Facebook redesign wins fans in the PR community

When facebook redesigned its ultra-popular social network last month, it also introduced fan pages that allow organizations to create profiles resembling those of standard users.

When facebook redesigned its ultra-popular social network last month, it also introduced fan pages that allow organizations to create profiles resembling those of standard users. The fan pages also give PR pros new ways to engage with audiences on the service.

For example, Adena White, programs and marketing associate at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, recently launched a fan page with third-party applications, such as videos, to promote the Arkansas-based educational facility.

“I like that our updates appear in [users'] status messages,” she says, adding that the social network's group pages did not allow such updates prior to the redesign.

Joe Cockrell, director of PR at InHouse Assist, recently created a fan page for the healthcare organization to expand its social media channels, in addition to creating a job board.

“There are a variety of tools and plug-ins,” he says.

Because fan pages allow status updates, they can be effectively used to solicit feedback from consumers – not just to blast information. Updating the pages frequently, the standard rule for all social media, definitely applies in this case as well, Cockrell adds.

He explains that if enough users from a network are fans of an organization, Facebook will suggest to other network members that they also become fans.

“So a great growth strategy is to target many people who are in the same network,” Cockrell advises.

However, Aaron Kwittken, CEO and managing partner of Kwittken & Company, says a common pit-fall of organizations is creating a fan page that only attracts employees and vendors.

“Then it's hard to build momentum with a broader audience,” he explains.

Key Points:
Facebook's new fan pages allow entities to build pages that resemble standard user pages

If many people from one network become fans of a brand, Facebook will suggest other members in the network do the same

Social media rules still apply, so companies shouldn't blast information or brand blatantly

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