Why You Need to Make a Facebook Fan Page

Facebook is the second most popular site on the web, according to Alexa. With over 350 million members, you would think a lot of companies and individuals would be creating fan pages, but they aren’t.

About a month ago I decided to create a Facebook fan page, so I enlisted Jeff Widman to help me.

facebook fan page

Once I had it completed, I thought I would have hundreds of fans instantly because I have over 2,000 friends on Facebook. Sadly, this didn’t turn out to be the case. If you want to get friends over to your fan page, you have to do a lot of manual work such as inviting all your friends to join.

The harsh reality

I invited people to become fans of “Quick Sprout”, but less than 5% of my friends joined.  My guess is that they receive too many fan requests, so they ignore them like I do, or they didn’t know Quick Sprout was my blog.

After making a few tweaks, I have decided to change my Quick Sprout fan page to a Neil Patel fan page. Through this new fan page, I would still be able to promote my blog as well as my other companies.

Within hours, my Facebook friends were getting emails like the one below.

facebook email

Because the message was so entertaining, roughly 36% of my friends became fans. In addition,  many of these fans were so amused with the message Facebook created that they even sent me an email.

facebook fan email

The first big lesson I learned with fan pages is that if you want people to join your page, you either need to offer something or do something silly to get people’s attention and have them join.

Communication is your key to success

At this point, I had hundreds of fans, but my Facebook fan page wasn’t doing anything for me. Luckily enough, one of my fans called me out for not interacting with my fans.

facebook fan calls me out

Once I recognized the importance of interacting with my fans, I started following up with every fan who posted on my wall. In addition, I integrated my blog’s RSS feed into my Facebook fan page.

I also started posting just to create conversations. For example, I asked my fans what they were doing for Thanksgiving, which led to 14 new comments and 15 fans “liking” the question.

After I got the ball rolling, I noticed that Facebook started to drive a decent number of visitors to my blog.

facebook google analytics

Over a 3-day period, I received 356 visitors from Facebook, whose visits to my blog averaged 2 minutes and 43 seconds. This wasn’t too shabby, considering 8,000 visitors from Google spent 1 minute and 16 seconds on my blog.

The real value in having a fan page

Getting extra traffic to your business from a Facebook fan page is great, but it isn’t the best thing that a fan page provides.

The real value I get out of having a fan page is the stats that Facebook provides.

facebook insights

facebook insights

facebook insights

facebook insights

By analyzing the stats above, I learned that:

  1. Roughly 81% of my fans are males. If I want to attract more female fans, I have to write more content and blogs targeted to females.
  2. Supporting the above point, more females interact on my fan page than males do, so I should be targeting female fans.
  3. Most of my fans are between 18 to 44 years old, so I need to tailor my new content to that demographic and not worry about the others.
  4. To grow my blog faster, I should target 18 to 34-year-olds because they are more likely to interact with me and read my blog posts.
  5. I have a lot of fans from the US, but it seems a good portion of fans are also from India. I need to start embracing my culture so I can create a larger Indian following.
  6. I also noticed that simple questions have a better response rate and help build the community. When I posted complex questions on my fan page (I have deleted them now), very few people interacted with me, and I started to lose fans.

1000 fans and counting

After a month or so of having a fan page, I finally reached 1,000 fans. I learned that having a fan page can be very valuable. Not only does it help drive traffic to your business, but it can also give you a good understanding of who your customers are.

If you want to learn about your fans, friends, or even customers, I highly recommend you create a Facebook fan page. It will not only allow you to interact with people, but it will also help you get to know them on a personal level.

Next, I am going to try growing my fan page to 10,000 people. I have added a Facebook fan widget in the sidebar of my blog, and I am going to start buying Facebook ads.

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Comments

  1. Kick ass tips! Never even thought about the benefit of really seeing the demographics of your audience or the email thing.

    Would love to hear about your results buying Faceook Ads once you test it.

  2. Great article Neil – Thanks so much! It took me a few minutes to figure out where the link is to the stats, but I finally got it. You’ve also given me more inspiration to create dialogues with the page. :-)

  3. Adding a facebook fanpage to my site was something I should have done from the start. Just 2 months in, I’ve got over 2200 fans, and it’s growing by an average of 25-35 new fans per day. Besides getting a feel of what the demographics on my site are, I really enjoy the community that is building up. People are interacting with each other, and suggesting the page to more friends.

    Have a look at what I mean here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Watch-Missed-Episodescom/133760354362

    • That’s great Bob… what are you doing to market the page? How are you leveraging it for your business?

      • The only thing I do at the moment is have the widget, which shows the fans, on the sidebar. The ‘social proof’ seems to trigger a snowball effect. And I am running a little contest, where people get entered into a draw for a DVD box set of their favourite TV show, simply by becoming a fan.

        Obviously I’m getting a lot of return traffic from the fan-page, and the fans themselves slowly increase my sites presence on the web. It is a great tool to communicate with the visitors, asking them for suggestions to improve their site experience. It also acts like some sort of mailing list I guess. With a press of a button, I can send out a message to over 2200 people.

        In the long run, I think that if the day ever comes that I’m selling my site, the attached value of a massive active and accessible fan-base will certainly increase the price.

  4. Hi Neil,

    Great post. I do have one question. How were the Facebook email notifications generated and sent to your friends? Do you have an app for that? Let me know, thanks!

  5. I am your fan after reading this :)

  6. Hey Neil,

    Get post! Even though I’m already a fan, I am now a Fan on your Facebook page as well. Awhile ago I was reading Nick O’Neill’s AllFacebook.com’s article How To Develop A Facebook Page That Attracts Millions of Fans. Number 2 on the list really jumped out at me, it is: Don’t Let New Users Land on the Wall. While looking at some other Fan Pages I came across these two http://www.facebook.com/gap and http://www.facebook.com/doggettstudios I love your work and look forward in learning more from you, cheers!

    Jorin.

  7. @ Bob Jones

    I visited your fan page and it’s awesome. Well, why don’t you take benefit of Facebook fan page Vanity url as you have more than 2000 fans?

  8. Guillaume Deliancourt :

    Hi Neil,

    Awesome post, quick question though. You show your stats above, which web analytic are you using? Google?

    P.S: I became a fan too!

  9. Pretty good tips Neil! I have debated on starting a fan page but not sure if its deemed worthy for a smaller blog like mine.

  10. Neil,

    Great post as always. I’m a big fan of fan pages (pun intended?). I for some odd reason was successful by using my company name and suggesting to friends (“The Rise To The Top” We have about 1,250 fans Facebook/risetothetop) and then using other platforms to drive traffic there including:

    1. My website (easy button to get you there).
    2. Blog.
    3. Occasional posts on Twitter. (Here is what we are talking about on the Facebook page-type posts)
    4. Suggesting to friends.

    And a couple of mildly unfair advantages:
    5. Using my TV show to draw Facebook fans
    6. I was an early-adapter on Facebook which is more of being in the right place at the right time.

    I’m also going to dabble in a little advertising as well and I think 10,000 is good goal.

    One thing I would hope Facebook would introduce is instead of simply suggesting to friends to also allow a reason why.

    For example: Neil Patel became a fan of Neil Patel and suggests you should become one too because Neil is freaking awesome and you want to stalk me and love me.

    Hypothetical :)

  11. I have followed your Facebook Fan page in this blog a few weeks ago. I think so and agree with you mention that above. Another that, we can not neglect Twitter follower pages also. I will make it myself one fan page coming soon.

  12. Hey Neil, great post (as always) and just the medicine I need. I’m the founder of Walker Corporate Law Group, a boutique corporate law firm in California, and I hired a marketing guy a few months ago who set me up on facebook — both under “Scott Edward Walker” and a fan page “Walker Corporate Law Group” http://bit.ly/6OZYWe. The problem is that I’m an old man and didn’t even know how to use facebook – so everything just sat there until a couple of weeks ago when I friended some of my contacts. Now that I have read your post, I finally understand how to promote my fan page. Thank you, Scott

    p.s. I friended you and became your fan.

  13. My first comment here, but I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, Neil. I really (REALLY!) like your posts, and I absolutely love (LOVE!) this one.
    Thank you for sharing so much!

  14. The demographics that Facebook shows for the fans is great. Almost like quantcast for facebook.

  15. Hey Neil,

    So you have to Neil Patel accounts – a profile and a fan page. How much of the content overlaps – ie do you post your new blog post on both your fan page and on your profile ? Or is your profile just for personal non-work status updates ?

  16. OK so this is really good stuff. I like how you find out what kind of people you have going to your website so you can target stuff to those readers.

    Sounds awesome but I have one problem. How do I know what they like? Do I just research on google what that age group likes or is it written somewhere?

  17. Kemal Delalic :

    I just read a topic on starting a FB fan page at OnStartups, i think some of you may find this useful;

    http://answers.onstartups.com/questions/1960/why-start-a-facebook-fan-page

    Anyway, you must first have a brand that people are familiar with.

    Nice post Neil, some things never change I guess :)

  18. How do you maintain you site since so many of your videos are removed due to infringement. Also, great idea Dhvanesh!

    • I’m assuming that comment was for me, since you also replied to Dhvanesh :)

      A lot of videos do get removed, but I have a VA that checks in all the time, and when people let us know that one of the videos is missing, she replaces them.

      I also have several sources for one episode. Most of the time, it’s only the new episodes that get removed, a few months down the track, and the studios don’t really care that much anymore.

      Besides, broken videos means more download sales for me ;)

  19. Nice job Neil, great analysis. How you find the time to interact with all the social outlets still eludes me.

    Being a small biz owner, I find myself engaging in social media in weekly “bursts”. More often than not after work hours.

    When you started to interact on your fan page, what was the frequency of your updates?

  20. Hey Neil,

    You should also take a look at Involver, our apps are on over 20,000 fan pages and can help you add that extra level to your page.

    BTW, both Jeff and Hiten have given us product design feedback in person, would love to hear your experience in kicking the tires as a user.

    Also, when you run ads, explore the target friends of fans option. Closest thing to a silver bullet that exists in that system.

  21. I didn’t know about the stats page. That is pretty cool. Of course a little traffic never hurt anyone either. It does sound like a lot of time. Is it really worth the effort?

  22. isnt it actually kind of boasting urself.. when u have ur own fan page.. and u havent explained why ur quick sprout fan page did not attract as much people as ur fanpage did..

  23. Facebook fanpages are a great tool for businesses. They offer opportunities to connect, and engage clients, prospects, and joint venture partners. The trick is knowing what you need on your fanpage to make it all work.

  24. Facebook paid-ads work much the same way that PPC ads in Google and Bing work. However, the subtle differences between the two methods of paid search may make all the difference to some industries.

  25. Neal, thanks for sharing so openly. I am impressed that you responded to my question through Facebook in less than two hours, then though you had no clue who I was. I set up my fan page last Tuesday and have more than 260 fans so far. I am responding to all comments as you suggested and I believe it is making people feel special. Little Things Matter!

  26. Impressive tip. I have many fan pages for my company, client etc now I’m going to take it up as a challenge and focus on generating more fans, referral traffic. I’m sure this would increase our branding to the next level.

  27. Great post as always Neil, I’ve set a facebook profile a while ago, and couldn’t take times implementing a strategy to gain fans and motivate them to participate, these tips are great, I’ll implement them asap, means next.

  28. If you’re going to integrate your Facebook page with your web site, you might want to consider creating an Application instead. Application Profiles are basically the same as Pages, with Fans and everything, but can integrate more deeply with your own website, using Facebook Connect.

  29. Very interesting write up Niel. You taught me how to use the fan page. Now I know how to manage the page. Thanks a lot for inspiring me.

  30. Wow Neil, let me become a fan of you right away because this Facebook case study is exactly what I was looking for a client.

    Love ya!

  31. Thanks for the tips Neil. I’ve just released the latest version of Traxor Designs and along with this I’m embracing social media a lot more. The next logical step for me is to set up a Facebook page. The only worry I have is that it’ll make me look like a fool if I have no fans!

    I’m placing a link to your blog on my blog links by the way. I visit it often enough and your articles are always fantastic.

  32. BTW.. Neil it will be interesting to see how many fans you add because of this post. Do keep us posted. :)

  33. Care to share some examples of simple questions versus advanced questions?

  34. We posted pretty much about the same thing last week. I asked my readers to join my Facebook page and I went from 5 to 60 fans! :)

    It’s not as impressive as your growth but…..

    Hey please join my fan page Thanks. You can find the widget in the side bar of my blog.

  35. Great blog that you have up and running I have very much enjoyed reading your blog posts especially this one about creating a Facebook Fan Page as its something I have been looking at for quite sometime now.

    Thank you for the awesome information.

    Mark McCulloch

  36. I’m working on my fan page right now. Should have it complete in the next couple of weeks. Going to join yours now :-). Thanks for the advice!!!

  37. If your website does not have enough fans to support a fan page (ahem), then I would recommend using Networked Blogs as a starting point for followers. From Networked Blogs, you can put blog posts directly on your profile and network with others. A lot of people use it for cheap link exchanging but there is some value there to get some Facebook visibility. Networked Blogs is one of my biggest referrers, especially when I post an item to my Profile.

  38. Great article Neil – Thanks so much! It took me a few minutes to figure out where the link is to the stats, but I finally got it. You’ve also given me more inspiration to create dialogues with the page.

  39. Great Job you deserve a fan page.. I see you are playing with FBML do you need any help. You can do alot of cool things with FBML and make it your “home” page for facebook intergrating rss feeds, forms etc.

  40. I like your concept Neil. I have a fan page for my blog and a lot of my people have no idea that it is mine. I think the name fan page should do the trick. Thanks for the share

  41. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that the main benefit of having a fan page would be the incredibly useful demographics statistics. I think I will have to start a page now!

  42. facebook ads do not think useful

  43. This stuff may be useful to some but not all people. How can this really help, i dont understand this. Will that fan page bring more sales to a website say in the travel business?

    • They can, it all depends on how you market yourself. When people start becoming your friends, then you’ll have the ability to communicate with multiple people all at once. So to answer your question, yes you can make more sales, but not necessarily.

  44. Hi Neil,

    Great post. I do have one question.

    How were the Facebook email notifications generated and sent to your friends? Do you have an app for that? Let me know,

    thanks.

  45. Hey Neil,

    Well, I don’t really have any fans lol – I’m sort of an underground marketer with a handful of internet buddies.

    If I made a page, I would get maybe 10 fans, maximum.

    You on the other hand have an awesome following because of your blog readers and presence. See my point?

    Sincerely,
    Jay Jalodomisa

    • Well you need to start somewhere Jay…. 10 fans today can be 100 fans by the end of the week if you give them the right stuff. You’d be surprised at how quickly your page can grow.

  46. I have a Face Book page but hardly see it. I just feel that there are better ways to market on the Internet. My time is spent optimizing for what pepole search for.

    Nice Blog!

  47. I like the fact that you figured out that a face book fan page is an excellent way to do market research and analyze your traffic.

  48. Good notes about the importance of Facebook Fan Page.
    Following you. ;)

    Greetings from Macedonia!

  49. Wow Neil, let me become a fan of you right away because this Facebook case study is exactly what I was looking for a client.

    Love ya!

  50. mma pound for pound :

    great info neil, i like your blog and i will following your in facebook fan, really i impressed…thank’s neil

  51. Great Work. surely going to help me to optimize my site.

  52. I’m working on my fan page right now. Should have it complete in the next couple of weeks. Going to join yours now

    Thanks for the advice!!!

  53. Pretty good tips Neil! I have debated on starting a fan page but not sure if its deemed worthy for a smaller blog like mine.

  54. Facebook fan pages are a great resorce expecialy for PPC instead of paying for one visit to your website, let them become a fan of yours on facebook and it will pay off in many dividends…

  55. Facebook pages are great ways to bring up traffic to your website. I have seen an increase i my site traffic these last days as i have created my facebook pages. So go on for it.

  56. I have been considering setting up Facebook page for my site that is focused on paid and unpaid retirement jobs. I don’t feel I will get as many over 55 yr visitors to a Facebook page. But based on what you have experienced, it looks like it is worth a try. Just got to get on with it and give it a try. Thanks for the ideas.

  57. I’m ashamed to say I don’t even have a facebook account, even after all this time it’s been around and everything I’ve heard about it. I’m just not sure that with the niches I’m in I could really find that many “fans”.

    • Well choose a niche market…but start a facebook page (regular) right away. As you figure out how it works and understand the features it provides you with, think about how you’ll be able to integrate your business with it.

  58. How do you maintain you site since so many of your videos are removed due to infringement.

  59. Any particular reasons for removing the fan widget from your site, Neil? I thought it was working well for you.

  60. I am receiving follow-up posts to this one in my email, though I did not comment before. Yikes.

  61. Facebook Page Developer :

    Facebook Fan Page is really an effective way of market any brands and product online. It includes many factors of marketing. People may contact people directly and update them with your latest news. I think its a new begining of marketing structure.

  62. You can gain more visitors in many ways. You just have to take advantage of everything that offers even the smallest chance.

  63. Good notes about the importance of Facebook Fan Page.
    Following you

  64. Great post again Neil! But not everyone can get the follwers like that!As you are already popular you may get more friends from literally any social network.

    • It takes time, energy and obviously…. work! Without, you’ll just be stuck in la la land, expecting all this good to happen… So yes you can do it with any network, but there needs to be some sort of foundation behind it.

  65. Facebook fan pages are huge right now thanks to it being such a huge website, and unlink myspace you cant actually just ahve a million friends on each account you actually have to have a fan page where people can follow you, so in terms its like a blog somewhat.

  66. I have already started reading some of your articles. i found great articles here. And I will get back here. I just added your blog to my bookmark sites. thanks.

  67. I didn’t know you had a facebook page. You may want to put a link to it in the subscribe section. Anyways, I’m a fan now!

  68. I have been holding out on this one. But with all the current statistics. I need to catch up and start one.

  69. Awesome Niel. Thanks for writing this post and sharing it. I never thought that one could drive so much traffic from a Facebook fan page.

    I do have another question, not related to this though. I’ve been reading through a lot of your posts and I noticed that you have a minimum of almost 200 plus comments. How do you manage to get so many comments?

  70. You can gain more visitors in many ways. You just have to take advantage of everything that offers even the smallest chance. ://

  71. Hi Neil, dec 03 of your fan report shows 81% male and 18% female. Looks like you are not a ladies man. Just kidding. We love you.
    Greetings from Australia

  72. Hi, I have encountered my first real problem on my FB fan page I use as a store. I have been “locked out” from posting to my wall, seeing my wall posts & customer comments. Infact no one can see my wall. I have had several customers contact me & tell me they are experiencing the same problem when they try to view my fan page. This happend suddenly when I was posting alot of pictures to my page by hitting the “shar” tab & playing a live auction Game. Would it be that FB assumed I was a spammer? I have been warned about this glitch from other sellers & they told me it could be a few hours or days before I can post again, is this true?

    Any help would be appreciated.

  73. Never though a facebook page could be so effective, great content.

  74. Facebook fanpages are a great tool for businesses. They offer opportunities to connect, and engage clients, prospects, and joint venture partners.

  75. I try to be as clear as possible so I’m glad that you find this info useful towards your success.

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