Facebook Removes Suggest Page To Friends Feature: Starting a Fan Page, What Should You Do?

by Jeff Schlauch on February 17, 2011

Facebook suggest to friends button is broken

As many have noticed… a few months ago Facebook removed the “suggest to friends” feature. If you are simply a fan of someone else’s page the feature is gone completely for most. So there is no way to spread the word about a page you like to your friends besides sending personal messages or clicking to “share” across the news feed.

That’s not so cool… Even worse is for admins. Especially in the case of trying to launch a new website or company.

You plan your strategy, plan your website design, write some fancy SEO enriched content, and after a lot of hard work it’s time to launch.

One of the most helpful free strategies available to create anticipation and produce a buzz amongst friends, family, colleagues, and clients is a fan page.  A lot of your Facebook contacts may be your number one supporters and your best source for initial traffic and referrals.  But there’s a big problem… We’ll get to that in a minute.

Around a week before your website launch is a good time to start getting fans of your page. Once you have a good handful you can announce the date that your site will be launched. To step backwards for a minute…

Typically to coincide with a website launch the steps for creating a Facebook  fan page and stirring up a frenzy go like this:

  • Click on +create a page.
  • Have a nice clear image of your logo (we believe in showing only a portion of it on Facebook to raise curiosity so people click through to your website to see the whole thing).
  • Fill out your information section (Use strong keywords for SEO but be friendly and not too forward) .
  • Have a few images to post relating to whatever you sell. Could be a product, images of your restaurant, or if you’re in services… show yourself in action.
  • A video could be a nice touch too. Include a virtual tour or something similar.
  • Include a few posts of interesting links related to your industry.
  • Last, have materials and posts ready for the next few weeks to be sure your page stays active.

Now it’s time! You have a great page ready, but uh-oh… wait a second. The suggest to friends button doesn’t work! For some of us it may appear on the page, it even will let you select friends and send recommendations but no one ever gets your suggestion.

The solution is email marketing. Even if Facebook does fix the suggest to friends feature, the function never gave you the opportunity to send a message along with your suggestion. Using a free e-mail marketing service like Mail Chimp allows you to send a nice personalized message to everyone, asking them to check out your new fan page and to follow it while also announcing the upcoming launch of your website.

Also to make things more exciting there is built in tracking to allow you to see who opens your email and who clicks through on your links. You can even see which links they clicked.

Some tips:

  • Pull together all your existing email contacts
  • If you are missing a lot of Facebook friends, although time consuming, you can go through their personal pages and find most of their email addresses.
  • I like to split my list into segments and compose different emails for friends & family than colleagues and clients.
  • Now save your lists as csv. files in Excel and upload them to Mail Chimp
  • Include your name in the subject line so it comes across as a welcome e-mail.
  • Design a nice branded template.
  • Make sure you learn how to use the “first name” tag. (you should include a first name column in your excel sheet so Mail Chimp can personalize each email to Dear “first name”)
  • Last compose your email, make it short and sweet… announce your fan page and a link – if available you can include a link to an coming soon page to your website.
  • Click the magic send button and watch the followers pile in. You should also recieve a ton of helpful and positive feedback from your supporters.

For a sample of one of our e-mail’s you can view here.

We just launched our new site last week and went from 6 followers to 59 after one e-mail campaign. To view our fan page click here

Hopefully this is a helpful solution to those of you trying to create a successful website launch.

Any feedback or questions are more than welcome! Best of luck with your upcoming projects…