Last year, I read several posts about launching a '365 Things...' page and decided to go ahead and give it a try. I launched '365 Things to Do in Omaha, NE' and had some great early success, as I outlined in a blog entry from April of last year entitled "1000 fans in 36 hours! Thanks Active Rain!"
Here are a few things that I learned as I'm nearing 10,000 fans.
Early on, I chose not to allow fans to post. I quickly changed my mind and now strongly encourage fan postings. I have gotten several ideas for a 'thing to do' from a fan post. Of course, I had to monitor it pretty tight early as there were a few unsavory posts, and a lot of spam early on too. Not so much monitoring is needed lately.
In the first several months, I posted every day. I backed off for awhile to see if the page would grow on it's own with less frequent posts and sure enough, it did. I believe I went from 8000 to 9000 fans without much from me at all.
I am now back to posting at least 5-6 times a week because, quite frankly, I missed it!
Here is a formula I found very helpful in deciding what to post. Of course there were exceptions but for the most part, this worked great.
Monday: some type of landmark or major city attraction
Tuesday: some local or quirky family owned restaurant
Wednesday through Saturday: weekend events, trying to emphasize on family friendly activities
One VERY helpful hint; keep a desk calendar of ideas to post about two weeks ahead so you don't have to come up with stuff at the last minute. Also, bookmark some 'event' sites in your town to check for upcoming 'things to do'.
Another few things I learned were to contact some of the upcoming event organizers and offer to put them on the page in exchange for some free giveaway tickets for fans. I have done some trivia questions or 'first ones to comment' giveaways too.
I search for events or attractions that had two things: 1) a website and 2) a fan page of their own. This was not always the case but works great if you can find it.
I would always try to 'tag' their fan page along with whatever other fan pages I could work into the post to maximize my cross-promoting. for example, if a radio station is going to be there, tag their page too, if it's an event at a major city auditorium, tag that too. etc... That way, depending on their page settings, your post may show up on their page, thus giving their fans a chance to join your page too.
I also started a twitter feed, although it hasn't grown at nearly the same pace: @365Omaha.
Work out some special deals for your fans if they mention your page. Over the summer a friend of mine who owns a mini-golf course offered 'all day for 5 bucks' if you said you were a fan of the '365 Omaha' page. Find a restaurant that can do a 'buy one entree, get the second for $3.65' special for your fans.
I put a link on my main real estate home page to find 'Things to Do in Omaha' also and can trace definite traffic from that link. I have offered the link to other agents as well, since I, as a REALTOR, am nowhere to be found on the page (see explantion below).
Unless it's profane or grossly offensive, leave a negative comment alone. I found that other fans would stand up and comment to defend the event/venue, etc.
Here's the bottom line that I've been asked. 'Bill, Have you gotten business from this page?" I can answer that a resounding yes. To start with, I chose to operate the page stealthly, without me, as a REALTOR, showing up on the page at all, thinking that I may alter that in the future. Several of my real estate friends are fans of the page too and I wanted to broadest audience possible. But now I've decided to leave it the way it is, a stealth fan page, as far as actually BEING on the page is concerned. (I know, some people think I'm nuts to do that!)
However, according to my friends, family, past clients, general sphere of influence, and many business owners around town, I am that page. They know who to call if they are involved in an event or a charity fundraiser, etc and I've been glad to oblige them when I can. Of course, not all recommendations make it on the page but most do.
I've had countless referrals from friends, family, or past clients who work into their recommendation for me something like... "He's not only a great REALTOR, but he does that '365 Things to Do' page on facebook."
The page, although started as sort of a 'labor of love' has definitely turned into a worthwhile endeavor.
Ten of Bill's Posts about Real Estate or the Marketing of Real Estate: