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Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Make a Facebook Fan Page Without Seeming Douchey

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM


I'm a freelance artist toying with the idea of creating a Facebook page for my work. I have a decent amount of friends on Facebook, but I'm not quite sure how to transition to a fan page or whether it's even worthwhile. I have a website as well and I don't want them to compete. Do I need a Facebook page? Is it hard to make? How do I make it awesome?

Freelancin' Fool

I had a similar conundrum not too long ago. But then my awesome friend, writer, graphic designer, and social media snark shark Jami Howard stepped in and page-banged me before I could say no (Like me!). She's a rock star at Facebook pages, and she is hosting a workshop this Saturday at the Shocking Real Life Academy if you happen to live near Atlanta, Ga.

I reached all the way across the Internet to get her advice on making and maintaining stellar Facebook pages, and so she could mildly berate me, apparently.

So why should I get a Facebook page?

The simplest answer is that it's free and if you don't get your unique Facebook alias, someone else might. If you are a business owner or any kind of creative professional and the majority of your work is communicated in some kind of an online presence, setting up a Facebook page will complement your website/blog/Tumblr/Flickr/whatever and make it easier for people to share your content with their friends. Personalize this: How many things have you shared on Facebook recently? Links? Videos? Other Facebook pages? If you're doing it, chances are your target audience is doing it. Facebook pages won't make your MySpace cool though -- sorry.

Won't I look like a douche, though, if I'm not Skittles or Adidas or something?

Hardly. Did you ask yourself that question when you started your blog? People follow your RSS feed already to stay up-to-date on your blog. If they follow your Facebook page, they get the benefit of following your RSS feed, but they also get to talk to you. A website gives information to the user. The Facebook page opens up an entirely different avenue for an exchange of information. The information you plug into your page is easily filtered into your audience while they're already browsing Facebook for personal use. Use caution if you're already a megadouche, though, because then you'll look like a douche for sure.

How do I get a million "likes"?

Gah, this question always gets on my nerves. Sure, if you've got a million likes, it looks good. But what about conversions? How many of those people who liked your page turned into professional contacts? Loyal, contributing fans? Paying clients? Returning customers? It's not the size of the boat, it's the motion of the ocean, right? Plus, those pages with a million likes are generally just full of spammy shit from people trying to give you a heartier boner. Don't get sucked into the numbers game. Learn how to read your insights and quit worrying about your cup size, er, I mean your "like" count. Also, check and learn about your Edge Rank.

What are some common rookie mistakes that make you want to stab something?

Using templates. I hate them. HATE THEM. Especially if the template calls for little Twitter, RSS, YouTube, and LinkedIn buttons and you have none of those things. The little cute icons are then just dead links, or they bring you to those respective websites' homepages. LAME.

And while you may think the Internet is huge, how do you think it will appear to your audience if you've got the same template as one of your competitors? If you have Photoshop, you can do this. If you don't have Photoshop, get GIMP. Create your own custom landing page using any number of the new apps (just do a Facebook search for "iframe" and test out some applications until you find one you like).

Also, you should GET YER STINKIN' ALIAS ALREADY. This is the simplest and easiest way to get people to engage with your page! What's easier to remember:'thaveanalias


What are some examples of FB pages that are doin' it right?

I'm going to default to Mashable for that one. But really, think about the pages you interact with. The pages you are a fan of and that you make a point of checking in with or sharing with your friends. What are they doing? You don't need a team of social media experts in your corner to make it work -- none of this is rocket science. See, then do. Follow the trends. Also, read Mashable, ya doof.

I'm pretty lazy. How often should I update it? Will too much posting piss people off?

Sure. That's totally a possibility. But too little posting could have the same effect, or worse, cause your page to fade into a distant memory. The amount that you post will depend on what you're posting about. The best way to test things is to test things. Take 30 days and commit to posting once a day. Split that month-long period into four weeks and each week, post at a different time of day (morning, afternoon, dinnertime, late night). Then read your insights and compare the data. There's really not a better way to get this done than to do it. I post one to four times a day usually about two days a week. This works for me, because I am getting a good conversion rate with my clients and it's about all I can handle with my workload. I was posting more and had a better conversion rate, but my workload started to get overwhelming. It's all about balance.

I just paid a bajillion dollars for this swanky website. Will my Facebook page be competing with it?

Well, first of all, I'm so sorry you wasted all that money on your websites. I've heard some discussion regarding websites and their eventual decline, but I'm not sure how much I believe in that theory. I don't think we need to be dropping bajillions into our websites anymore. I don't think it's necessary to drop bajillions into your Facebook page, either, to make it effective. But no, the era of glitzy flash websites with dazzling effects is over. (Please STOP PUTTING MUSIC ON YOUR WEBSITES, PEOPLE!) Ideally, you'll have the social media trifecta: Your website or blog (or if you're really awesome, both), Facebook, and Twitter. What you need to sort out is how to get these tools to work for you and not against you. Read up on the Facebook Social Plugins and integrate them as much as you can.

Social-media mistress Anna Pulley likes to give advice about how to play well with others on the internets. If you have a question about etiquette involving technology, shoot her a question at

Follow us on Twitter: @annapulley and @ExhibitionistSF

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