags: A.J. Kohn, Amy Porterfield, Andrew Edwards, Anil Dash, Caitlin Fitzsimmons, Debbie Hemley, Debra Murphy, Derek Gordon, Erika Jolly Brookes, Facebook, Facebook advertising tips, Facebook marketing guides, Fransisco Rosales, Geoff Livingston, Google, Inkling Media, Jay Baer, Jesper Astrom, John Haydon, Joshua Lyons, Ken Mueller, Kristina Weis, Lady Gaga, Larlie Justus, Mari Smith, Mark Walsh, Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Vreeken, Miproapps, MySpace, Orli Yakuel, Pam Moore, Paul Dunay, Piotr Krzyek, Priit Kallas, Richard MacManus, Scott Meldrum, Spencer Holtaway, Static FBML, TabSite, TIME Peson of the Year