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December 31, 2010

Why You Need A Facebook Page More Than It Needs You

Facebook Page PictureI am often asked why companies, established ones and startups, should create effective Facebook Pages for their companies. There are a number of answers, and although all of them are applicable, some are more relevant based on the industry that the company is in.

Find out why the number of Facebook Fans can define you:

1. Permission Marketing: There is nothing more valuable to a company than having a customer, or a potential customer, give you permission to contact them. When individuals become fans of your Facebook page, they are giving you permission to communicate with them in the future. The messages you post on your company Facebook Page wall can then be relayed through the individual’s daily feeds based on an algorithm that Facebook has created. Considering the number of hours individuals spend on Facebook (average of over 7 hours per week in January 2010 and increasing), having the ability to communicate to your target market in this channel is powerful.

2. Social Proof: Regardless of whether companies appreciate this, social media presences (in particular the number of supporters on Facebook and Twitter) provide social proof for companies. Particularly for smaller companies where brands are not as established, the number of fans or followers for your company can be important to outside individuals.

As an example, as an owner of several internet businesses, I am often contacted by other companies looking to potentially partner. By looking at their Facebook page, I can determine whether their company has 100 fans, 3 fans, 2000 fans, etc. Although this number may not appear to be important, in many cases that number is meaningful. The reason is that this number represents social proof. If the number is very high, the company most likely has influence and is worth partnering with. Please keep in mind that this is not the only factor considered, however it is a factor.

If you do have a particularly large number of supporters (Fans on Facebook, etc.), understand that this number matters and that it can be leveraged. In the case of one of my companies, I was given the opportunity to partner with a larger company only because of the number of fans my company’s Facebook page had.

3. Targeted Advertising: Although this applies more to utilizing Facebook as an advertising platform, this is worth mentioning. Facebook has an impressive advertising platform that allows companies to market to individuals with a specific set of attributes. As an example, for one of my companies, 2minuteGMAT, I was able to target individuals in a specific age range and who had interests relating to the GMAT test and MBA programs.

As opposed to Google’s Adwords, which focuses on the intent of a consumer, Facebook targets consumers based on their interests.

The reason I mention this is that Facebook allows you to advertise your company Facebook page to users, so not only can you utilize permission marketing to reach your target audience but you can only increase your social proof.

4. Search Engine Optimization: Facebook has and will continue to grow as a dominant platform and their SEO rankings will continue to grow in importance. Facebook is second only to Google in search engine rankings and currently has over 500 million users all over the world. It is important that every company establish their presence on the few, but very important, social networks (Facebook in addition to LinkedIn and Twitter).

As a note, creating a company Facebook Page and/or group requires a very minimal amount of time. This also applies to Twitter and LinkedIn.

5. Channel For Partnerships: Having a company Facebook Page can provide you with another outlet to connect and reach out to other companies for potential partnerships. Often this channel is less crowded than emails so you are more likely to hear a response from the company.

If you have not already created an effective Facebook Page for your company, I strongly recommend you do so based on the above reasons.

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