Thursday, December 30, 2010

#147 - 10 Facebook Pages Actually Worth “Liking”

Have you noticed the dramatic increase in the number of “suggestions” you're receiving from Facebook friends asking you to “like” various company, brand or business pages? The vast majority of companies have, unfortunately, “leaped before they looked” onto this enormous Facebook bandwagon. Social networks are all the rage, but most business pages don't make the grade - yet.

Why click the “like” button?

If you’re wondering why you should click that “like” button, you are not alone. After all, what’s in it for you? Are you giving away too much precious personal information? Not really. The actual problem with pages is simply a lack of understanding by companies and page administrators, leading to too much promotion, too much hype and not enough real social engagement.

Keep in mind that Facebook is about real people talking to real people and that goes for pages, too.

The “like this page” phenomenon has many wondering just what makes a Facebook page good or meaningful. At first blush, it may appear that many pages are designed simply to attract fans and then sell us products. However, that's not the genuine purpose Facebook intended for these pages.

Facebook actually enforces strict rules concerning just how “promotional” any company may be within its business pages. Many have been unceremoniously deleted by Facebook simply because administrators never bothered to read the Facebook terms of service.

…and then there are the truly worthwhile pages

Many pages are authentic, and beneficial to the consumer. They are designed to provide a social space in which we, the Facebook fans, can actually make a difference, learn something, grow or gain exclusives – deals and values available only to us Facebook fans.

The following 10 pages incorporate some pretty unique features. They have attracted millions of combined fans and are still growing. These are the companies worth applauding because it’s very tough to build a fan base in the current environment, especially when you consider that thousands of new pages are popping up on Facebook every hour.

Based on an extensive three-month-long search and the subsequent review of thousands of the top performing pages (according to Facebook Insights), here are 10 informative, helpful, fun or just plain worthwhile Facebook pages for your consideration.

Seriously, some pages are actually worth liking.

1 – News on Facebook – A surprisingly informative page that highlights news and media companies on Facebook, thus empowering news and media companies and enabling them to connect with people, distribute information quickly, and gain presence through a number of viral networks. This Page is run by a group of Facebook employees.

2 – Diamond Website Conversion – This “diamond in the rough” specializes in guiding young companies through the wilderness of the Web. They help companies turn website visitors into actual purchasers. What makes the Page special is that every new Facebook fan actually receives a FREE idea to improve his/her own business. To date, this powerhouse optimization team (Carl and Marty Diamond) has given away hundreds of actionable ideas to fans who are putting those ideas into action.

This dynamic duo shows no signs of stopping, but I recommend liking the page quickly before this small business becomes a conversion giant! Products: Conversion Rate Optimization, Landing Page Design and Testing, Website Redesign for Conversion, and Website Analytics Integration. LINK:

3 – Kirby Shih Tzu A simple, smile-provoking page, ghost-authored by the adoptive mom of a 6-year-old Shih Tzu pup, named (you guessed it!) Kirby. This adorable pooch resides at the Calvert City Convalescent Center, a retirement home in West Kentucky where Kirby is an actual member of the staff. He shares daily adventures (and news about the facility) on this surprisingly popular Page. His following is growing quickly and with good reason. Who doesn’t need a smile every day?
Kirby’s fans are spreading far and wide as they receive daily glimpses into the “Kirbster’s” life and chores (tail wagging on demand and giving snuggles). Seriously, this little pooch keeps people smiling on and offline, as Chief Financial officer and Asst. Administrator Beverly McKinney
works tirelessly in the background. Through her ghost writing, she encourages us all to be a little kinder to one another and ourselves.

Earlier this year, Kirby led a drive for donations that snagged a new soft-serve ice-cream machine for center residents. Brilliant, we say! Kirby swears this was a selfish act (he loves ice cream), but we call it one of the most ingenious uses of Facebook going. If you‘re having a bad day, visit Kirby Shih Tzu for a guaranteed smile.

4 – Smarter Comics – Reading is so important to our success in life (and our children’s). That’s why author/entrepreneur Franco Arda has started an intriguing new company. But reading takes time and time is scarce today, so Arda has developed a better way to consume great business books. It’s an entertaining, visual summary format; it’s the classic comic.
Summary comics of important business books offer a creative solution for people on the go who want to get smarter, save time, and have fun in the process. By combining the visual power of comics with text, readers save time and the brain is able to grasp ideas faster and retain them longer.
Now, as a Facebook fan, you can download a comic free simply by “liking” the page and clicking on the link under the Info Tab. This page is growing fast. The conversations and fascinating people who drop in to chat definitely make this page a standout. The Smarter Comics page presents the world with a new concept, very well-suited to social media. Oh, and only Facebook fans receive exclusive offers…bestselling authors sometimes stop by just to chime in on the conversation.

5 - The American Red Cross - This is where people mobilize to help their neighbors—across the street, across the country, and across the world—in the event of emergencies or natural disasters. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to half a million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross. Millions who “like” this Facebook page are finding it to be a beneficial resource, just ask the victims of 2010’s Haiti earthquake. The immediacy of communication and connection is so valuable during times of crisis.

Some four million people give blood annually—the gift of life—through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. And the Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty to stay connected. What’s not to “like?”

6 – Positively Positive – Coach John Wooden once famously said, “Never lie; never cheat; never steal. Don't whine; don't complain; don't make excuses.” You’ll find these and other great daily quotes, encouragement and good company at this Page. Its mission is to combine the energies of more than half a million positive people all pooling their collective wisdom and resources in support of one idea: Keep it positive. Bottom-line? We like that.

7 – Target – More than 3 million people already “like” the Target Page with good reason – it’s meets a previously unmet consumer need. Target’s innovative use of Facebook’s navigation tabs adds value for fans and even allows them to give back. Just check out the “Give Joy” tab. This is where Target gives a little something while allowing consumers to do the same. Fans fill out the simple form to submit a “Gift of Joy Wish List” each week. Together, these fans are helping Target donate up to $50,000 to The Salvation Army – with no annoying Santa’s, bell ringers or red buckets – and no purchase necessary.
Another innovation is Target’s “Fit Finder” tab which saves fans time and frustration in finding the best possibly garment sizes. Fans can access the sizing solutions whether they want to shop at or at the local store. This is a great example of a major retailer doing Facebook right.

8 – Forrester Research, Inc. – The page for the independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 19 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research, customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 26 years, Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful. Forrester’s Facebook page is no less impressive than the company itself, supplying an endless stream of “must-read” articles, links and videos. This is one page every successful professional should “like” and fast.

Forrester focuses on the business implications of technological change. Uniquely, its research team guides marketing executives, business strategists, and IT professionals to create unified technology plans. Considering the continuing importance of technology in all our lives, the recommendation is an obvious choice.

9 – Ronald MacDonald House Charities – This charity has been working to improve the health and well being of children for over 40 years – touching over 4 million children worldwide every year. Families today are challenged with how to stay near and support hospitalized children. How does the average family afford to stay together in another city while a child undergoes treatment? Many do with the help of the Ronald MacDonald House Charities. It uses its resources to help families gain access to health care services during critical points in their children’s lives. By "liking" this page and joining the community, you're helping to give children (and their families) the support they need to heal faster and better.

10 – Inbound Zombie – You know about Facebook, Twitter and blogging, but do you know how nonprofit organizations can use them effectively? Where to start and what strategies to use to effectively drive awareness and donations for nonprofits can be found at Inbound Zombies on Facebook. Are you part of a non-profit struggling to keep up in this economy? Are you wrestling with the latest social technologies? The real problem is that you no one can do it alone. Your community needs you to stand and fight for the cause it exists to benefit! The mission of this page is to slay all Internet zombies in the service of all non-profits.

Who do you LIKE?
Do you have a personal Facebook page favorite? This list of 10 is but a small sample of the many excellent pages that exist to benefit consumers. They link us to each other and the products, issues and causes we genuinely “like.”

Post a link to your favorite Facebook page in the comments section. I promise to review every submission, and suggest the great ones to my entire network!

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