The guide to a perfect Facebook Official Page (or as they used to call them: fan page) for your business or organization isn’t a mathematical equation. I’d say it’s more like how you cook dinner. Sometimes the best recipe still needs that pinch of salt, dash of spice, or a shake of a secret ingredient to make it burst with flavor.

Certain things can make a fan page great: a well-defined terms of use for posting, consistent updates, behind-the-scenes access (whether in pictures or video, etc.), use of extra branded pages on tabs, etc. The key ingredient to make them shine is simple; the conversations held with the consumer.

Has your CEO ever expressed that he doesn’t understand what’s so special about a Facebook page? I’ve been asked “isn’t it just an extra website”. The answer to that is no for many different reasons, especially if you make the extra effort to respond to your public. Responding is as simple as a “thank you” or as complicated as an apology note to someone offended by your company’s actions. Either way, I bet it will only take a small part of your day to respond; yet the pay-off is immense. Companies and organizations that do this on Facebook often create the best fan pages. People like to know they are heard. It’s not enough to let them express their opinions or tell their stories; you have to let them know you care. I cannot count how many times I’ve seen or heard people on Social Media outlets, people on the street, friends, and even colleagues in the communications business get excited when The Marine Corps responded to their question; or when Express promised (and actually sent) a new sweater after they posted a comment about their outrage over the wrong shipped sweater that Customer Service refused to exchange.

Next time you start to wonder what can give your Facebook fan page the extra oomph it needs, first start by thinking of ways you can respond to your consumer so they know their voices are heard. It seems like an easy concept but I can guarantee half of your competitors aren’t doing it right now.