14 Creative Ways to Use Facebook Business Pages
Building a fan base on Facebook can increase the strength of your brand, but it won't necessarily increase sales immediately. Your small business should focus first on using a custom Facebook page to manage its reputation, support customers, engage fans, and convert fans into advocates for your company. Learn from these 14 businesses about how to make Facebook serve you by implementing creative design, integrating third-party applications, and responding to customers' needs.
Squaretrade provides product warranties for a much lower price than retailers and manufacturers offer. On Facebook, the company has increased its fan base by interacting with fans and providing support. Fans post questions and concerns on the Wall, and company reps answer all inquiries--even negative comments. What's most impressive is the Customers Speak tab, a custom tab that integrates testimonials with video. Instead of reading a long list of written testimonials, page visitors can watch real customers speaking about the company.
Baking for Good
Baking for Good combines sweet treats with a sweet policy: A percentage of all sales goes to a charity of the customer's choice. The concept alone increases fan loyalty--instead of feeling guilty for purchasing a high-calorie item, you can feel good knowing that your purchase is helping others. Baking for Good has designed a custom Welcome page that mirrors the lovely design of its website. The Welcome tab is also a "reveal tab," which displays certain content only to fans. After "Liking" the Facebook page, new fans receive a discount code to use with their first Baking for Good purchase. This Facebook page is increasing the company's fan base through great design, while attracting new customers with a special offer.
Many businesses on Facebook have a custom Welcome page with information that links to the company website. 144c Design has also included a Portfolio tab that showcases examples of its work in an attractive image gallery courtesy of the third-party SimpleViewer app. Potential clients can quickly determine from the samples whether 144c is the best design company for their needs.
City Kitties rescues cats living on the streets, provides them with veterinary care, and finds them foster homes with the eventual goal of securing permanent homes. On Facebook, City Kitties has included a custom, searchable application that shows the cats currently available for adoption, allowing those looking for a pet to review the available cats easily, without leaving the social network. City Kitties also highlights cats waiting to be adopted on its Wall, and promptly answers questions.
Vegetarian Times is a publication that highlights a vegetarian lifestyle and appropriate recipes. In addition to posting standard subscription information on its page, it's using Involver's Scribd Facebook application to include a Vegetarian Starter Kit. You can read this kit on the Facebook page, or download it to your PC. In this way, the magazine provides free and useful information directly on Facebook, increasing fan loyalty and perhaps motivating some visitors to subscribe to the publication.
WPBeginner is a site that provides WordPress tutorials for novice users. It knows what its fans really want: information about how to use WordPress. In addition to offering a custom Welcome tab plus a tab with video tutorials, WPBeginner has integrated its SlideShare tutorials into its Facebook page, adding the SlideShare application for Facebook with an entire tab devoted to tutorial presentations. Searchable tutorials are a nice addition to this application, and an excellent way to provide customer support directly from a Facebook fan page.
Mozilla, the nonprofit that makes the Firefox Web browser, serves its fans' desire for recognition and support. Its Facebook page rewards fans with a gallery of fan-contributed photos and a selected fan of the week, an award that gets added to each fan's page avatar. In addition, Mozilla provides support within a custom Need Help tab that includes links to common support problems, as well as a search bar that scours the support documentation on the Firefox website. Visitors can start their support inquiries directly from Facebook. Firefox's page has a custom Welcome tab, too, but the Need Help tab is what makes the page unique.
Foster the People
Foster the People is an indie band that has quickly built a large fan base by using social media and combining the right Facebook applications on its fan page. The BandPage application by Rootmusic is set as the band's default landing tab, providing immediate information about the band's music and upcoming tour dates. Fans can listen to songs and decide to buy them or share them, and they can view a list of upcoming shows and purchase tickets. In addition to the BandPage--a must-have app for any musician's Facebook page--Foster the People has tabs for videos, more information about upcoming shows, and a store.
Namecheap.com is a domain registrar and Web-hosting company. The information most fans need appears directly on its custom Welcome page. In addition to general information about the company, the page provides a domain name search form: Fans and potential customers can start searching for a domain name directly from Facebook before popping over to the company's website. Namecheap.com also highlights current promotions on its fan page, assisting customers in saving money on the company's services.
Livestrong.com is a site devoted to health, diet, and fitness information. Its Facebook page contains a unique custom application on the Food Map tab: an interactive map that displays the foods users have tracked today, mapping the meal items by location and showing the calories consumed. This custom app creatively shows off user activity.
HyperArts Web Design
HyperArts utilizes the TabPress application for its custom Facebook Welcome page. TabPress lets you create a tabbed custom page with each tab displaying different content, similar to the layout of a website. This feature is very useful, because although Facebook allows custom pages only up to 520 pixels wide, a tabbed layout can display additional material in an efficient way. TabPress also lets you create a "reveal" tab to surprise and delight fans.
Looking to hire? Facebook can be a recruitment tool. In addition to posting information about its products on its Facebook Wall, Telltale Games uses the Jobvite application to post job openings. Visitors can click on each job posting for more information about the position. More companies are using social media for recruiting new hires. A Facebook fan of your business, with the right qualifications, is likely to make a dedicated employee.
Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library of Philadelphia uses an RSS-feed Facebook app to pull in staff book reviews from its website, linking to the library's online catalog. Visitors can immediately see if the book is available, or place a hold on it. The Free Library also posts pertinent information on its Wall, and pulls its blog posts onto the Blog tab. Other libraries, bookstores, and print publications should emulate this model. A bookstore, for example, could include staff reviews and link directly to an online store for visitors to make a purchase.
The University of Arizona
The University of Arizona has a beautifully designed custom Welcome tab with images, social media links, most-searched-for information from its website, a link to its mobile app, and videos. While this approach doesn't differ much from what other organizations are doing, its eye-catching design stands out, and research has gone into providing information that page visitors want the most. Such a solid understanding of fans is ideal for building loyalty and engagement.