How to create a Facebook page your fans visit frequently

You’ve accumulated thousands of ‘likes’—or many, many more—but now you need to give your fans a reason to return. Here are three tips and lots of examples.

For social media managers, Facebook brand pages are a relatively simple way to connect with fans in real time. We rely on fans seeing our posts in the news feed to drive “likes” and inspire people to leave comments.

But that’s not where it should end.

While these interactions certainly have their value, it’s much more meaningful to have a page where people want to return. Making your Facebook page a destination isn’t easy, but some brands are doing it with aplomb.

Here’s how:

Provide exclusive experiences

Why do many people allow brands to market to them through social media? They expect something in return.

If you want people to return to your page, offer them savings—one of the few surefire ways to get a steady traffic stream to your Facebook page. But as soon as the offers drop off, so does the traffic to your page. Plus, it’s rarely feasible or logical for brands to do this on a regular basis.

If offering regular coupons or discounts is cost prohibitive, there’s always the sneak preview, which costs next to nothing and still gives an air of exclusivity.

DC Comics understands that the sneak preview is a huge draw among its fan base and frequently offers previews of upcoming issues. DC’s major competition, Marvel, has used its page recently to provide exclusive announcements and teasers about its upcoming movies with great success (April 5).

Another consumer brand, Tiffany & Co., offers fans a preview of its new collection and judging by the engagement, it appears the fans enjoy this content.

Fans love contests, too. Gap is running one now to make someone’s child the next face of the clothier’s kids line. Lego is also known for the contests it promotes through Facebook. Fans are often encouraged to share the things they build and take stop-motion videos of their Lego towns—all with a reward to the most impressive.

If you take this approach, make sure the reward matches the effort. You don’t want your fans to invest serious sweat equity for nothing more than a hearty congrats in an upcoming post.

Entertain them

One of my favorite brands to follow on Facebook is Skittles. Its posts border on the absurd and always entertain (see Mar.14: “Protip: don’t just assume that yeti wants a shoulder rub.”) The copy isn’t intricate. The team at Skittles keeps it short, but always offer something random and fun.

Consider this approach when you’re building a page that will inspire people to return. How can you punch up your copy or refine your voice so it’s entertaining enough that people will want to come back?

If punchy copy isn’t your brand’s strong suit, make sure you’re flaunting what is—and not to a degree that it could be seen as annoying. Fans of Jimmy Choo love the brand’s shoes and handbags. Recognizing this, the company always features these products on its Facebook page. Is that reason enough to return? Ask the brand’s 1.1 million fans, who seem to think so.

Establish a “lifestyle brand”

This is when you enter the “lifestyle brand” arena. By talking about the lifestyle your product offers consumers—and not simply the product—you can offer thought leadership on certain topics. This will give people a reason to return.

Here are three examples of brands achieving this success:

New Balance. People looking for resources on running a marathon can start with the Facebook page for this athletic shoe company. It offers useful information and tips about a subject that obviously interests its fan base. This website, which offers advice on interior design for apartment dwellers, extends its thought leadership on décor to its Facebook page by sharing tips, asking questions, and displaying pictures of apartments submitted by its fan base.

National Geographic. The century-old brand combines several elements to make its page worth a return trip, including its trademark images as well as facts about animals and cultures. An Apr. 6 post stated simply, “Friday Fact: Bees can be green, blue, or red.” Other posts during that same week balanced news stories with travel topics and photography features.

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