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Best Practices for Facebook Fan Pages: User Types

Welcome to the first of radical trust's series on “Best Practices for Facebook Fan Pages”.

Every Facebook Page is a unique experience where users can become more deeply connected with your business or brand as they would a friend or family member. This first of several posts will deal with understanding the Facebook fan page user types.

Facebook is a platform for communication. Although many users have joined brand pages advocating various messages, the average Facebook user doesn't want content pushed to them, particularly contests or other promotional programs that don't speak to their overall enthusiasm for a brand. These types of promotions can be supported on the Facebook Fan Page, but should not be the primary focus and should be housed in other digital arenas.

Successful communities on Facebook offer an attitude of openness, transparency and enthusiasm - not a technology platform for advertising.

The following outlines 3 fan types  who participate in Facebook's “Fan Pages”.

#1 The Enthusiast: Representing the greatest number (85-90%) of participants, the Brand Enthusiast is simply a person who wants the Facebook equivalent of a “bumper sticker” on their profile. Since they make up the bulk of the community, attracting them to join is a very important objective. They are enthusiasts of a brand and they want the world to know it.  It's wise to encourage this consumer to participate more in the group, but be careful not to over “spam” them because it's just as easy to leave a page as it is to join. A bulky enthusiast population promotes community vitality.

#2 The Advocate: The next largest group (5-10%) of participants represents the people who will continually update content on the page by simple “acknowledgements”. These people consume the content and post messages on the wall, provide feedback on message boards and comment on content. It's important that you give as many places for the Advocate to participate as possible. The reason this is so important is twofold:

  • The more participation you initiate from a Brand Advocate, the more vibrant the community becomes. They feed the “ego” of the person who provided the original content (Brand Influencer), and often encourages them to produce more content.
  • Every time a person participates in any way on the Page, their personal “news feed” broadcasts their action, thereby promoting the brand to their entire network.

#3 The Influencer: Representing the smallest group is the Brand Influencer at about 1%. This active community member provides all the advocacy and enthusiasm of the other group members, but is also active in original content creation. These “uploaders” are very important in the long-term health of the community.

Many companies make the mistake of assuming the primary role of Brand Influencer in their community over the long term. It's important to assume this role to establish momentum, but over time, if no brand influencers self-identify and no user-generated content is contributed, the community will begin to suffer credibility issues and lose its vibrancy.

For a global Facebook population breakdown, visit this post where I break down the population of each country with numbers current to August, 2008.

Tags: collin douma, facebook, facebook strategy, Fan Pages, online community, radical trust, social media


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  • Mar 16 Posted 7 years ago rajsinha  learn more about the type of users drawn to Fan Pages. According to Radical Trust, there are three types of people utilizing facebook fan pages: the Enthusiast, the Advocate, and
  • Sep 29 Posted 8 years ago collind Lourdes, How does the opinion in Groundswell differ compared to what I wrote above? I have not read it yet although it is in "the hopper".  I'd be very curious to understand where the differences are! I have enormous respect for the work of Charlene Li. There are many opinions on this stuff... For me, this has worked when developing a strategy for a vibrant Facebook Page Community with my clients. I am always open to bettering my offering. Please expand on your insights!

    I have posted the second of the "Facebook Page Best Practices Series" where I cover the difference between Global vs Regional pages on Facebook. My global clients are running into this everyday... http://www.radicaltrust.ca/2008/09/26/best-practices-for-facebook-fan-pages-global-brands/
  • Sep 26 Posted 8 years ago LourdesAlvis Did somebody forget their copy of Groundswell in your pod?

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