Where’s the one place you’d find your target audience online (other than your website)?
With 2.2 billion active users Facebook is by far the largest social network giving almost any business the ability to find their audience.
But it’s more than just its massive size that makes Facebook an attractive platform for businesses. According to The New York Times, Facebook users are more engaged than those of any other social network, spending an average of 35 minutes a day on the site. More than twice as much as the nearest competitor, Youtube.
And if that’s not reason enough, Facebook also offers what is arguably the most sophisticated advertising and analytics service of any major social networks.
Businesses can find their audiences, advertize, and track performance analytics. And the starting point for all this is a Facebook fan page.
Shifting terminology has caused some confusion as to what a fan page actually is, so let’s clear that up right now.
What is a Facebook Fan Page?
A Facebook fan page allows organizations, celebrities, public figures, and businesses to connect with their fans or customers through Facebook. It looks similar to a profile, but has specific options and tools that allow it to be operated more like a business such as multiple users and tracking of stats.
It differs radically in intent and usage to other Facebook offerings;
- Facebook Profile – meant for individuals
- Facebook Page – meant for businesses, and often referred to as a “fan page”. A user who “likes” a business’ fan page becomes a fan.
- Facebook Group – meant for interest groups
Businesses should use the Facebook Page option for several reasons. Most importantly, a business representing itself with an individual profile is violating Facebook terms. Fan pages also offer much more in the way of analytics and content creation options compared to individual profiles.
From community building to direct sales, a Facebook fan page can be a major asset to any business. But the success of a fan page isn’t a simple set-and-forget action.
Whether you’re building your business fan page or have an established presence, this list of strategies will improve your Facebook fan page conversion rates and overall performance.
1. Build your big picture strategy around a clear goal
Before diving into the technicalities, ask yourself this – what are you trying to accomplish?
A like isn’t worth much on its own. You’ve got to focus on key actions and metrics that lead towards making a sale, such as;
- Sending fans to product pages
- Getting an email address for future promos
- Or even selling directly through your fan page (more on this later)
Startups often measure growth in terms of a North Star Metric (NSM). It’s what Growth Hackers calls “the single metric that best captures the core value that your product delivers to customers”.
You can apply this to guide the development of your Facebook fan page.
As an ecommerce brand, your NSM is to increase sales and ROI.
You might hypothesize that increasing referral traffic from your Facebook fan page will increase overall sales. So, you that’s then the NSM for your fan page.
Every action taken is to increase traffic from FB to your store. Because you’re tracking both traffic and sales, you’ll quickly be able to see whether this simple strategy has a beneficial effect.
Action Step: What’s your North Star Metric? Choose one goal for your fan page and one metric to represent your progress towards that goal. Build your next steps around this guiding light.
2. Get the basics right
Now you know what your main goals are it’s important you create a solid foundation to get there. For a high converting Facebook fan page, that starts with setting it up correctly.
Firstly, a complete profile communicates professionalism and builds trust. You can find plenty of tutorials walking you through the right way to set up your Facebook fan page – here’s one from Hootsuite.
But equally importantly, a Facebook fan page can have a major impact on your search engine rankings. Like any SEO efforts, it’s vital that you provide clear and accurate information in a search engine-friendly manner.
Action Step: Make sure your business information is complete, and that you’ve written great About Us and Story sections.
3. Use consistent branding
Once you’ve set up your page correctly and completely, you can focus on developing the right feel for your Facebook fan page.
But what does “feel” mean, and how do you know you’re getting it right?
The best Facebook fan pages fit seamlessly with their respective brands’ existing sites.
Creating a coherent image across channels builds trust amongst your audience and boosts conversion rates. But get it wrong and you’ll drive customers away.
So how can you develop and maintain a consistent brand?
First, think about the visual elements. Are you using the same color scheme across different platforms? If you already have a polished website, you may want to simply transfer the logo and main graphics.
Also, make sure those images are of high quality. We’ve all read how HQ images improve conversion rates whereas low quality images can damage the perception of your brand.
Second, ensure copy is consistent throughout. If a user engages with a fun, witty facebook page but finds the website to be boring and dull, they’re going to question what happened.
There’s a cognitive disconnect which could turn them away from your brand.
The key to branding is consistency. Find what appeals to your audience and then maintain the image across all channels.
Action step: Create a style guide to keep you and your content creators in line.
4. Build content around real, long term value
How can you get in your fans’ heads and deliver content that deeply resonates with them? What motivates them to act towards your goals?
The short answer is to provide long term value to your fans in a way that’s engaging and shareable.
Create valuable content is to address specific problems your audience actually has. This is why buyer personas are an important part of any content strategy.
But with a Facebook fan page, you can go further than drawing up a basic buyer persona. The fan page offers a chance to move past assuming things about a fictional character – instead, ask your audience.
The more you engage directly, the more you’ll learn about the specific motivations of your fans.
Action Step: Ask your audience what they want and the problems they’re dealing with. You can do this with by posting a survey or by reaching out directly to individual fans.
5. Use effective content formats
Your audience engagement will tell you what topics to cover, however, you still have to figure out how you should deliver it.
Now Marketing suggests building your fan page around four types of content:
- Expert opinions, shared on your page;
- Education for your fans, on a relevant topic;
- Engagement with your audience;
- Entertainment for your fans.
While you don’t need to use all four types of content, they represent another chance to test what works for your audience.
Combining these content types with your style guidelines and value-based material will give you a clear plan to deliver messages that engage your audience.
Action Step: Take your existing content and ask yourself what fits into these categories, and which type has worked best for your audience. Use that to guide your future content.
6. Drive engagement with personal responses to comments
Facebook fan pages are very much a two way street. While your content should be excellent and drive fans to engage – you should be actively reciprocating that engagement.
This can be as simple as replying to fans’ comments in a warm and consistent manner. Positive or negative, a fan’s comment is an opportunity to engage in a way that’s unique and very personal.
Have you ever had a brand’s representative take care of you so well that the memory has lasted years, or that you’ve recommended the business to friends? According to Unbounce, great customer service can significantly boost conversion rates.
Exceptional, memorable personal engagement can be difficult to achieve online. When else do you have the chance to connect with your audience 1-on-1 like this? A fantastic email list can come close, but with Facebook fan pages it’s a lot more intimate and easier.
That’s the power of a Facebook fan page.
Action Step: If you’re not already responding to comments, start doing so. If you are, track the amount of replies you make and double it.
7. Use Messenger for Customer Service
We’ve covered how important it is to engage with comments and questions on your fan page.
But what about when you’re not there? What if a request is posted in the middle of the night, or when you’re busy running other aspects of your business?
According to Zendesk, speed is everything when it comes to social media responsiveness. The most effective brands reply to customers within minutes or hours, not days.
Since your fan page actually displays your responsiveness publicly, it’s also a matter of trust. A brand that takes days to respond will appear a lot less trustworthy than one that responds in minutes.
So how do you maintain a quick response time and grow your Messenger engagement?
You could hire a small team to constantly monitor your fan page’s messages. Or, you could automate the process with a Messenger chatbot.
Facebook introduced chatbots in 2016, but early bots largely failed to impress. After that early disappointment, chatbots have come back in a big way.
Kia, for example, managed a 21% conversation rate via its Facebook Messenger bot, while only getting 7% through its website.
Bots are already a major part of Facebook business strategy and they’re only going to get more effective.
8. Use Messenger for Sales
Facebook Messenger can be pushed even farther, from customer service into direct sales.
We covered how Facebook fan pages can be used for ecommerce – either by directly integrating with an existing online store or by adding product listings directly to the fan page.
But getting fans from your Facebook page to your Shopify store is a significant jump. Even with great click through rates, you’re always going to lose a significant number of potential buyers.
What if you were able to walk a fan through a transaction directly on your fan page? What would that do for your conversion rates?
Jumper.ai is a tool that both imports products and deals directly with interested fans. After clicking “Shop Now” and a particular product, Jumper will message the fan with an automated walkthrough of a sale. It asks for variant choices, like size and color, and completes the checkout process.
In a couple of clicks, the fan can go from liking the post to buying the product – without leaving the fan page. It’s a lot like having a salesperson walking over to a browsing customer and helping them choose and checkout.
Action Step: Use Jumper to integrate your products and sell directly to interested fans.
9. Use Facebook Insights to understand your audience
Effective marketing strategies are built around understanding a target audience and their buyer’s journey.
For many projects, this means a lot of guesswork and assumptions.
But how much do you actually know about your audience? Basic data like gender, age, and location are useful, but they don’t tell you much about the motivating factors behind a user’s decision making.
Facebook Insights allows you to go much further. You can skip past demographics and look at psychology. Insights allows you to find overlapping interests, create lookalike audiences, and track the performance of individual posts.
Understanding your page’s data can help you create more effective content. If you can build future content around your audience’s optimal video length and the best time to post, you’ll see a quick return in the form of higher conversion rates.
Action Step: Create advanced buyer personas based on your Insights findings.
10. Use Facebook Insights to run regular audits
Example of the FB Analytics dashboard
If you’ve never dealt with analytics before it can seem a little daunting to start.
The good news is that Facebook Insights is as user friendly as it is sophisticated.
And if you’ve followed #1 on this list and selected the right North Star Metric, you should be able to track your basic performance immediately.
In order to stay on top of everything, it’s a good idea to consistently run three types of audits:
- Self Audits – analyzing your page’s performance
- Competitor Audits – analyzing your competitors’ pages
- Outsider Audits – analyzing non-competitors with effective strategies
A self audit can be as simple as running through your Insights data and looking for month-to-month changes. Do more of what’s working, and cut down on what’s not.
This is an essential aspect of your Facebook fan page strategy. Your audits should guide any changes you make to your content strategy and marketing efforts in general.
Competitor audits are similar to self audits. You probably have a shortlist of your most relevant competitors, and you might even check on their pages from time to time. A competitor audit is just a more structured way to keep tabs on what your competitors are doing on their pages.
Once you have a handle on using Facebook Insights and running regular self and competitor audits, try building a list of brands outside of your industry who are running fantastic fan pages. By keeping tabs on creative developments on the fan page platform (not just your industry), you can find strategies that may give your page a real leg up on your competition.
Action step: Run monthly self audits and competitor audits, and experiment with effective strategies being used by Facebook fan pages outside of your industry.
11. Add a Shop, upload products, and enable reviews
Facebook allows businesses to create shops and add products directly on their pages.
At the most basic level, this allows businesses to create another sales funnel for their products or services.
Alternatively, you may want to experiment with selling select products and services rather than simply offering all the same things for sale on your website and your Facebook fan page.
You may be an ecommerce store owner looking to market seasonal products, or drive more focused campaigns around select products. Or maybe you’re just tired of being obligated to sell through another platform.
As covered in #8 (Using Messenger for Sales), integrating your online store with your Facebook Shop removes the need to leave your Facebook fan page. That means less work for your customers, which in turn leads to higher conversion rates.
Like many optional features, reviews aren’t for everyone. But for most businesses, enabling reviews on their fan pages is a no brainer.
According to a study by Bright Local, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Perhaps even more importantly, the same study cites 30% of consumers judge local businesses by whether or not they respond to reviews.
By enabling reviews on your page, you’re simultaneously adding a powerful trust builder and creating more opportunities for direct engagement with your fans.
In addition to building trust and engagement, reviews also have a tangible effect on conversion rates. It’s no surprise that better reviews lead to higher conversion rates – but even just having more reviews will also improve a page’s performance.
Action Steps: List your products (if you have them) and enable reviews.
12. Use pinned posts
Posts can easily get lost on a Facebook page’s timeline. As each new post is published, older posts are pushed further and further down the timeline.
If you’re publishing the same type of content with the same CTA in each post, this isn’t a big deal. But what if you want to keep an important post consistently visible while still publishing your regular content?
You can solve that problem by pinning a post to the top of your page. Doing so will keep it there for a week. This is a great way to keep your fans engaged while pushing a particular CTA.
If you’re not already making use of pinned posts, doing so will have a quick impact on your conversion rates. You’ll maximize views where you want them, and you won’t have to disrupt your content publication schedule to do it.
Action Step: Create a post highlighting an important CTA related to your overall goal and North Star Metric, and pin it to the top of your fan page.
Get Out There and Turn Your Facebook Page into a High-Converting Machine!
Building a high converting Facebook fan page can seem like a daunting task. The platform is robust and offers what can feel like endless options to create content and reach your fans.
But it’s actually not that difficult. At the end of the day, your Facebook page represents a powerful chance to connect directly with the people you want to reach. And all you need to do is to create a focused strategy, maintain a clear picture of your performance, and implement the 12 steps above!