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User Feedback on Facebook pages: 8 ways to optimize

Do you want to know how you can improve the UX of your Facebook page? Customizing your Facebook page is a challenge because a big part of the design is already there. The limited insights that Facebook offers into your page statistics provide little evidence on which to base your design decisions. That’s why we conducted a remote usability test of the Facebook pages of eight of the world’s most popular brands. Based on the results, we offer eight tips that can help improve the conversion of your Facebook page and get you more ‘Likes’.

Why does this page do well? We'll explain in a minute.

We set up a series of different tests including eight Facebook pages of globally recognized brands. 500 participants in total gave us feedback on the following three questions:

  • Which elements strike your attention the most?
  • Which elements on this page makes you like this brand? Please explain with a note
  • Where would you like to go from here?

You can participate in one of the tests here. On to the examples!

1. Show the personal side of your brand or company

The best Facebook pages immediately give users the feeling that they are getting a peek behind the curtain or a look behind the scenes, and make them feel like they belong to the family of the brand. This requires a different design strategy than the design strategy used for the original website of the brand.

A perfect example of this can be found on the Coca-Cola page. They highlight information about the page creators, Dusty and Michael. Supposedly, these two are such big fans that they created the Coca-Cola page themselves. Although the page is the property of Coca-Cola, you get the impression that it is a separate fan site.

Dusty and Michael, the page creators

Dusty and Michael, the page creators

Another very good example is Sony. They recruit people who want to be in their next commercial:

Sony has a contest where people can feature in one of their commercials

Sony was able to get some of their visitors to think about their brand in a creative way with this contest. Aside from a creative way to capture peoples attention, there must be a Benjamin Franklin Effect at work as well.

Do you want your own Facebook page to become more personal? Think about ways to add a sense of community to your design and its contents.

2. Use humor to break the ice

Brands—especially the bigger ones—often seem distant. A great way to weaken this perceived distance is to use humor. Humor creates a sense of honesty and trust. The way Red Bull points to their ‘Like’ button is a great example, as you can see below:

Like our page. Hint, hint.

Like our page. Hint, hint.

How do we know?

When confronted with the task: “Which elements on this page makes you like this brand? Please explain with a note”, our participants reacted very favorably to Red Bull’s humor. A selection of notes:

  • This is the best ‘Like’ image I’ve ever seen
  • I like what they’ve done with the arrows
  • This has a sense of humor, which is always good. Shows the brand is likeable and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
  • Extremely attracting graphic
  • I’ve never seen this before on Facebook. It makes Red Bull come across as a fun, non-stuffy website.
  • I just thought it was cute. Made me smile.
  • I like the artiness and cheekiness.
  • Neat way to direct attention to the ‘Like’ button

3. Visually emphasize the ‘Like’ button

Obviously, you want to be ‘Liked’, so draw the attention of your visitors to the ‘Like’ button! As the pages in our test show, this does not have to be subtle at all—big arrows can do the trick perfectly. BMW takes a softer approach by greying out their content, so the ‘Like’ button becomes more of an ‘On’ switch.

BMW, Amazon, Red Bull and Coca-Cola all put emphasis on their 'like' buttons

BMW, Amazon, Red Bull and Coca-Cola all put emphasis on their 'like' buttons

How do we know?

Our participants were four times as likely to click on the ‘Like’ button when confronted with the task: “Where would you like to go from here?” on the pages with visual emphasis on the like button (BMW, Amazon, Red Bull and Coca-Cola).

Participants were attracted to the arrows and found the 'Like' button more often on the Red Bull Facebook page

Participants were attracted to the arrows and found the 'Like' button more often on the Red Bull Facebook page

4. Give people an incentive to ‘Like’ you

You can point arrows at the ‘Like’ button, but what about actually telling people what they get out of it? Although people slowly get used to the idea that ‘Liking’ a page also means they get updates in their newsfeed, it can’t hurt to say it again. Amazon does a good job at this:

Amazon tells what happens when you click the 'Like' button

Amazon tells what happens when you click the 'Like' button

You can also go further and promise access to premium content or the ability to participate in Facebook-only giveaways to the people who ‘Like’ you, as another example.

5. Offer prizes, contests, and causes

Facebook is a great medium for putting up contests and giveaways. We already mentioned the contest Sony promoted that gives people a chance to be in one of their commercials. Contests and giveaways are more effective on Facebook than they are on a normal webpage because the sense of community is greater, and there are interaction mechanisms already built into the platform. This makes it easier and less intimidating to react.

Another good example is the interview with Noel Gallagher on the Adidas page. He gives away signed shoes that he designed himself. They announce it on Facebook and they take questions from their followers to ask to Gallagher.

Adidas creating buzz with an interview and contest

Adidas creating buzz with an interview and contest

Another example: Heinz has devoted their page to the cause of supporting the United States Army.

"Our turn to serve"

"Our turn to serve"

Of course, not everyone might agree with the sentiment they display here, but definitely makes Heinz more than just a ketchup brand.

How do we know?

A selection of notes on Adidas’ contest:

  • Chance to win!
  • I’m an Oasis fan
  • I’m a huge Oasis fan, so anything that Noel Gallagher endorses, I’m all for!
  • I like Noel, so I like that he is on this page
  • I like Noel Gallagher and his endorsement makes me feel warmer towards the brand

A selection of notes on Heinz’ cause:

  • It’s great that they want to support the vets.
  • I buy this product a lot, and I like the fact that they help others
  • I like the fact that Heinz supports the USO
  • Shows the brand is willing to give a little back.

6. Interactive games

Facebook is a platform where people spend their free time, and that’s why a lot of people play games on Facebook. Granted, designing one can be time consuming, but it can also be really beneficial as people connect the joy of playing a game they love with your brand.

Monopoly is all the rage over at McDonald's

Monopoly is all the rage over at McDonald's

How do we know?

McDonald’s notes:

  • I like Monopoly and have played the games
  • I’m a sucker for the Monopoly prizes
  • Associations with a game I enjoy amongst other things is always something cool.
  • The Monopoly game is always a fun reason to eat McDonald’s.
  • Everyone loves McDonald’s Monopoly

The Game also scored high on the attention task:

Heatmap for the task: "Which elements strike your attention the most?" on McDonald's Facebook page

Heatmap for the task: "Which elements strike your attention the most?" on McDonald's Facebook page

7. Customize your menu items

Your presence on Facebook is not limited to your welcome page. Aside from the default sections in the menu such as ‘Info’ and ‘Questions’, you can also add custom pages with custom icons. You can design these icons to stand out which encourages people to click on them and explore your Facebook page further.

How do we know?

On the task, “Which elements strike your attention the most?” and “Where would you like to go from here?” people did not click on the menus at all if it did not include custom items. Pages that have custom items in their menu do get a fair number of clicks here.

More clicks on the custom menu items on the Heinz page

More clicks on the custom menu items on the Heinz page

8. Focus on actual products!

The brands that are shown here all pimp their iconic products in a big way: Coca-Cola and Heinz proudly display their bottle, and Red Bull shows the can for example. If you sell something that’s tangible, well designed and part of people’s lives, displaying it will generate instant rapport.

How do we know?

Our participants reacted very strongly to the product images, as you can see below on the heat maps.

2 comments

  1. Funny Facebook

    #2 in particular stands out to me. Even if you’re not actively trying to sell something, engaging the user/customer in a manner that will make them more comfortable is extremely beneficial.

  2. Facebook Statuses

    I think to succeed now online you have to give rather than take and your post highlights this. Especially list number “4″ when you talked about how you should incentivise to let people “like” you.

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