At the end of February 2009, Facebook launched Facebook Pages as a way to allow businesses and brands to strengthen their online image on Facebook and increase their potential interaction with Facebook users.
A Facebook Page looks very much like a regular Facebook Profile and there are several organizations and business that have one such as AT&T.
According to official figures from Facebook, there are:
- More than 3 million active Pages on Facebook
- More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
- More than 20 million people become fans of Pages each day
- Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans
- Average user becomes a fan of 4 Pages each month
No matter how impressive these figures are.
Apparently they are not enough for Facebook. Here’s why.
Facebook Profile vs Facebook Page
First, let’s understand the difference between a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Page, and why would a marketer prefer to create a Facebook Page rather than a Facebook Profile.
The difference between a regular Facebook profile and a Facebook Page is that instead of becoming a friend of a brand/organization/company, you become a fan. A well-thought feature is that brand/organization/company CANNOT add friends. This is a great practice of permission marketing because it forces users to really think whether they want to become a “fan” or not of a brand/organization/company. Therefore, the “fan” gives permission to the brand/organization/company to contact him or her, making communications personal, relevant and anticipated (the 3 pillars of permission marketing).
Marketers really like Facebook Pages because they provide marketers key insights into the gender, age range, geographic location, and languages spoken of the fans of a Facebook Page. There are other nice features like number of pageviews, comments, video views and more, but the key insight is gender and age. Below is a screen shot of sample Facebook Page’s Insight:
Having the age range and gender of fans from a Facebook Page allows the page owners to create more effective Facebook Ad campaigns.
So, what’s the problem?
Enter: Your Weekly Facebook Page Update
The problem is that admins from Facebook Pages appear not to be engaging in their Pages as much as Facebook would like.
A couple months ago, Facebook started asking permission to Facebook Page admins for their e-mails so that Facebook could start contacting directly, rather than through the Facebook back end.
On Wednesday March 17, 2010 Facebook sent out the first “Your Weekly Facebook Page Update” to the millions of admins around the world.
The e-mail said:
Hi -insert your name-,
Here is this week’s summary for the Facebook Page: -insert your Facebook Page name-
+ or - xxx Fans this week (xxx total Fans)
xxx Wall Posts, Comments, and Likes this week (xxx last week)
xxx Visits to your page this week (xxx Visits last week)
Update your Fans:
Visit your Insights Page:
Get more Fans with Facebook Ads:
The Facebook Team
The e-mail is well developed because it is straight to the point. Facebook wants its Facebook Page admins:
- Create more content!
- Track their Facebook Pages more actively.
- Spend money on Facebook Ads to get more fans.
No matter how impressive the growth of Facebook Pages are, Facebook needs to monetize on them. Facebook is trying to get its Facebook Page admins more active by communicating with them directly on their email inboxes with a list of objectives: more content, more fans, and more ads.