Community Management, Social Media Case Studies, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Tools, Brand Communities, Social Media Marketing

Does Your Facebook Page Have a Pulse?

Is your Facebook fan page dead or alive?

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It’s terrific that more and more companies are using fan pages as a social media outpost – and in some cases, even as their social media hub.

But, your Facebook fan page needs to be a thriving, growing, active center of engagement between your company and its best customers. Too often today, fan pages are lifeless Yellow Pages ads, with a couple of photos and a stale wall that’s updated twice monthly.

What does that say to the brand advocates that have taken the time to check in with you on Facebook? Why even bother?

Here’s 3 ideas for upping the effectiveness of your fan page.

1. Have a plan

Why do you have a fan page? Seriously. How does it fit into your social media strategy? How does it fit into your business objectives? If you don’t know, figure it out today. “Interacting with customers on Facebook” is not a strategy, either. You can do better than that. Make it meaningful, and make it measurable.

2. Make a funnel

Whatever your fan page strategy is, you need to create a behavior funnel. What precisely do you want your customers to do on Facebook on your behalf? And perhaps its not even on Facebook, but maybe you want to engage first on Facebook, and then direct them to your blog or elsewhere (the classic Outpost & Hub approach).

One of the best ways to start this conversion funnel process is to set a custom landing page. I want to scream (and sometimes do, when I’m feeling frisky) every time I go to a Facebook fan page via URL entry or search, and get the Wall as the landing page. Arrghhh. This is what you want the initial experience to be with your brand? A bunch of tiny, often semi-random updates from you and your customers? Weak.

Set a custom landing page, and fill it with calls to action. Look at what Flowtown is doing. Or Mint. When you go to their pages, you are automatically directed to these pages first, imploring you to become a fan now. That starts the conversion ball rolling.

This is an easy change. Just log-in to a Facebook fan page where you are an administrator, and clicks “Settings” underneath the status update box. Then, change the pull-down called “Default Landing Page for Everyone Else” to be whatever tab you prefer.

3. Get Active

We’re going to see an absolute explosion in relatively inexpensive, highly engaging Facebook tools, games, and contests from companies like Bulbstorm (owned by Bart Steiner, a brilliant college pal in Phoenix).

Bulbstorm just rolled out a comprehensive new contest/promotions app called Idea Challenges. It’s a turnkey program that’s better than anything else I’ve seen on Facebook, with the possible exception of uber-costly custom work.

Idea Challenges gives companies (and agencies) the opportunity to create multi-faceted contests and events without programming expertise. The core package includes the ability for your fans to upload content, rate content, and comment on content. The game mechanics are very strong, as participants are awarded points for doing so, which can then be exchanged for virtual or real goods in your own Prize Vault. (It’s kind of like a cool version of the  original, awesome Wheel of Fortune when you could go shopping for a hideous lamp with your winnings during the show).

A recent Idea Challenges launched by El Monterey Mexican Food (makers of quite delicious Tornados frozen taquitos) showed eye-popping results in the first 72 hours:

  • 550 user content submissions
  • 18,000 ratings and comments on those submissions
  • Average engagement of longer than 4 minutes

Wow. And with all due respect to Tornados, they aren’t exactly Mountain Dew.

What could you do by activating your customers on Facebook, instead of just collecting them like baseball cards?

(photo by Rennett Stowe

Facebook Comments


  1. Anonymous says

    This post could not have been more timely! I’m just beginning to get my fan page together and create a more robust experience. Maybe you should check it out now, and again this time next week and let me know if I’ve improved after exposure to such excellent advice!!

  2. says

    Well Jay, Regarding article 2. the challenge is not really setting the landing page as I see it but getting the FBML guy to create a page from the begging. So if we are talking of SMB`s who are just starting their way on facebook- they are not “there” yet. For FBML Landing page we need at least a basic graphic artist and a programmer dont we?
    Gila Gideon

  3. catholland says

    Excellent advice, Jay. I've been looking for a good way to do contests on FB and I believe you just gave it to me. You also provide also a good reminder about quality vs. quantity. I'd rather have a smaller but engaged fan base than a ton of fans just passing through the page.

  4. says

    Awesome Jay! I've been preaching #1 and #2 for ages. Really, it's all about giving fans a reason to come back and and a reason to engage. Both of which need to support your communication goals for your overall strategy and bear measurable results. Why bother having a fan page if it's not helping you achieve your goals, no matter how many fans you have. Thanks for tipping us off to Bulbstorm. They're definitely ones to watch.

  5. says

    I just recently started a fan page for our college. We've grown the fan base to 402 fans in a week. I do have a custom landing page, for new visitors. I do however think it could be more engaging. I realize the fan base is useless without activity. I also have weekly contest polls, but think there are better ways. Thanks for sharing these points.

  6. says

    Thanks for the great article and super nice comments about bulbstorm (and me). The stats on that event just continue to grow, and strongly increased conversion to fans for their brand. Tornados started with less than 300 fans when we began working together; they now have 83,000! Amazing since they're not exactly Mountain Dew. 😉
    So we're excited to see the use of our platform expand. We'll keep you up to date on some very exciting stuff in the pipeline.

  7. says

    Thanks for the advice and inspiration. We've always gone with the wall (feel free to yell at me) as we thought that showing the conversation would encourage people to jump in. After hearing your perspective it does make a lot more sense to lead with the experience. We just tried out our first Wildfire App contest (not so sure how I am feeling about it to be honest) and it really did make a difference to have even that landing page. Thanks for the post!

  8. says

    At the risk of sounding like a comeplete tech failure….I don't know how to create a custom tab in order to direct fans to a landing page. I have spent time searching for instructions, but can't seem to find out how to accomplish this. Could you please send me in the right direction? Since reading your post, I have noticed how many businesses use this technique and how professional it looks.

    Thanks in advance!

  9. says

    Nice, Jay! Now, where's your call to action for people to sign up and buy your services?

    I love the photo, it's really sharp with the color! But your menu bar gets lost. Maybe a colorful button or link at the end of your article so potential customers could call you and talk about how they could do these things?

    Well-written article, though I sort of got lost/bored with the huge chunk of text next to the graphic under #3. The stats were cool, tho'. Remember, people on the 'net go in little bits and scan when they're reading. I clicked on this because of your lead line on Twitter, so that's a good thing!

    Overall 4 out of 5 points for this article. Keep on rockin'!

  10. Netslangcafe says

    jay whats ur opinion on tumblr ? ( as always thanks for sharing ur gur- knowledge men ! thumbs up!

  11. Netslangcafe says

    Me again ….”What could you do by activating your customers on Facebook, instead of just collecting them like baseball cards?” Genious. Am posting this on my New TUMBLR blog ( with corresponding credit of course )

  12. says


    I can't agree with you more. We've created landing pages for clients and the results have been amazing. Whether driving traffic to their website or for custom contests we've seen increases in engagement and fan base.

    Love the turn key contest app is also a great idea. We are seeing more clients come to us wanting all of these options.



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