Facebook fan pages?

by DaniGirl on February 17, 2010 · 17 comments

in How I love the Interwebs

Oh wise and worldly bloggy peeps, riddle me this: do I need a Facebook fan page for the blog? Please argue the pros and cons.

(Caveat: I am not a huge FB user and would not I would not otherwise consider making a fan page, except I’ve been asked to investigate the concept at a professional level. Plus, I loved the kismet of starting to wonder about such a thing on the exact day that Scary Mommy posted this excellent and easy-to-follow FB fan page tutorial!)


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elise February 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Hi Dani

I don’t know much about FB fan pages. What I know, is that most of brands/companies that have one, don’t really make use of them, it’s just a page sitting here, and it’s really bad marketing. A FB page has to be updated on a regular basis, whether content added is witty status, video or links or pics… And the content and the editorial line should be somewhat different from the blog.

So I guess the questions to ask is:
– what could I do with a FB page that I can’t do with the blog – maybe you’ve already identified in some parts of your brain a little something that you can’t have with blog+comments?
– am I ready to ACTIVELY maintain a fan page?

If you go for it, I’ll be one of you fan, that’s for sure πŸ™‚

2 Fawn February 18, 2010 at 12:45 am

I think you can message everyone on a fan page at one time, so it’s a good tool from that regard if you need to send out a message. But for a blogger — well, you would just post the message ON YOUR BLOG, so I don’t really get it.

There seem to be fan pages popping up for EVERYTHING right now. A young girl I know recently became a fan of “No. Your Wrong. So just sit there in your wrongness and be wrong.” I pointed out to her that there’s a spelling error in the name of the fan page. Talk about irony.

3 Christine LaRocque February 18, 2010 at 7:23 am

I’m doing the same on a professional level. Perhaps this will help you, I read a headline recently (don’t have it hand, will search for it and try to send it to you). Facebook is now the #4 service for disseminating news IN THE WORLD. I’d say that’s one heck of an argument using it. Facebook, like all other social media, is viral. As people become a fan, there friends will fan you and on and on. Why this is different for Facebook is the sheer magnitude of users. More people use Facebook than most other social media. So if your goal is to grow your readership, through FB you can reach out to a more broad audience than you would via other social media such as Twitter. However, if you do it, you have to use it and that’s a whole other ball game. πŸ™‚

4 DaniGirl February 18, 2010 at 8:09 am

Thanks all! Very interesting feedback. I totally agree about the “keeping it up” issue. That’s why I’ve given up on the Etsy shop — there’s just not enough hours in the day. Although I have to admit, I keep my existing Facebook page fresh by simply filtering various content streams through it — blog, Flickr, etc. (Haven’t hooked up Twitter yet, but I know I can.) I think the fan page would be similar.

To me, the viral-ness is the main benefit. As you mentioned, Christine, the friends-of-friends phenomenon. I’ve already seen this happen just filtering through my personal account.

Anyway, I’m rambling. Your insight greatly appreciated! I’ve actually already set up the page — it’s super easy! — but want to play with it a bit more before I decide whether to flip the switch. πŸ™‚

5 Angela ( jhscrapmom) February 18, 2010 at 8:09 am

Do it;)

(was that helpful on any level,lol???)

6 Gus&Otto February 18, 2010 at 8:39 am

My answer is no for a Facebook page for your blog. Why?
1) Fan pages are like sign posts. You use your fan page to direct people to your website or other web-based information or for contents. People become Fans of things they already have an affinity with and want to publicly state (people Fan an average of 4 pages per month). I don’t think blogs necessarily have the same pull.
2) People may look for your presence as a company or organization, or as an individual who sells a product/service they love, on Facebook. These entities usually don’t have a way to engage their audience and Facebook is a low-risk way to do so (i.e., look at the awesomeness of the Glee fan page). But it’s not real engagement like you have on your blog.
3) Facebook just changed the news updates algorithm. It used to be that every wall post you put up would should on your fan’s walls. Now it doesn’t. I haven’t heard anyone come up figure out about how this happens now, but it part it will be determined by how often people come to your fan page and interact with you. You could spend a lot of time crafting wall posts for very little return.
4) Of your Fans, no one really reads what comes into their inbox as updates. But, access just changed in the layout to these and now they’re really easy to see. I think that this feature may again become useful.
5) Now, you asked about Fan pages and not Groups for your blog (for your military job a Fan page is a must have, even if I don’t agree with their recruitment strategies, with my social media hat on there’s SO many cool and neat things you could do here). I think a group may be more useful for you here – but it just becomes another space to have a conversation – and has the potential to change the conversation to two-way engagement.

Given the focus of your blog and the engagement I’m imagining you’d want, I wouldn’t recommend for any life blogger to have a Facebook Fan page because it will have very little return on investment or engagement.

7 Alexandre February 18, 2010 at 8:55 am

A fanpage about this blog would be an efficient way to play with the tool. A big part of social media is about this kind of experimentation. Low-stakes, potentially high gains in learning.
A counterargument night be that fanpages
aren’t “meant” to be used in this way. But the beauty of experimentation is that you find unexpected uses for tools.

8 Amy @ Muddy Boots February 18, 2010 at 10:31 am

I have a fan page for my photography (that I just set up a couple weeks ago): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gatineau-QC/Muddy-Boots-Photography/288462661871 . I don’t have one for my main blog, I don’t think I would. That being said, my blog can’t really be compared to yours. *grin*

captcha: loyalist some

9 Scary Mommy February 18, 2010 at 10:48 am

I was totally on the fence about the whole FB page thing, but I am really glad I did it. It’s just one more place to connect and network and get your name out. It’s worth a shot, at least.

And, thanks for the link love! πŸ™‚

10 Mary @ Parenthood February 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I find fan pages are useful for sending out messages, usually about upcoming events or new things I should be checking out. (I completely disagree with the poster above who said no one reads their messages. Aside from Scrabble that’s practically the only part of FB I use…)

If you added a fan page, would I become a fan? Hmmm. Maybe. It would depend on what extra content it was giving me over your blog / twitter. That said, I can’t see how having a fan page detracts from anything, unless you are planning to spend ages on it.

11 Elise February 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Reading the comments, I’m just thinking about an article I’ve read a few days ago about facebook directing more online users than Google.
Link here :
http://digg.com/tech_news/Facebook_directs_more_online_users_than_Google

Well, yes, just as Christine said, Facebook is huge. How to use it???? I’m also learning…

12 Amber February 18, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I do not have a Facebook fan page. I link to my personal Facebook profile on my blog, and I include an RSS feed of my blog posts on Facebook. I do this because I have a lot of friends and family members who find it easier to read my blog via Facebook.

I haven’t felt that it was necessary to create a separate fan page, because I am my blog, and I am pretty open about who I am. I don’t use pseudonyms and my blog title is my last name. I am not concerned about what some internet stranger could learn about me via Facebook, and I don’t bother separating the two.

I know many people who have personal profiles and fan pages, and I think it has upsides, but I also think it can be a little confusing. Who am I talking to? Who is the right person to talk to? Sometimes I follow both and it’s even more confusing. So, for ease, I have one Facebook account and one Twitter account, and it works well.

13 Nat February 18, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Putting on my PR hat for a moment.
I can see the use for Fan pages, for instance, the Hip’s fanpage sends out videos every day. PJ uses to let us know when the band is appearing to let us know what’s up and when. To me this makes sense. But with most of us (I assume using RSS readers), is there a need for you to let us know things? I’m not sure how effective it really is.

I am a facebook junkie. (Guilty as charged.) As a user, the only fan pages I’ve joined are for music groups. The reason is to be made aware of upcoming concert dates or special things happening. Not sure how you’d leverage it with the blog.

14 alison February 19, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I’m with Nat. I love ya, Dani, and I read you almost every day. But the last thing I want is to have my news feed crammed with fan page postings. Even your fan page postings. πŸ™‚ I’ve unfanned myself from the ones that send the most messages.

When I want to read your blog, I go there and read it. I don’t know what having a fan page would do for you/your readers/your stats.

15 Rebecca February 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm

First, do it and I will totally sign up as a fan πŸ˜‰

A few thoughts re: benefit:

Facebook will let you carry on conversation outside of the Twitter character limit, and beyond lengthy blog discussion or comments – if a particular point arises as an aside in a blog, you can focus on that via Facebook to generate additional comments/discussion.

It also serves as another major route for promoting new blog posts – if someone doesn’t see the Twitter link, or read there Google Reader often (*coughguiltycough*) it will bring additional traffic.

The other benefit is that you’ll be able to set up pages – for discussion, for your photos, for info etc.

I think it’s beneficial, but as Christine pointed out it’s another thing that requires time to maintain and grow.

Having said that, I don’t link my blog via Facebook. For whatever weird reason, I keep them separate (partly because even on my blog I don’t reveal last name, kids info etc. where as Facebook I post pics of the kids etc).

Good luck and keep us posted!!

16 Alexandre February 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Actually, a benefit there could be to reach a new audience. And the stats you get through fanpages are just too cool to pass.

17 Alexandre February 21, 2010 at 12:20 am

And, speaking of Facebook fan pages in relation to blogs…
I just discovered the Fan box: http://www.facebook.com/facebook-widgets/fanbox.php
This one can be rather useful!

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