Facebook Fan Pages – Ask WIIFM

social media marketingWIIFM – What’s In It For Me – it’s the foundation for any successful marketing campaign.  However, it’s important to note that the What’s In It For Me should not in any way, shape or form be applied to your OWN selfish needs and desires.  You must maintain laser focus instead upon the satisfaction and delight of your customers and potential customers.

It’s with the WIIFM mantra in mind that I will ask the question here – what’s in it for me to become a “fan” of your business on Facebook?

Facebook Fan Pages: The Facts

Do a bit of research on Fan Pages on Facebook – and you’ll see lots of marketer’s singing it’s praises.  Among the chief selling points:

  1. It’s free.
  2. Pages contain links.  (Links to your own site – even though you can’t control the anchor text – well, hey – see #1 … it’s free.)
  3. The updates appear on every fan’s page (free publicity)
  4. You can send updates to fans – for free.
  5. A Fan Page has the potential for higher SERPS for a variety of reasons
  6. Um – did I mention it’s free.

So creating a Facebook Fan Page is FREE.  Great – free is great – when there’s value. KFC discovered that free is a powerful marketing incentive – but it’s a disaster when you offer free without limits.

There’s no doubt that a Facebook Fan page can provide GREAT value for the businesses that create them.

Ann Smarty at Search Engine Journal writes in evaluating the difference between creating a Facebook GROUP and creating a Facebook FAN PAGE:

  • Pages are generally better for a long-term relationships with your fans, readers or customers;
  • Groups are generally better for hosting a (quick) active discussion and attracting quick attention.

Ok – so there are a LOT of benefits to smart marketers by creating fan pages or groups on Facebook.

Notice, I qualified the above statement – SMART MARKETERS.

Because – again – creating a Facebook Fan Page without keeping in mind the WIIFM mantra (or worse yet, applying that mantra to your OWN selfish needs and desires instead of focusing upon the satisfaction and delight of your adoring fans) – means that you won’t get much other than free links with meaningless anchor text (worth exactly as much as you’re paying for them)  from your Facebook Fan Page.

Before you create a fan page – ask yourself – WHY would anyone want to become a FAN of my business?


In order to answer that question – you’ve got to have a clear vision of your customer’s GDP (Goals, Desires, Problems).

Seriously – if you don’t know the answer to “what is my ideal customer’s GDP?” – pick up a copy of my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results

Knowing what makes your customer’s buy is the most important piece to the marketing puzzle!  If you don’t know – you need to figure it out!

Sometimes – if you’re lucky – your fans will take matters into their own hands.

One of the most searched for recipes online is the recipe for Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits.  The chain has a closely guarded secret recipe for those delightful little biscuits which overshadow every other offering on the Red Lobster Menu.  (Seafood… really, they serve seafood there too?)  The biscuits are by far the best thing on the menu so it should come as no surprise that the Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits fan page on Facebook has over 400,000 fans.

What is surprising is the fact that the fan page was not created by Red Lobster!!!

It was created by true “fans” of the delicacy – likened by the page’s creator to “the Krabby Patty on Spongebob”. A fan of the product had time on his hands and created a fan page.  The “viral” properties of a Facebook Fan Page took over from there.

Every time a fan of Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits posted a comment on the fan page – it showed up in the fan’s news feed.  Other “fans” found the page and many of the fans write disturbingly amusing love notes to the delicacy … and provide other social commentary.

The page creator posted on April 30 that he “just talked to the President of Red Lobster…. he approves of the page!!!!”

Um – if you’re a business owner, the fact that anyone can create a “fan page” for your business should cause your blood to run cold.

I’m just saying – a fan page can get ugly FAST!   Read The shit fight is beginning- should you join in? for how fast – and ugly – things can get in the social media universe.

The fact that the Fan Page not being controlled by the Red Lobster chain may be the reason it is so popular.  Even though the President of Red Lobster approves – he has to be uncomfortable knowing that one of his flagship products branding is now in the hands of a true “fan”. (The fan page is #6 on a search for the keyword by the way- well ahead of any “official” page sanctioned by the Red Lobster chain.)

What’s in it for fans of the Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits?  Well, a recipe for the delightful treat along with a lot of witty banter.    What’s in it for Red Lobster?   Perhaps the real value of this fan page is to provide insight for the chain as to what people REALLY love about Red Lobster – and unfortunately it isn’t the seafood entrees!


  1. The fact that anyone can create a “fan” page probably is worrying for many business owners, but if the page is created by true fans it can only add to the overall marketing of a company. The only concern with this is that just about anyone can create one of these pages, that could potentially cause problems.

  2. Good post – the marketing maven once again asks me questions that I haven’t yet answered. Like many I jumped in early and created the fan page for my coaching business with the best of intentions. But alas because I haven’t strategically oriented it – it sits mostly idle. Thanks to your questions I’ll re-think the whole initiative.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Works last blog post..To Hell With What They Say

  3. Tom – One important thing to remember about fan pages is that if YOU don’t create your own fan page – someone else might. Having a fan create your page is a GOOD thing if it’s a true “fan”… however, it could be disastrous if the “fan’s” intentions are nefarious.

    Fan pages are an important part of reputation management. They can be a great tool – or a great terror – just like everything else in the wild and wooly world of social media marketing!!!

  4. Oh wow something new to learn about and I would definitely want to create my own fan page…

    Just for info. I had Red L Biscuits…those gooey, partially cooked, wads of fat and just disgusting addiction bombs that truly condition our children and 60% of adults to think that is what food should taste like … diabetes wrapped in fat, but making so much money for the pharmaceutical companies it is falsely advertised…

    Patricias last blog post..Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth ~By David C. Korten

  5. Patricia – I love your description of the “delicacy”…. as “disgusting addiction bombs”. You’re right – once you’ve eaten a healthy diet of low fat, high fiber “natural” foods – those “delicacies” do leave your mouth feeling like it’s been coated in paraffin wax. Unfortunately, taste buds do get accustomed to what ever you shove in there – and if it’s been grease, fat and sugar – then that’s what you’ll crave – more grease, fat and sugar.

    Maybe you should start an “anti-Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits” fan page!

  6. Gotta love Patricia… “gooey, partially cooked, wads of fat.” I adore her.

    “What’s in it for me?” – I want the PR people who flood my inbox asking me to do free reviews to answer that question. 🙂

  7. Kathy says:

    Vered –

    It’s amazing isn’t it? PR people are SUPPOSED to be marketing pros yet it seems that marketing pros are the absolute WORST about applying the WIIFM to their own actions!!!

  8. Thanks Vered and Kathy for your praise of my descriptions…but that is truly what they taste like to me…ugh!..

    Patricias last blog post..The Magic WANT!

  9. Kathy says:

    They only taste like that if you’ve been eating a high fiber, low fat diet full of “real” food!!! If you’ve been living on Starbucks and McDonalds- well, I believe THAT is the secret to their appeal!

  10. Hilary says:

    Hi Kathy .. thanks that was really interesting information – it’s so helpful to get some background information, especially if you’re a novice like me .. trying to learn – but without the muddle arising out of the quagmire .. always useful to know more ..

    Great .. just glad I’ve never seen the RLCBs .. or tasted them!
    have a good weekend
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters
    .-= Hilary ´s last blog ..Is this a petrified octopus with tentacles growing skywards …? =-.

  11. i’m still learning my way around Facebook. It’s good for those who need to market, but for a regular jane doe, i don’t see the benefit.

    i do like the way you think. it’s free!
    .-= Natural´s last blog ..Why I Miss The Rotary Phone =-.

  12. Now we need an article discussing how to effectively communicate with your fans once your Facebook fan count reaches healthy proportions!

  13. Facebook fan page says:

    its really informative post for small business owners because they can promote their business at facebook.


  1. […] an age of Facebook Fan Pages which can easily be created by your customers and which can operate beyond your control, you had […]

  2. […] Facebook Fan Pages – Ask WIIFM – Kathy of Virtual Impax reminds us to always answer the important question of “what’s in it for me?” when we ask people to do something for us. […]