The Right Reason to Have a Facebook Community
The movie "Field of Dreams," starring Kevin Costner, spawned one of the most well-known quotes of all time: "If you build it, he will come."
Costner builds a baseball field -- in the middle of a cornfield of all places -- and after a time thousands do come. The "build it and they will come" analogy has been used time and time again as the basis for starting a new business, developing new products and even in building online communities.
When it comes to building a Facebook community, your first step should be to watch "Field of Dreams" and pay close attention. After “the building” phase is finished, Costner had a lot of work to do and many obstacles to overcome before "they came" to play ball.
Once you build your Facebook page you’ll also have a lot of work to do. Building the Facebook page is only the starting point to gaining a Facebook audience. The actual page you create on Facebook is no different than having a static page on a website if you don’t move beyond just building and take the time to interact and be there for your Facebook friends.
The people who Like your Facebook Business Page are called "fans or followers" and while that terminology is OK when used in a report to the boss, your Facebook manager needs to think of these people as friends of your brand and make being a friend the biggest priority in managing the community.
I love Webopedia on Facebook. I like the interaction I can have with people who need more answers than what they are able to pull via the Webopedia database search. I enjoy reading the comments, I enjoy helping our Facebook friends find answers to their technology questions and I also enjoy reading the conversations they have with each other.
I think it’s fun to post Webopedia trivia, quotes and random questions to help me learn more about the people using our Facebook Page. Of course, I also post links to new articles and term definitions from our website – but it’s more than just a link, there is usually a discussion too. When people comment and join the discussion this helps me to provide more relevant and better computers and technology content on Webopedia.com.
Our Facebook page is an opportunity to interact with friends of Webopedia in ways we can't via the website. It’s a way to be a friend -- and this isn't something you can achieve with a Facebook page that only offers automated feeds and a corporate voice. You might have the odd fan come because you built it, but if you don't put a real person behind the management of your Facebook page, people won’t be a real friend. You'll have a group of "Like People" who really don’t care.
I think the only right reason for building a Facebook community is because you truly want to talk to and have real conversations with your brand’s Facebook friends. Otherwise why would they come?
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