Social.icio.us Thursday: Using Facebook Pages for Your Brand: How Threadless Cracked the Code To Engage Its Customers with Its Facebook Page

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Social.icio.us Thursday: Using Facebook Pages for Your Brand: How Threadless Cracked the Code To Engage Its Customers with Its Facebook Page


Posted by: Micheline Sabatté, Product Marketing Manager for Paid Search & Performance Media

Facebook’s enhanced Pages allow companies, products, bands—and even celebrities—to create a more customized presence in which they can post compelling content to recruit fans and followers. In Facebook, Pages are different than Groups because Pages must be managed by an official representative of the brand or company, according to Facebook’s terms of use policy. The real value of FB Pages comes from leveraging the connections between friends on Facebook, which enables Fans to spread a brand’s message to their friends and serve as the brand’s ambassador.

The Facebook Pages Product Guide (PDF released in March 2009) describes the new features for Pages using The New York Times as the example. As the provider of “all the news that’s fit to print,” The New York Times is naturally blessed with a vast amount of news content that can be fed into its Facebook Page to keep it fresh, timely and compelling.

Brands and companies who live outside of the publishing world may have a more difficult time producing the content that is needed to keep a user actively engaged with a Page. In fact, our very own Performics Page is currently in the process of undergoing a major FBML (Facebook’s version of HTML) face-lift and strategic overhaul this month so that our FB Page provides a more engaging user experience and a constant stream of compelling content.

In my search of shining examples of Facebook Pages, I came across Chicago-based Threadless, the community-centered online apparel store run by skinnyCorp. I believe Threadless has successfully cracked the code to engage its customers with its Facebook Page. Not only does it have a fully customized Page, but it also has mastered the art of producing compelling content such as videos and photo galleries to engage its T-shirt buying audience. The popular Thursday giveaways (happening today!)—where two employees (Bob Nanna and Kristen Studard) create a short video and spin a homemade prize wheel to reward “ran fans” (which stands for random fans, or people who have become fans of their Page) and fans who post comments to the Wall—are a great example of how Threadless keeps its Wall buzzing with activity.

Threadless 

To find out more about the success Threadless is having with its Page, I reached out to Charlie Festa, who is the Community Manager at skinnyCorp and star of a Friday wrap-up video series, in the following interview:

Micheline Sabatté: You have been able to recruit 50,000 fans for your Threadless Facebook page. (Note: this number will undoubtedly rise by the time you read this. I witnessed the number of fans grow by 4,000 in the past week). What have been some of the key drivers and strategies for successfully growing your fan base and engaging your consumers?

Charlie Festa: Yes! WOW! 50,000 and growing!  That sure is a lot of folks! In terms of some of our key drivers and strategies: We are very active on Facebook. We are a young company where everyone in the office has a FB profile. So anyone within the community can reach out to any of us, anytime. We’re all about having fun, engaging the audience and letting the community know that we are here for help, support or shootin’ the breeze.

MS: How many different FB applications and modules are you currently using on your Facebook Page? Which ones get the most user activity/clicks?

CF: The only thing we use is FBML allowing us to customize the page to our liking.  As far as activity and clicks goes, Facebook has a built in analytics system. On our Page, we can access “view insight” to monitor some basic activity info. 

MS: Are you able to track activity that converts to actual sales from your fan page? If so, how is this done?

CF: As I was saying about the “view insight” feature that tracks Facebook activity/clicks. From there I use Google Analytics to track from Facebook to Threadless. It is quite simple and quite free. Google let's see all that juicy info.

MS: How many people on staff are involved in creating the content for the Threadless Page?

CF: There are several. All facets of the company help out with making the fan Page precious. Tech, CS, Creative, Marketing…everyone pitches in.

MS: What kind of additional features/capabilities would you like to see developed, specifically for brands using Facebook Pages, that do not currently exist?

CF: Not sure…It seems like Facebook has been coming out with a lot new things lately. It is hard to keep up with all the new jazz. However, I have seen some cool things. I was reading about a new feature that will allow a FB user to text FB/Threadless to become a fan. Getting the phone involved seems like a great idea. 

MS: Do you have any advice for brands that are interested in creating a Facebook Page?

CF: Well, we keep it simple on our Page. We do a lot of fun giveaways and take care of our customers. My only advice is: stay active and always keep the door open!

Keeping it simple, fun and active seems to be working well for Threadless, and serves as some great advice for those who are interested in improving their Facebook Page presence. I praise Threadless for successfully understanding their core customer base and for actively creating the right kind of content to resonate with those customers. I’m your fan!


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