Why people actually fan your brand on Facebook

Some Reasons People Become Fans of Facebook Pages

Reason Interactions on Page Benefits to You
1. They genuinely like or are interested in the object of the Page (company, nonprofit, cause, campaign, product, brand, etc.) High Many, including branding, customer service, relationship building, attracting attention, growing customer base.
2. They are doing it because someone they know did it. Moderate to Low Not much, unless the person they are following to your Page is engaged – they may “jump on the bandwagon” and become a truly engaged fan.
3. They are doing it because someone they know asked them to do it as a favor. Moderate to Low Not much, unless they are engaging at the behest of the person they know as a favor to the person they know and this mostly will just create some activity on your Page that others can see when they arrive.
4. Because it is easy to do (just click to become a fan) and then ignore. Low to None Very little benefit after the initial automatic broadcast to the person’s friends on Facebook that they’ve become a fan of your page.
5. They are using the action of becoming a fan more like a “bookmark” for possible future reference. Low to None Very little benefit after the initial automatic broadcast to the person’s friends on Facebook that they’ve become a fan of your page.
6. They want to keep up with a competitor or have a business reason to pay attention. Low to None Very little benefit after the initial automatic broadcast to the person’s friends on Facebook that they’ve become a fan of your page.

What Doesn’t Work on Facebook Fan Pages

Here are some thoughts on what falls short for Facebook Pages.

  1. “Non-Fannable” Stuff. I know this is a vague statement, but I’m not sure how else to label the stuff that you might want to market but people wouldn’t want to be a “fan” of. A nonprofit or an important social cause is “fannable.” A television ad campaign for a cause (as opposed to the cause itself) is less fannable. Something boring? Less fannable. Something overtly commercial without value to the community? Less fannable still. 
  2. Automating. Facebook isn’t like Twitter where the rhythm and flow is such that you can get away with a more automated presence. Facebook is more about conversation, whereas Twitter can skip along with automated and scheduled posts in between actual interactions. People expect you to be there on your Facebook Page — maybe not all the time, but in an attentive manner.
  3. Applications. Facebook Applications that integrate into Fan Pages or that you program yourself using FBML don’t always work and set your page up for failure. Don’t push the tech envelope unless you are ready to lick the tech envelope.
  4. Formulaic responses. You need to loosen up and “get real.” If you are working off a script, you will fail. Facebook Pages may be a useful tool in your customer service and customer relationship toolkit, but they are about as intimate as you can get with a customer/potential customer without sitting in their living room.
  5. Trying to control. Let’s face it. Social media is not about you being in control anymore. The customer is in the driver’s seat. You are along for the ride, but fortunately can give some directions or guidance in appropriate ways. Sure you can delete things from your Facebook Page, but in the world of social media, that is an attack on transparency (not to mention freedom of expression and spirit of online community). Someone says something negative about you on your Page? Look at it as an opportunity to right a wrong or to give your side of the story with unrestrained candor.

What Works on Facebook Fan Pages

On the flip side, here are five things that do work on Facebook Pages:

  1. Proper usage. When you use Facebook Pages for what they were intended to be used for, they work well. At the top level, they were created for entities or individuals with a commercial or non-personal communications “agenda.”
  2. Being present. Automation may feed content and may trigger brief bursts of interaction, but really having humans there checking in on your Page on a regular basis and being empowered to respond in a timely and transparent manner is priceless.
  3. Tech support. If you build it, you better support it. If you add applications to it, you sure as heck better support it, because adding things to Facebook Pages to enhance them is a great idea on so many levels, except when those enhancements prove to be unstable. Things might break. You must be on call to address the issues.
  4. Being real. It isn’t necessarily about “you” being real, as in the person behind the Page — although that doesn’t hurt. It could be “you” as in the “voice of the brand.” But whoever it is, be human, have good manners, smile.
  5. Leading or guiding. Think of yourself as a party host, versus being the dictator of a small country. You can lead by example, suggest, cajole, provide resources and support, redirect, but you should not be heavy-handed in your approach on Facebook. At best, people will leave. At worst, they will make your Facebook Page hellish and unmanageable. In a way, the looser your grip on control, the more fluid, flowing and effective your interactions will be on your Facebook Page.

Via WebWorkerDaily

6 replies on “Why people actually fan your brand on Facebook”

Oh, I like, like, like this post! I think it is essential that brands, businesses, and non-profits really think through how they intend to use a Facebook presence as a strategic part of their communications. And if they can't do it properly, they need to reassess … Poorly engaged, I think FB can be a damaging thing for a brand. The key – as you've said – is to GET the media. And to communicate with it in the right ways. Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD; and if you CAN'T … better just NOT! 😉

To be honest, distribution strategies, branding or traffic generation don't really come in to consideration when posting. I took a view over the last few months to forget about all that stuff and just focus on the good stuff. (I lost my Google PageRank when I moved the blog to

I'm experimenting with the auto post feature on Posterous which then feeds through to WordPress. Its a bit hit and miss and on occasions its posted things twice, not at all, or with weird formatting. So this post was something I originally saw via Posterous, hence the crediting of the via at the end. I'd say that offering credit is attributing the source. If that credit wasn't there, it would be akin to plagiarism, which obviously isn't something I condone.

So while maybe a year ago I was quite prissy with the content that was on my blog, I now feel that there's so much cool stuff out there that I want to 'share' that I wouldn't necessarily have the time to individually write about. That's just an evolution of how I use the blog. Before it was solely content creation, now there's more of an onus on content sharing.

The more lifestream approach I like from a visual point of view too. got a nice write up by @wadds here

Fair enough. I saw a post on Wearesocial's blog yesterday that had first appeared on FastCompany.

I agree that it's really useful for your audience to filter/disseminate (what the Dutch seem to callnewsmastering, and we tend to call “curating”.)

But all too often, the credit/byline is given as a small “via” link at the foot of the page. Posterous — in fact — rather encourages this in its UI. Fine, if one is curating for self/small audiences.

But your audiences aren't small! You're what might be called a “Proper” blogger. Of course, you're not making any money off your traffic; but imagine if you were? Like — for example — FastCompany and WebWorkerDaily, both of whom sell (I'm guessing wildly) off a rate card near the $20CPM mark.

For each non-commercial blogger who copies & pastes their article, they could lose (looking at your stats and extrapolating wildly) around $20 to $100 per month.

Now, if this were exposing them to a wider audience who might in time come to be regular readers, I'm sure they'd accept this as a cost of doing business.

But would you encourage one of your clients to have a distribution strategy as poor in branding and traffic generation opportunities as the article above?

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