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Flocking to Facebook

Flocking to Facebook

Enterprises setting up their own pages in the social networking site should have a clear plan, reports Forrester.

There are now more than 500 million Facebook users across the globe and enterprises are flocking to the social networking site to create their own pages. But creating a compelling Facebook brand presence requires forethought and commitment, says a recent Forrester report.

“Don’t just think of Facebook as a channel to push messages out to a random audience; the most successful Facebook marketers take the time to think through how they’ll attract and retain true fans, and ultimately craft conversations — and sometimes meaningful relationships — with their consumers,” writes Melissa Parrish, Forrester analyst and author of the report.

Forrester studied 30 US branded Facebook pages and listed some best practices for companies for its report on how to create an effective brand presence on Facebook.

The companies with the most fans made their pages easy to find, says Forrester. Five of the pages with the largest audiences had a customised ‘vanity URL’, like faceboook.com/Starbucks. Because the URLs are validated, they help confirm the page is the company's official presence on Facebook.

Another best practice is promoting the 'fan pages' in the company website. Forrester says while this is an obvious strategy, just more than half of the pages it analysed promoted these pages on the main website.

The report highlights the importance of updating the status and content regularly. Forrester says pages that were updated twice a day or more average more than four times as many fans, compared to pages that were updated just once a day. Updates include text, video and other rich media.

Companies can also make their Facebook pages more compelling by allowing fans to post content and encouraging ‘fan to fan conversation’, says Forrester. For instance, Ford allows fans to regularly post pictures of their cars, including mileage details and how they use the vehicles.

These personal accounts create bonds among fans and turn loyalists into evangelists, says the report.

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