We had great attendance at yesterday’s webinar, Best Practices on Building a Corporate Facebook Fan Page for U.S. Hispanics. The session was moderated by Rosa Alonzo of MyLatinoVoice.com, and included guests Ada Luz Restrepo (Facebook), Lance Rios (Being Latino) and Wally Sabria (The Axis Agency/Unilever).

Gathered below are the key questions and answers from the Q&A Session. Many thanks to our guests and moderator for providing such valuable insight, as well to the attendees for making our first Social Media Webinar a huge success!

In summary, what are the top things to NOT DO when building a Facebook Fan Page?

SABRIA: Don’t be impatient. Rome wasn’t built overnight. FB Pages take time to grow. Plant the seeds of conversation and engagement and your page will surely grow into a flourishing community in no time.

Who are some of the Hispanic non profits that stand out in the Hispanic Facebook Fan page? What is different about building a Facebook Fan Page for a non profit?

SABRIA: FB Fan pages can be a great tool for non-profits as much as corporate brands. The same rules apply. Don’t be too pushy in the sell, and balance the content (limit call-to-action/call-for-donation messages to 10-20% of the overall postings). National Hispana Leadership Institute is one Latino non-profit using FB and Twitter successfully. (http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Hispana-Leadership-Institute-NHLI/78986446080?v=wall)

ADA: Please visit our Facebook Page Non Profits on Facebook in the link http://www.facebook.com/nonprofits

We have a client that wants to target Latinos in their Facebook fan page in Spanish AND English? Is anybody doing that and what are the best practices as it applies to running a Facebook fan page that is trying to be fully bilingual?

SABRIA: You can target posts by language, but as we’ve said, sometimes Hispanics (even Spanish-language preferred) don’t use the Spanish-language settings so you’d be missing them. We’ve done simultaneous double postings (1 in english and 1 immediately after in spanish). That’s one way to balance it out.

I understand that unless you are a major advertiser there are some restrictions with running Facebook-related contests. What are some ways around using contests to increase your Facebook fan page numbers?

ADA: According to Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, contests are classified as promotions and fall under our Promotion Guidelines. The best way to promote your contest is to use a third party application. We invite you to visit: http://developers.facebook.com/preferreddevelopers.

Obviously Facebook Fan Pages require people to actively update and monitor them. Approximately how many hours does a Facebook Fan Page like Being Latino take per week?

RIOS: I’d say dedicate 1 hour each day or 5 hours a week to your Facebook page for maintenance. The real time consumer is doing research on how to make your fan page better. This is an ongoing process and I dedicate close to 3 hours daily or 15 hours weekly to this.

Could you mention a couple great Latino Facebook pages to follow?

How do you classify a Facebook user as an active one?

(Active user = user who has been on fan page in last 30 days)

Is it dangerous to get “too many” fans because than the page could have less of a community feel and true fans of the page might feel like it’s not a tight-knit community anymore?

SABRIA: A good problem to have, I’m sure. But overall, if you moderate and manage the conversation closely and keep your messages personal it should always feel like a tight-knit community.

RIOS: I don’t think it’s dangerous at all. You can see which fan pages work and which don’t. The ones that you see working you spend more time on and get more people involved. Not every fan page will be as successful as the next.

If my company decides to use Facebook in Spanish to target my Hispanic audience, will Ada be available to take us through that on an individual basis?

ADA: I am sure you won’t need me to walk you through the process. Once you sign up for a Facebook Page, you’ll be able to complete the process with Facebok’s help. In fact, I invite you to visit www.facebook.com/facebookpages. Once there, click on the Resources tab where you’ll find a link to our Quick-Start Guide to get you started. You will also be prompted to download our detailed Pages Manual and get step-by-step instructions to create a Page now.

Any monitoring application we can use with Facebook?

SABRIA: Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics (both free) should be able to give you all the metrics you need.

How do you suggest I can sell the idea of using Facebook to my conservative employer?

SABRIA: You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. Many times conservative bosses/companies only (re)act when their competitors start doing it. Look out for competitors – surely they’re there already or about to.

RIOS: Facebook isn’t a thing of the future for organizations/advertisers, it is the present. The time is already here and there is no legitimate reason why anyone should say that they do not want to be on the space. Not being on Facebook is doing your organization a HUGE disservice.

Is it a good idea to have your Facebook feeds automatically update to Twitter, or should they be separated?

SABRIA: This depends on the Community management resources you have available for this effort. I think it’s best to customize Tweets with proper links and hashtags – FB won’t automate it that way, and it’s strange to see @/# all over a FB wall post. But if you don’t have the time to dedicate to both, it’s best you automate it, cause somethin’ is better than nothin’.

It really depends on the type of content that you’re offering.

How do we get our Facebook pages translated? What is the process?

ADA: All Facebook features (including Facebook Pages) will appear translated in the language you have selected at the bottom of any Facebook page using the Language tab. Whatever appears on the page that is part of the Facebook User Interface will display in the language you are browsing Facebook in. However, the content published in the Facebook Page will show in the language it has been published according to the administrator’s preferences. For example, if a user goes to http://www.facebook.com/practicopedia they will see the videos, updates, notes, etc. in Spanish. However, the User Interface language (the tabs, the left-hand side of the page, etc) will be seen in Spanish, English, or whatever other language you have chosen in the Language tab.

When a group creates a negative Facebook page towards your brand/company, what is the best response?

SABRIA: There are some scary examples of companies that have deleted negative posts only to receive an even harsher backlash. Best is to have community guidelines in place that establish what is acceptable to post as much as how to respond to posts. But general rule is that you should delete any consumer post that is offensive to others (not just negative to the brand).

RIOS: Address it. If you ignore it, people will call you out. The best thing to do is to nip it at the bud.

How do you track US Latinos that don’t necessarily change their settings to “Spanish”?

SABRIA: There are hundreds of thousands of FB pages. Imagine what other pages/themes/general interests your target might already be connected to. Reach out to the administrators of those pages and use related words as keywords for FB ads.

Are there any upcoming developments in terms of metrics?

ADA: We are constantly working to improve all metric systems on the site. I invite you to visit our page insights at http://www.facebook.com/insights.

How do you feel about removing comments from fans?

RIOS: I personally don’t like the idea. You create a fan page as a sense of open communication. By censoring people, you are doing the opposite of what people expect. The only time that I remove comments is when people spam the space.

I have problems with my Facebook groups options. Do you know if they have removed this option,and now call it Facebook pages? Or are they different?

ADA: Groups and Pages serve different purposes on Facebook. Groups are meant to foster group discussion around a particular topic area while Pages allow entities such as public figures and organizations to broadcast information to their followers. Only the authorized representative of the entity can run a Page.

Do you see a difference of engagement when comparing US-born Hispanics with Latin Americans still in their country of origin?

RIOS: Nearly 100% of my audience is US born. They are definitely engaged!

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