In February of this year, I started an English speaking Facebook fan page for LinkShare’s parent company, Rakuten. Now, I ‘m experienced with building Facebook fan pages and social media promotion, and I anticipated that the international aspects would present an interesting new twist. Not many Facebook experts have the opportunity to work on global pages, so I knew I’d learn a thing or too. Over the next few months, I will be sharing various lessons learned in the hopes that you can avoid pitfalls and benefit from our successes. Then you won’t waste precious time ramping up your brand awareness and customer engagement on Facebook. Today’s post is about the importance of carefully naming your fan page.
What’s in a name? That which we call a Fan Page?
Creating a name is one of the first things you need to consider when creating a fan page. Don’t rush the process of deciding on your page name, because you can’t change it once it’s published. Your fan page name should take into account your brand name, and the purpose of your fan page (is it information, retail, branding, etc.), competitive research, search results for existing fan pages for the company or product, customer sentiment on Twitter and Facebook and other social media. Get input from all the company’s “stake holders” upfront. Does someone from marketing or PR need to sign off? What are the branding and logo use guidelines? What other keywords should be in the title? Remember this is a step you cannot reverse once it is implemented so your name is final!
When I first was put in charge of creating Rakuten’s Fan Page, I did some research to find out if there was any other fan pages existed. Considering the popularity of Rakuten’s site overseas, I was not surprised when I did find a few pages using the online shopping mall’s name.
While there were not thousands of fan pages, I still had the challenge of coming up with a name and then promoting the page so people would be more inclined to be fans or now ‘like’ our page. In a sense Rakuten was in competition with itself which provided yet another challenge.
I had no idea who was in charge of the other pages and there was no real way to get in contact with the other administrators, which I wish Facebook, would change, but that’s another story.
I wanted the title to be other than Rakuten as many other pages were called that, so after some debate, which was not nearly enough, I created the name “Rakuten – Shop Japanese Products.”
Now, let me explain the reasoning behind this. I came from the perspective of many individuals in the United States and other countries not know what Rakuten was. My target market was not only English speaking people, but people who in fact immigrated from Japan and other parts of Asia. I also wanted to translate to others that you can find authentic Japanese products on Rakuten’s website, which is why I added ‘Shop Japanese Products.’
I filled out the Facebook fan page form so I could start adding content, links and photos which I would then press the launch button and move forward with interacting and spreading the word.
The fan page was launched on January 7th, 2010 and within a few days we were gaining momentum and we all were psyched! People began communicating with us on the fan page and liked the content we were pushing out.
Then it happened….internally a discussion was brought up about how the fan page name was too ‘salesy,’ and how were individuals supposed to know we were the ‘Official’ fan page, to which I began to panic. All that work and effort into starting the fan page, 88 fans (yea I know does not seem a lot, but I did not want to annoy 88 fans to have them move or delete the page) and there are talks that we have to create yet another fan page. When the decision was made, at first I was irritated, but IMMEDIATELY turned my attitude around as these lessons are the ones that really stick.
Here I Go Again
There were several different options of Facebook fan page names:
- Official Fan Page –Rakuten
- Rakuten’s Official Facebook Fan Page
- Official Fan Page of Rakuten
Then it hit me…I remember doing some paid inclusion a year or so ago in Yahoo and remembered reading how the symbols can benefit not necessarily search engines, but can benefit from a user perspective. I did some more research and came across a blog post on the topic. While unclear if it weighs heavy when it comes to SEO, Paige Payne, and contributor for Search Engine Journal stated:
“…One probably should not expect to be rewarded by search engines for simply inserting a registered trademark symbol into the title tag. Rather, end users are likely going pay more attention to a title tag with it – translating into a higher click-through rate for the total number of impressions your site generates.”
After going back and forth with some ideas, our team finally set on Rakuten ® Official Fan Page.
What was interesting is once it was launched, our fans increased significantly faster than with the original page. Within two weeks we were over 300 fans which significantly more than we got with the original fan page and I believe it had to do with starting fresh and making the fan page name using the registered trademark symbol and also using the word official in it.
While the story is still unfolding (as the new fan page has only been around for a couple of months), here’s what I can share with you:
- Don’t rush it – Take time to consider the end result and how it will be viewed in two years or more.
- Brainstorm – meet with your all members of your team to think of the best Facebook fan page name’s that will be the best for what you’re promoting.
- Ask Around –Get input from people who are not in the thick of it. Ask your friends, colleagues, family. You might be surprised at what great ideas will come of that.
- Consider using the word ‘Official’ — it did seem to have some traction in gaining more fans faster.
- Don’t be lazy – Put effort in to the fan page. Throwing it up without fully completing the profile will not benefit your end result. Take the time to fill out your everything you think is important to your customers or prospects.
In conclusion, our team was very happy with the end result, despite the fact that we had to start over again and spend additional hours creating another page. The effort was well worth it and to date we are close to 4,000 fans (Likes) and growing. I will keep you up to date on the progress of the fan page and also share with you the new lessons learned.
Do you have any insight in to fan page names and ideas? Go ahead a leave a comment
-by Victoria Edwards , SEO + Social Media Marketing Specialist