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Thinking Inside the Box: 7 Cool Features For Your Custom Facebook Fan Page

insidethebox.jpgThis week I have asked a few friends to provide guest blog posts for me while I’m on vacation. Today’s post comes from my friend Jason Elkins, the managing partner for Transparent Social Media here in Nashville. His company is doing some great things with Facebook fan pages and I wanted him to share these with you. Enjoy!

In June of this year when I saw my first custom Facebook Fan Page, my heart started beating faster. I know that last sentence may be the geekiest thing ever written, but I KNEW I was witnessing an important component of social media interaction. I wondered if the first marketing people to ever view a website had the same thought: “Every business is going to want one of these.”

This discovery helped me to launch my business, Transparent Social Media, earlier this year. In a previous life, I sold websites, but many of my clients approached their website like a Field-of-Dreams… “If you build it they will come”. Unfortunately that wasn’t true.

Now, with the staggering numbers of Facebook users (42% of the U.S. adult population has a Facebook page and there are over 500 million accounts worldwide) you can build a web presence where people ALREADY are! I thought that if I could help people create a great looking and functioning fan page on Facebook and help them utilize these tools properly, I could really make an impact on their businesses.

I partnered with a savvy coder with a great business mind and together we dug into the possibilities of Facebook Fan Page creation combined with unique engagement strategies. Bill has kindly allowed me to share some of them with you so here are the seven cool things we’re doing with Facebook Fan Pages:

  1. Links: From your Fan Page, you can link to specific pages on your website, blog, YouTube channel or perhaps you would want to link to a specific photo album or note within your Fan Page. We did a project for a Nashville real estate agent (Chrissy Kirkwood). She wanted multiple links on her fan page to help her customers find very specific information on her website.
  2. Video: You may have a specific video that tells the story of your company, your new book/cd or a new product or service. You can integrate this as part of the architecture of your Fan Page. Our friends at P.E.S.T. Inc. are helping people stay safe from Bedbugs and wanted to feature an MSNBC Video from the Today Show about the recent bedbug epidemic.
  3. Music: Facebook has a great MP3 player. We’re currently utilizing that feature for one of our customers. For multiple songs, Soundcloud is a good option. We used a product called BandPage to build a page for musician Brandon Frazier + The Majors, that takes advantage of Soundcloud.
  4. Lead Capture: We have discovered a way to include radio buttons, drop down menus, and paragraph boxes. When an interested fan fills out your form and clicks your ‘submit’ button, this information can be sent directly to your e-mail. Jenn Cady is an incredible photographer who also happens to be very tech savvy. She has a smart phone, and wanted a way to capture leads from her fan page, and push them right to her phone via e-mail so she could follow up right away. You can see the form we built on her new page here.
  5. Multiple Pages: You can have a fully functioning website within Facebook. Navigation, content, videos, forms and links. Some of my customers are using Facebook as their only web presence. Brushstrokes – a Faux Finish artist wanted to focus on Facebook instead of traditional website marketing. His Facebook Fan Page is functioning as his online portfolio.
    We also launched a multi paged Facebook site for Advanced Propane Inc. recently. They wanted several pages related to safety on their fan page.
  6. Issuu: One of my favorite applications to integrate with a Fan Page is a utility called Issuu. This tool can function as a visual display of a book chapter with moving pages, or a portfolio gallery of images. The Life Book is the Gideon’s student Bible product and they have a sophisticated multi page site, which integrates Issuu. (Click on the “Read” Navigation item to see this feature.)
  7. E-Mail Newsletter: You can integrate a form into your page for capturing e-mails, and MailChimp.com has a form that integrates seamlessly into Facebook. Your customers can fill out the form to receive your newsletter. (See The Life Book site above).

Even with a custom fan page, “If You Build it They Will Come” is still a false statement. If you are consistent, creative and relational you will be able to engage your clients and potential clients in a personal, direct and unique way.

Thanks again Bill for the opportunity to guest blog today! For some ideas on fan engagement hop over to my website tomorrow, where I will be posting "7 Cool Ways to Engage Your Customers on Facebook" as a follow-up to this post.

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