5684115572_55bc83414f_mAt first glance, Facebook “fan” pages can look like the easiest tactic in which a company can engage in the world of social media. After all, even though they’re no longer called “fan pages,” company pages on Facebook are all about you and what you do, right? Well, not exactly. Without careful thought, Facebook pages can cause more harm than good. In order to avoid such painful scenarios, we submit to your our five tips for developing an effective company Facebook page.

1. Offer a link to your website: Granted, you can cover a lot of information on your Facebook page, but probably not as much information as you cover on your website. The best idea is to link to a special landing page only available from your Facebook page. That way you can more easily track how many people are clicking to your website from your Facebook page. We have our URL in our “about” section:

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2. Don’t “like” all of your own updates: One trick we’ve seen on some pages is that the administrator(s) of the page will “like” everything they post. This is done because it is believed it helps the post show up in Edgerank (the more “likes” an update gets the more likely it will show up). There is no definitive proof that liking your own content actually helps at all, but more to the point, this approach can make your company look really desperate. The more you strive to get attention on Facebook, the less likely you are to receive it.

3. It’s not a personal page: When you are using Facebook for yourself, you can talk about yourself almost all of the time and people won’t (usually) mind too much. If you’re using Facebook for business, however, it’s a different story. A person “liking” your page is not saying, “Please promote your products heavily to me five times a day.” What they are saying is that you brought them to the table. Now what kind of content are you going to offer? Industry-relevant information, helpful resources, and a personable approach go far further than a hard sell.

4. Be mindful of Facebook rules: A lot of companies try to use contests to build up “likes” on their page. Be very careful if you want to attempt this approach. Facebook has very clear guidelines and rules about what is or is not permissible in these scenarios. Failing to follow those rules can result in you losing your entire page. All of the Facebook page guidelines can be found here.

5. Have a plan for negative feedback: Social Media can still be the “wild west” when it comes to your brand. Your company might occasionally get negative feedback from an unsatisfied customer, or you might simply get spammed with inappropriate content. Have a corporate plan for dealing with those scenarios BEFORE you even begin your page, and make sure all page administrators fully understand company policy. The last thing you want is for your Facebook page to pave the way to a PR disaster.

These are just five basic tips to help you get started. If you would like more information or if you have any questions, let us know!

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/5684115572/ via Creative Commons