Since my last post, Making The Most Out of Google Places got such good feedback, I thought I would do a similar style post for Facebook Fan Pages.  Facebook Fan Pages if used correctly, can be a great way to drive traffic, generate leads and sales.  When Facebook first launched, it was primarily used to communicate for your friends.  Now, everyday it seems that a new application or feature is being added to Facebook that gives marketers a new opportunity for reaching their target market.

Create a Custom Fan Page URL

Having a vanity facebook URL can help with branding, aesthetics, and usability.  Once you have 25 Fans, you will be able to create a custom Fan Page URL.  Go here to set your Fan Page URL.

Lead Generation

Using the FBML Facebook app, you can insert HTML into any Facebook Fan Page.  This will open up so many options, because it gives you the flexibility to turn your Facebook Fan Page into a page that has the functionality of a regular website.

So by using the FBML app, this can help with lead generation by adding a compelling offer or free piece of content, where you then integrate a contact form that will go to your email marketing system.  Just last week, I added a custom tab for the Free 10 Week Marketing Course that I am now offering.  Basically the tab is a JPEG that integrates with my AWeber marketing system, so anytime someone requests the 10 week course, they go into my email system.

Promote Live Events

If you are going to be putting on a live event, webinar, seminar, or meetup, you can promote it via your Fan Page.  OneUpWeb does an excellent job of creating custom tabs that feature there upcoming webinars, which you can sign-up for right from their Fan Page.

Facebook also has an Events tab that will allow you to publish upcoming events, where fans can RSVP to the event.

Sell Your Products

It’s pretty amazing what you can do with Fan Pages, but selling on Facebook? …that’s just awesome.  You can allow a user to purchase a product, right from within Facebook, without ever having to leave your page.  More and more online retailers are integrating a shopping cart within their fan page that will cut down the number of steps needed to purchase.

On a side note, buyers are becoming much more comfortable with purchasing online.  Back when online retail was up and coming, people were a little skeptical about how secure their information was.  Now that online shopping is “the norm”, shoppers are not only comfortable purchasing on a website, but social shopping sites like Facebook, Etsy, eBay, and Amazon.

Get Great Reviews

People LOVE reviews, especially for local retailers and restaurants.  Just like on Google Local, City Search, and YellowPages, people always check out the reviews left my others to see if they should go somewhere or use a company.  Facebook has a Review tab where people can rate a company and leave comments.  Try reaching out to your current customer base to see if they will leave a positive review on your Facebook Fan Page.

Run Contests

A great way of generating buzz about your brand or products, is by creating a contest.  There are lots of different ways you can run contests on facebook.  You can simply add a contact form with a graphic using the FBML application or you can use premium applications like Wildfire that will allow you to run contests with added features.

Track Your Fan Page with Google Analytics

So if you really want to better understand your Facebook Fans, start tracking your Fan Page with Google Analytics. Of course you can always settle for Facebook Insights, but it is limited as to what data it provides, so take your analytics to the next level and start using GA to track your fans.

Social Media Examiner wrote a post that walks you step-by-step on how to integrate Google Analytics with your Facebook Fan Page.

Promote Your Fan Page with Facebook Advertising

With the Facebook Advertising platform, it give you more targeting options that any other ad network, including Google.  You can drive a lot of cheap clicks and traffic to your Fan Page, while getting lazer traffic traffic.  Target people’s interests, age, gender, location,  likes/dislikes and other Fan Pages, to put your ads in front of your target audience.

Make sure to join the StayOnSearch Fan Page!  Also please provide a link to your fan page in the comments below and let us know how you are using your Fan Page for your business.