7 Effective Facebook Pages YOU Can Create Right Now

Posted on by Dana VanDen Heuvel

I’m as much a fan of some of the awesome Facebook pages created for the world’s top brands like Starbucks, Cranium, Threadless and Harley-Davidson, but what about for the rest of us who don’t have that kind of budget or, frankly, the ‘need’ for the level of sophistication that those brands have applied to their pages.  We just need some solid design, some creativity and an overall engaging experience.

Here is a list of 7 pages that I’m I fan of for just that sort of thing.  These are page designs and ideas that are within reach of nearly every business without the need for thousands of dollars in Facebook development. Whether you’re a small business or a mega-enterprise, there are ideas here for you!

 

1. Lake Nona Pools

http://www.facebook.com/LakeNonaPools

 

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Aside from the fact that these guys need to update their welcome page to comply with Facebook’s new 520px page size format, these guys have a great, simple and engaging welcome page that does exactly what it’s supposed to!

These guys also do some GREAT audience involvement, such as this photo that got 90 COMMENTS! when they asked people to ‘tag’ themselves in the photo based on where they’d like to be in the pool for the ‘Friday Pool Party’.  They also answer any question that comes in about pools, maintenance, safety and so on. They’ve positioned themselves as an outstanding resource in their area for pool upkeep.

In fact, they’ve been so successful on Facebook that they’ve received one of the coveted Facebook business stickers!

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What YOU can do:

  1. Create an inviting welcome page
  2. Create ‘Facebook rituals’ that engage your audience daily or weekly
  3. Answer questions
  4. Be helpful to engage your audience on Facebook.

 

2. Ocean City Maryland

http://www.facebook.com/OceanCity

Yes, you’re correct, this is a Facebook page for a municipality, and it’s one of the more interesting one’s I’ve seen.  For starters, they have a great welcome page that they rotate seasonal images through and have used some simple Facebook Connect trickery to get the ‘like’ and comment functionality embedded right on the welcome page.

 

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They also have a very well trafficked and engaging post wall where they answer questions, ask questions and generally stir up interest in Ocean City!  They are posting as many as a few times a day on happenings in the town and garner a significant number of comments and likes on each post, further spreading their message.

Their photo page is outstanding. They have over 1200 user submitted photos. Think about what kind of ‘virtual travel brochure’ that makes!  Your company/city/department couldn’t possible capture all of the exciting moments that are possible when people interface with your brand. This is truly a great example of ‘letting your customers do your marketing for you’!

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What YOU can do:

  1. Integrate Facebook Connect on your website and Facebook page
  2. Sustain a consistent and ‘often as your audience finds interesting’ content publishing regiment
  3. Do everything you can to encourage photo posting from fans, customers and everyone who experiences your brand
  4. Share as many of those photos as you can in your own Facebook postings

 

3. AGCO

http://www.facebook.com/AGCOcorp

This has to be one of my favorite Facebook pages, and it’s not just because a few friends run it. I’ve always loved tractors and AGCO taps into the emotional aspects of their customers’ attachment to their farm machinery in a way that few B2B companies have done to date.  While the AGCO Facebook site is a collaborative effort, there are some really solid things going on here that you can learn from and emulate.

 

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AGCO does a great job of keeping their page ‘profile picture’ in the upper left updated and relevant based on what’s going on with the brand.  more to the point, the design it so that the thumbnail image (which is a derivative of the large 200 x 600px image) always represents the brand. Right now they have a blog content running that they’re promoting on Facebook and across their social media channels.  AGCO also does a super job of keeping up with answering questions that are posted and offering guidance to their Facebook fans.

Flexing the muscle of their Facebook tabs, AGCO also keeps their Facebook audience current by leveraging the power of the tabs to put information on new products and features that would likely be of great interest to their fans which might otherwise get lost on a large corporate website.

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What YOU can do:

  1. Make the most of your “Page profile picture” in the upper left – you’ve got 200 x 600 pixels – it’s often wise to use as much of that digital real estate as you can
  2. Mirror your Facebook page to reflect your offline and other social media marketing efforts and campaigns
  3. Answer any and all questions that come in through your page
  4. Encourage fan photos, comment on them and make fan engagement a central component of your Facebook presence
  5. Attend trade shows with still and video camera in hand and interview your customers, distribution partners and everyone in between – make them slightly famous by posting on Facebook and encourage sharing
  6. Sustain a consistent and ‘often as your audience finds interesting’ content publishing regiment
  7. Use your tabs wisely. AGCO makes excellent use of the Facebook tabs featuring everything from new product launches to contests to integrating the blog and video content
  8. Share photos as often as you can in your own Facebook postings

 

4. AJ Bombers

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Milwaukee-WI/AJ-Bombers/54727050805

AJ Bombers is the best burger joint in Milwaukee. Period. While they are ‘huge on Foursquare’ their Facebook presence is pretty admirable as well.  These guys have done a great job of integrating Foursquare and ‘location based marketing’ into their overall online strategy.  They also have a rock solid (albeit a bit more complex) integration that brings their website content into the site through “More AJB” tab on Facebook and offer a link to their gift card site through Facebook as well.  If you did nothing but fan AJ Bombers on Facebook, you’d be in the loop on everything they do.  Specials, media mentions, cool fan updates and just about everything that happens in the restaurant makes it onto Facebook.

 

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What YOU can do:

  1. Make Facebook a one-stop-shop for everything that anyone could want to know about your business.  Make sure that everything (menu, hours, location, phone # – everything!) is on the page to make it easy for them to find you and do business with you.
  2. Mention your other products and programs (like gift cards) on Facebook tabs. 
  3. Integration location marketing into your online (and offline, through window stickers and such) strategy to encourage visitor ship and to make each visit matter that much more (turning your best, most connected patrons in a ‘daily viral visitors’)
  4. Mirror your web page in a Facebook tab
  5. Shout out to and connect your best fans by their Twitter handles (add those to your customer database!)

 

5. Sainsbury’s

http://www.facebook.com/sainsburys

Sainsbury’s is a UK grocery store chain that’s done a few really cool things with their Facebook page.  They have one  of the best welcome pages I’ve seen in a long time (that changes with the seasons) and make it a point to answer nearly every question posed on their page.  Fans know that they can get a response from the brand using Facebook. 

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What YOU can do:

  1. Make an AWESOME welcome page to get potential fans hooked on the immense value that you deliver through your page
  2. If your organization relies at all on any ‘how-to’ information, create and host videos to share with fans. Sainsbury’s uses their kitchen facilities to shoot video of things that they’d be doing anyway (testing recipes and preparing deli food) that fans will also find interesting.
  3. Answer every question. Sainsbury’s is constantly monitoring their Facebook page for questions & comments and makes a point to get in touch with fans who have concerns or questions, often answering them publically (as shown above) and sometimes privately as well.
  4. Mention your other activities in the community on your page

6. Jo to Go Coffee

http://www.jotogocoffee.com

I use this example in almost every one of my social media classes as an illustration of a brand that’s gone all the way with the concept of the ‘siteless web’ in that they’ve gotten rid of their website and run the web presence for the business using a combination of Facebook, Google maps, Scribd and other lightweight and low cost apps.  Jo To Go does a good job of keeping up with some regular posts on Facebook about happenings at all of their locations.  They have also smartly leveraged things like Google maps to map out the locations of their stores.

One area that they have developed that many restaurants and retailers on Facebook have not is their Reviews section. They have several reviews, some positive and some negative, but they’ve not responded to a single one.  We generally recommend responding, and doing so quickly, as some of the other examples in this post do with comments on their pages.

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What YOU can do:

  1. Replace your website, or even make your next micro-site out of Facebook
  2. Integrate other cloud apps to augment the Facebook functionality as needed, such as Scribed and Google Apps
  3. Solicit reviews form patrons on Facebook (and anywhere else that makes sense for that matter!) and respond to those (both positive and negative) to bolster the community around the reviews.
  4. Offer deals, specials and other incentives to Facebook fans.  Another coffee shop/restaurant, the Dessert Gallery in Houston, has some great, proven results in this case study on how valuable their Facebook fans are to their establishment

 

7. Queens Museum of Art

http://www.facebook.com/QueensMuseum

Every non-profit and community organization thrives on attention and in the case of a venue like the Queens Museum of Art, visitorship.  I love how these guys really rock the events feature in Facebook. They have over 140 events listed!  These guys are also really consistent about their updates on events, items of interest to fans, community happenings that their fans might be interested in and so on.

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What YOU can do:

  1. Post daily, or even a few times a day.  Keep it focused on things that are of relevance and value to your audience.
  2. Events! Post all of them. If you have something going on, put it on Facebook.  Facebook events show up for your fans on the right hand side of the page when you invite them, so keep posting those events!
  3. Use the Extended Info tab to share even more information and background about your organization.
  4. Use photos extensively. The move visual your product or service, the more you should use Facebook’s photos component (or integrate with Flickr or another photo sharing site) to get the visual message across.

Let’s Recap:

These are some examples that I thought were both smart AND approachable – stuff that can be done by almost any business with their Facebook page.  What smart examples have you seen?

Top 23 Ideas!

  1. Make an AWESOME welcome page to get potential fans hooked on the immense value that you deliver through your page Create ‘Facebook rituals’ that engage your audience daily or weekly
  2. Answer any and all questions that come in through your page. Sainsbury’s is constantly monitoring their Facebook page for questions & comments and makes a point to get in touch with fans who have concerns or questions, often answering them publically (as shown above) and sometimes privately as well.
  3. Be helpful to engage your audience on Facebook.
  4. Integrate Facebook Connect on your website and Facebook page
  5. Sustain a consistent and ‘often as your audience finds interesting’ content publishing regiment
  6. Do everything you can to encourage photo posting from fans, customers and everyone who experiences your brand
  7. Share as many photos as you can in your own Facebook postings
  8. Make the most of your “Page profile picture” in the upper left – you’ve got 200 x 600 pixels – it’s often wise to use as much of that digital real estate as you can
  9. Mirror your Facebook page to reflect your offline and other social media marketing efforts and campaigns
  10. Encourage fan photos, comment on them and make fan engagement a central component of your Facebook presence
  11. Attend trade shows with still and video camera in hand and interview your customers, distribution partners and everyone in between – make them slightly famous by posting on Facebook and encourage sharing
  12. Use your tabs wisely. AGCO makes excellent use of the Facebook tabs featuring everything from new product launches to contests to integrating the blog and video content
  13. Share photos as often as you can in your own Facebook postings
  14. Make Facebook a one-stop-shop for everything that anyone could want to know about your business.  Make sure that everything (menu, hours, location, phone # – everything!) is on the page to make it easy for them to find you and do business with you.
  15. Mention your other products and programs (like gift cards) on Facebook tabs. 
  16. Integration location marketing into your online (and offline, through window stickers and such) strategy to encourage visitor ship and to make each visit matter that much more (turning your best, most connected patrons in a ‘daily viral visitors’)
  17. Mirror your web page in a Facebook tab
  18. Shout out to and connect your best fans by their Twitter handles (add those to your customer database!)
  19. Replace your website, or even make your next micro-site out of Facebook
  20. Integrate other cloud apps to augment the Facebook functionality as needed, such as Scribed and Google Apps
  21. Solicit reviews form patrons on Facebook (and anywhere else that makes sense for that matter!) and respond to those (both positive and negative) to bolster the community around the reviews.
  22. Offer deals, specials and other incentives to Facebook fans.  Another coffee shop/restaurant, the Dessert Gallery in Houston, has some great, proven results in this case study on how valuable their Facebook fans are to their establishment
  23. If your organization relies at all on any ‘how-to’ information, create and host videos to share with fans. Sainsbury’s uses their kitchen facilities to shoot video of things that they’d be doing anyway (testing recipes and preparing deli food) that fans will also find interesting.
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