Facebook Fan Page Tips for Experiments


Think of a Facebook Fan Page as a mini-web site in Facebook. It gives your nonprofit friendly url. People can find you via google, and there's no limit to the number of people who can tell you how passionate they are about your organization. And, what's even better, it doesn't take all that much time and effort to have a powerful Facebook Fan Page.

Step 1: Set Up and Capacity

  • Name and URL: In a couple of clicks and seconds, you can set up a Fan Page. But think carefully about what you want to name it before your create it because you can't change it. Keep your page name short and accurate. You will also get the opportunity to create a custom url or what Facebook calls a username. Think carefully about that too because it can't be changed. More here.

  • Fan Page Administrators: You can add an unlimited number of administrators on Fan Page, so why go it alone? By sharing the workload, you'll be able to do more. Here's more details about how to manage your Facebook Fan Page. But be careful, don't make any of these common admin mistakes. Here's some tips for the right skills and attitude for a Facebook community manager.

  • Use the Most Open Settings: Allow your Fan Page settings to be open as possible to encourage participation. Here's how. Here's a 4 minute video that shows you the step-by-step set up for Fan Pages.

Step 2: Look and Feel

  • Basic Content: What is the basic information and look/feel for your Fan Page?

  • Custom Content: The default welcome page for your Facebook Fan Page is your wall. But why welcome people with wall when you can have a more inviting welcome mat. The easiest thing to do set the default welcome to your information page. Make the information tab complete, accurate, and honest. But, if you want a customized look and feel, there are tools that allow you design an attention getting landing page on Facebook. If you know a little html, Facebook mark up languageand some design skills, you can create a good welcome page. Here's a simple tutorial. Here's a whole wiki on custom landing tabs. Here are four approaches for a custom landing tab.

  • Designing Out of The Box: Face it, the Facebook Fan Page layout gets boring. Why look like everyone else? There are also some simple and easy ways to hack the look and feel of your profile. Here's some suggestions from All Facebook.

  • Need Some Inspiration?

California State Parks (case study)
Lance Armstrong Foundation
Red Cross Fan Page
One Campaign

Step 3: Listening

  • Find Out Where Your Fans Hang Out on Facebook: Identify Fan Pages that attract a similar target audience and use analytics tools to find other likely pages that they have joined.

  • Are people already talking about your issue? Review these pages and learn what people are saying and how they are engaging. Use this information to shape your content strategy.

Step 4: Content Strategy

  • Engaging Nuggets Work Best The more interactive your content is the better results you'll see. The worst thing you can do with a page is dump an RSS feed into the Fan Page, people get bored with that and they don't engage or share with their friends. It doesn't take a lot of time and effort to share links, photos, videos, or write a wall post that asks a question.

  • Automate Selectively: You can automate a well chosen feed, but you can't just let it stream and not visit the Fan Page. Think about what content your Fans on Facebook will most want to consume in small bites.

  • Social media consultant Jaica Kinsman points out the importance of the Facebook feed. They won't visit your page,but they may see your news in their news feed. Getting people to like or comment on your Facebook content improves the chances that more people will see it in their feed, an algorithm referred to as “EdgeRank.” TechCrunch goes into more detail about Facebook’s EdgeRank here.

Step 5: Engagement Strategy

  • Four Simple Ways To Engage With Your Fans: Ask their opinion, test their knowledge, pair promotions w/content, and say thank you. Here's some examples and tips.

  • Engagement: Play Tag With Your Friends One of the most engaging and viral ways to share content is to post photos and tag people. Now, you can only tag people who are your friends - and that's why it is useful to have a multiple administrators for your page. The best way to get photos and videos of your fans is through hosting events. For example, one organization took photos of people at offline event of people holding a sign with their message and then uploaded the photos into their Facebook Fan Page. This is not a new technique, it's called the "hold a sign meme." Here are five easy and simple ways to engage your Facebook Fans.

  • Recruitment Campaigns: Some organization have fun contests or "friend get a friend" campaign for the initial recruitment and engagement. See how the California Parks Campaign recruited new members and caught the attention of the mainstream media. Santa Clara Public Health Department Fan Page gave away t-shirts to the first couple hundred fans.

  • Add Facebook Apps: There are many Facebook apps that you can add to your Fan Page. Experiment with some that encourage engagement like a polls app.

Step 7: Promoting Your Fan Page

  • Use Badges and Fan Box Widgets To Promote Your Page Outside of Facebook If you're a page administrator, you'll notice a "add the Fan Box Widget" link. This allows you to create a customized badge on your web site or blog that promotes your Facebook Fan Page. This is a highly effective way to recruit more fans. More from the Fan Box wiki. Here's a few more ways to integrate "Share on Facebook" with other channels.

  • Use Suggest To Friends Link The "Suggest to Friends" link is probably the single best way to recruit new people to your nonprofit's Facebook Fan Page. You and other administrators can do this, but you can also invite your fans to help.

  • Use of Contests/Raffles: This is somewhat of a blurry area, so be sure to read Facebook's Promotional Guidelines. You need written permission from Facebook and spending a significant amount on ads per month. See these two posts for more explanation.

external image 4559943455_b390ed9628_m.jpg

  • Don't Forget promoting it offline with window clings or adding to your flyers. Here's a template you can use. Encourage people to "like" your page by sending a text 32665 short code.

21 Creative Ways to Promote Your Facebook Page

Step 8: Measure, Reflect, and Refine

  • Use Insight to Get Insight The Facebook Fan Page comes with a metrics tool called Insight which measure engagement. At the very least, it can help you figure out what content is most engaging to your fans.

Total Fans / Unsubscribers: Total number of fans over time, overlaid with the total number of fans who have chosen to hide your posts in their News Feed (unsubscribers).
New / Removed Fans: The number of people who have become a new fan of your Page or stopped being a fan of your Page.
Page Views: Total number of times a Page was viewed per day.
Media Consumption: Total photo views, audio plays, and video plays for the content you have uploaded to your Page.
Unsubscribes / Re-subscribes: The total number of times fans unsubscribed from your Page, and the total number of times fans re-subscribed to your Page.

You can also use google analytics to track your fan page. Here's the instructions


A few good research studies about Facebook Audience to review to inform your experiment
What Facebook Users Want (a mix of community and news) from Chitka
Loyalty of Facebook Users
Facebook As A Niche Marketing Tool
Analysis of Content, Frequency of Posting on Facebook Fan Pages (some good points for your content strategy)
Facebook Fan Page Engagement Rate