So do I need a ‘Facebook Page’

Facebook have introduced ‘pages’. I have started talking about the need to set up one of these new type of pages on Facebook to politicians but given that they are already under huge pressure from attempting to maintain their websites, youtubes, email, facebook profile, etc, their initial reaction has not been positive. I have been told that they do not have time to maintain what they already have, let alone set something else.

It’s not that long ago that the same was said to me about setting up politician websites, and less time that an MP said they didn’t have time for a Facebook profile (which the individual still does not have and is missing out on a huge opportunity to reach out to constituence). So when will politicians realise if they do not utilise these methods of communication first then their opponents will?

There are major benefits to Facebook pages for businesses and politicians, unlike groups Facebook members can become ‘fans’ of products / musicians or ‘supporters’ in the case of politicians. Facebook pages offer statistics showing the demographics of those supporting or fans of your pages together with visitors, video and picture views. With these you can then see if it is really worth maintaining the page.

When a Facebook user becomes a fan or supporter your page will appear in your profile as one of the users ‘pages’. This is far more prominent than groups which are a simple text line.

One of the biggest benefits is from the search listing. Not long after setting up a Facebook profile you will find it’s public listing on Google, which will generally rank this high due to the popularity of the site. By setting up a Facebook page you will generate a separate listing, helping you dominate with pages you influence the top positions in search returns for your name of product.

Searching Facebook pages shows that American politicians, or their supporters at least, are catching on.

Barack Obama is massively outstripping

Hillary Clinton in supporters in this new type of Facebook method of promoting individuals and products. I suspect that the difference in numbers of supporters is more related to the adoption of this new form of communications rather than a direct correlation to the level of support of Olbama and Hillary respectively.

It will not be long when a politician who does not have time to create a Facebook page, let alone profile, may not have time to get elected.

Setting up Facebook pages
Setting up a Facebook page is very simple, all you need is a Facebook profile to get started. At least you just have to add a picture together some details about you which you can cut-and-paste from another piece of your publicity. You can disable the ‘wall’ if you will not have time to monitor the page, and control the amount of interaction by adding discussion boards etc if you do have time to maintain the page.

After setting up make sure you have some friends who can become a ‘supporter’ which you can then invite – not forgetting to become a supporter yourself (this is not automatic).

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