Facebook has grown to become the largest social networking website in the world with well over 250 million members. It has become the networking tool of choice for individuals from varied backgrounds and industries, no longer just catering to high school and college students. Hence, it is not only a great networking platform, but also a fantastic marketing outlet for bloggers and web entrepreneurs.
There are two main ways that bloggers can market on Facebook. They can either create a Facebook group or a Facebook fan page.
A group allows bloggers to create a network where readers can become group members and write on the group’s wall or in its discussion threads, share links, upload photos, etc. As a group administrator, you can mass message all members and the messages that you send will appear in member’s Facebook inboxes. A fan page on the other hand simply acts as a profile for your blog; however, instead of having friends like a traditional profile, you have fans. The advantage to this is that you can mass message updates to all fans, while there is no way to instantly send a message to all your friends. However, just like a traditional profile, any updates you make will show up in your fans’ friend feeds.
Group or Fan Page?
I have conducted research on both via starting both a group and a fan page for my blog AM Beat . I invited around 1300 members to each and within a week attracted around 130 members for the group and just under 100 members for the fan page. I think the main reason for this is the fact that fan pages are still relatively new and Facebook members are more used to seeing and accepting group invitations over fan page suggestions.
Despite this, I still recommend creating fan page. Having a fan page allows you to update your own wall and have these posts appear on your fans’ friend feeds. This keeps your fans engaged with your page, is fantastic for branding, and can draw traffic if you link to previous posts.
Marketing a Fan Page
The easiest way to market a fan page is to suggest it to all your friends and then ask your closest friends and family to suggest the page to their friends. In addition, make a blog post inviting your readers to join your Facebook page.
You can also use Facebook’s CPC advertising model to market your page though this is really not necessary.
Overall a Facebook fan page is a great way to build a community of readers and makes it easy for existing readers to share your blog with their friends, family, and other contacts. It is free to set-up, should not take more than a few hours work, and has an invaluable effect on blog branding.
This post was written by Aditya Mahesh, founder of AMBeat.com, a complete resource for entrepreneurs complete with advice articles, start-up profiles, interviews, news analysis, and more.