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8 Ways to Get More Out of Your Facebook Fan Page Today

This is a guest post by Raag Vamdatt of The WordPress How To Blog.

If you have been paying even the slightest attention to the blogosphere lately, you would have noticed that it’s abuzz with talk about the new Facebook fan pages. And there is a reason behind it—the Facebook fan page’s new timeline view is a drastic change from the old fan pages we are used to seeing. These changes came into effect from March 30th.

The changes are far-reaching, and are pushing people out of their comfort zones. Since most bloggers have active fan pages that they use for attracting new readers and for making sales, they have started panicking. However, like any change, you can view this as an opportunity instead of seeing it as a problem.

The new fan pages don’t allow you to use many of the tactics that you might be used to. However, these changes do open up many new possibilities as well. Here are a few things you can do to effectively use the new timeline-based Facebook fan pages to your advantage.

1. Pin announcements or sales pitches

Previously, there was no way you could highlight a post on Facebook. Even if it was an important post, say about an upcoming launch, it would get buried under newer posts. How can a post have the desired impact if it is not even seen by your visitors?

This is a problem from the past, friends! Now, you can “pin” a post, and when you do this, it stays as the first post on you fan page. In blogging terms, you can say it’s a “sticky” post!

This is huge. Finally, you have the freedom to make people see your most important messages, without making them land on custom tabs (which is not possible any more, by the way).

2. Star important posts

There is one more way to highlight posts that need special attention: you can “star” any of the posts on your fan pages.

Doing this makes the post span both the columns of the timeline view, making it quite distinguishable from other posts. Whenever a visitor is scrolling through your fan page, he or she is bound to stop and pay attention to a starred post because of its double width.

This feature can be used to highlight content that doesn’t need immediate attention, but is important nonetheless. For example, if you have a post about contest winners, or about you being mentioned in mainstream media, you can “star” such posts to give them prominence.

3. Use the cover image effectively

Now, you get a huge amount of space—851px by 315px to be precise—to play with for the cover image. The new timeline view has introduced a cover image which appears as the first thing on your fan page. And due to its massive size, it will draw your visitors’ attention as soon as they land on your Facebook fan page.

Before you start getting ideas, let me tell you that this space cannot be used for any marketing messages—you can’t ask people to buy something or to like your fan page, you can’t use it to offer any pricing or discount details, you can’t have your contact details displayed there, etc.

In spite of these restrictions, you can use this space quite effectively. It can be used to brand yourself and your blog—the image you use here can convey a positive message about your blog to your visitors. In fact, you can even use a text-based image here as long as it is not promotional text. You can also include pictures of your products in this space.


4. Using custom tabs to channel visitors

Just below the cover image are small, square images called custom tabs. These are links to your applications. The first one is always a link to your photos, but the others can be customized.

This feature can be used quite effectively. For example, you can have a custom tab pointing to one of your products, and the image for the tab can contain a quick, attention-grabbing call to action.

You can have up to 12 of these custom tabs. Excluding the one for the photos, you have 11 opportunities to channel your visitors to important applications or sub-pages of your fan page.

5. Utilizing the profile photo

The profile photo, which used to be up to 180px by 540px in size, is now reduced to a mere 125px by 125px. However, this photo doesn’t come with any restrictions like that for the cover photo, so it can be utilized in creative ways.

Of course, you can have your picture or your logo as the profile photo of your fan page. In fact, most people would have this type of a setup. But now,you can play with the profile picture and the cover image to create some cool effects.

An aggressive tactic: If you want, you could create a profile image with the text “Like Us”, and an arrow pointing to the Like button. This is not something you can do with the cover photo, but it might help to boost your Likes.

6. Effectively using the new messaging system

The new fan pages now come with a messaging system—anyone who has liked your page can now send messages directly to you! (Please note that the message has to be initiated by the user—you cannot send a message to a fan unless he or she has messaged you first).

Again, this is a massive change, and one you can use to your advantage. You can use this feature for problem resolution—your fans can write to you privately (maybe with sensitive details like their order number), and you can provide personalized query resolution and support.

Of course, if you have a ton of fans, this won’t be feasible for you. But if you are just starting out and have only a few fans, this can be a big image booster and might earn you a lot of praise!

7. Using milestones to your advantage

Facebook now lets you create milestones on your fan pages. Milestones are the events or dates that are important for your page. The best part about milestones is that you can post milestones from the past, with dates from any time since the year 1000!

You can use this to let people know more about your blog or business—when it started, when it achieved some critical milestones, etc. Knowing these things may inspire more trust in your visitors, and could result in a few additional fans.

8. Checking out your competition

This is a neat trick that not many people know about. In fact, I myself discovered it by accident!

When you visit a fan page and you see a box with the number of Likes in it, click on it. What do you see? You see the analytics data (or “insights” in Facebook terms) about that fan page. Some of the things that you can see are:

  • how many people are taking about the fan page
  • the trends regarding new likes and number of people talking about the page
  • most popular week, city and age group for that fan page.

This is really cool! Till now, you could see the analytics for your own fan page. But now, you can also see the highlights of the analytics of other fan pages. This is a great opportunity—you can take a look at the data of your competitors, and use it to your advantage.

How are you using your new Facebook fan page?

How are you using the new features of the Facebook fan page to build your blog’s following both on Facebook and on your blog itself? Share your tips with us in the comments.

Raag Vamdatt runs multiple blogs, and writes from his experiences at The WordPress How To Blog. He also offers a free step-by-step course titled “Make Money Blogging” that guides about starting a blog and making money from it.

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Comments

  1. Natalie Webb says:

    Great article! I now manage 8 Facebook pages for 3 different brands, and each has its challenges. One of my favorite features is the milestone feature. Any brand with some history behind it that is not making full use of milestones is shooting themselves in the foot. It sucks people into your page in a really deep way.

    • Jacob Agyei says:

      Great Natalie, I will like to know more about the 3 brands you’re managing.
      Thanks

  2. David Clare says:

    Good tips, although I’d hope most people are aware of how to best use the new design now. However, the profile image tip to create one saying ‘like us’ is just terrible. Firstly, I very much doubt more people will like the page because you have it positioned that way – if a person has gone to the page then they are probably going to like it anyway, and it is only on the page where it has such use – the arrow points to the like button only on the page. Secondly, the profile image appears in a million other places – down the wall, in people’s news feeds, in comments etc. and yet having ‘like us’ will not identify the brand or page at all – if anything you will devalue the identity of the page. I’d seriously reconsider this suggestion.

  3. Rick Rouse says:

    I really like the larger cover image but it would be nice to be able to remove the profile photo from its current position overlaying the cover. Maybe it’s just me but I think it looks a bit out of place there.

  4. Dzulhelmee says:

    The article was truly refreshing Raag. You definitely making me want to explore and utilize more on the new facebook features. At first my impression of the timeline introduce by facebook are really annoying. Luckily you made a point out of it. Thanks a lot for the informative article.

  5. Chris says:

    Great job on this article.

    I have used the ‘sticky’ option to highlight a few posts a couple of times and it works well for announcement type entries. Natalie and David both hit the nail on the head, timeline entries work well and a profile image I would agree is more important for branding.

    … off to check the competitions insights… :)

  6. Thanks so much for these tips. I’m a little overwhelmed with all the changes, but having a ball learning the ins and outs. I’m going to definitely start using some of your tips.

    Thanks!

    Kimberly

  7. Sean Chang says:

    Great tips Raag. With regards to “2. Star important posts”, another cool way to use it is to highlight posts by fans. This helps to let the fans know that they are appreciated for their contributions and encourages them to be more engaged with the page.

    Works great for our clients.

    Cheers!

  8. This is a realy effective article. Every point is useful. I have 2 facebook pages with few likes. This is realy a big help improve my pages. I’ll definitely utilize each and every point given to improve my pages. Thank you so much for such a beautiful article.

  9. Tracy says:

    Some very simple, but great suggestions here. Thank you

  10. Great Articles and some good tips as well.

    Thanks

  11. Canadian Dad says:

    Thanks Raag! I am a new blogger, having only been doing it for 3 months. I have tried to figure out the best ways to market my FB page but I spend (waste) so much time on Twitter that I never bothered to learn how to use it properly.

    Funny thing is, I get 3 times as much traffic from FB than I do Twitter. I just find Twitter so addictive and easy to use for interacting with people. You’ve inspired me to take a look at the way I use my FB page.

    Thanks so much for the tips and tricks! It’s much appreciated!

    Cheers!!

  12. Nice Article. but is this really working these days without any issue

  13. Great article! I now manage 8 Facebook pages for 3 different brands, and each has its challenges. One of my favorite features is the milestone feature. Any brand with some history behind it that is not making full use of milestones is shooting themselves in the foot. It sucks people into your page in a really deep way.

  14. Great article Raag,

    I like the point that you are showing the CTA on the avatar. It’s a great way to have it there instead of having it nowhere.

    Thanks for the information!

  15. Lisa says:

    I’ve found Twitter to drive more traffic but using FB a little differently and it has helped. I really like the custom tab features. Thanks for the other tips to try.

  16. Kate says:

    Great article! Thanks for all of the details and examples from others using FB successfully.

  17. Enjoyed the article very much, but I’m not sure how #8 is helpful. Interesting, yes! How could those very general metrics be useful? Maybe you look at the week of greatest activity and see what they were talking about? Of course, you have no idea what they were doing offline that week.

    Just wondered if I’m overlooking something. Thanks!

  18. Tim Barnes says:

    As a Life & Health Insurance Counselor, I spend a great deal of time reading about trends and changing laws in the insurance industry. As I find interesting information, I share it with my “Fans.” I also have my agency blog linked to it so that it will appear on the computers of all those people who have “Liked” my page.

  19. Something i have been puttig holdfor so long, guess i’m way behind in FB compare to my standalone blog.

  20. Dan Ang says:

    Great tips. I didn’t know I can do a “LIKE” on the profile picture. Thanks.

  21. I appreciate the very specific suggestions for Facebook Pages. These are the types of blogposts that really come in handy because I can make changes immediately. The “create a new tab” feature seems especially useful, but when I tried to create one, it was too complicated.

  22. Helpful tips here.

    Checking out the comp is beyond key. Learn from folks in your niche. Take ideas and put your unique twist on them.

    Thanks for sharing.

  23. I just created a facebook fan page for my blog. And I was looking for something like this only. Thanks for this information.

  24. Vijay says:

    really helpful tips.
    get to many things about FB pages and made many changes on my page..
    thanks for the tips

  25. Amy says:

    Thanks for sharing! I did not know you could view your other fan pages insight information. Good to know.

  26. Dear Raag, This will definitely improve my fb fan page performance. Thank you for sharing this on Problogger.

  27. Marius says:

    Awesome article! Really very useful advises.
    Definitely. it will help me to improve my fan page a lot!

  28. Great tips for new or facebook oldies, there is so much you can get out of a page now, I really am missing the default landing tab that was a great way to get more likes in my opinion.

    Thanks
    Dave

  29. I use my Facebook page mainly to share content from my blog and other blogs relevant to my niche. I have been thinking of using setting up one of the social sites as an FAQ or Q&A site where small businesses could post queries or request free analysis of an area of their site and a response will be posted. I am not sure however whether to set up a new Facebook page for this or use Twitter.

  30. Gjivan says:

    Very useful tips. Some of which i haven’t take care of even i was using it without proper consciousness. Thank you Raag!!

  31. I used rapid Weaver to create a landing page, and Banner Zest to create create cool links back to Bees in Art.

  32. My FB Page if anyone wants to see my landing page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bees-In-Art/333196725480?ref=ts

  33. Suraj Bhatti says:

    Nice tips!
    Never really took care of these things!
    Will try out the tips you mentioned on my facebook page :-)!

  34. Pedro says:

    Very nice ! Thanks for sharing that info

  35. Lorna says:

    Off to update my Facebook page now! Thank you

  36. Joe Karl says:

    Nice Post!! I did not even know there was a highlights option!! and Checking out your competition through analytic s that’s gold!!

  37. Super duper helpful and easy to understand. I really appreciate this post-love articles that offer actionable steps you can take right now. ONWARD HO!!!

  38. Lou says:

    Good information Raag but since it says here to “speak your mind”, I will: Since I liked your info, I checked out your blog (isn’t that why most people guest blog anyway?) and must say how annoying it was that your pop up window wouldn’t let me navigate your site. It didn’t even have a (x) where I could click and get rid of the damn thing! I know those windows convert and capture for you, but no way to get out?

  39. fanstap says:

    wow
    its the first time i notice the pin this post option
    i think pinning a post plus staring it can make it much more effective
    thank you:))