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If you want to get far on Facebook, the first thing you need is a lot of followers. How do you do that? Use these guides for building your Facebook fans.
You can find a dizzying number of articles about how to make your social media presence better but you are saying, “all of that advice sounds great but I can’t get anybody to my page so why does it matter?”
So let’s talk basics. If you want more people noticing you on Facebook, how do you make that happen?
Don’t Give “Likes” Too Much Credit
Back in the days when Facebook was beginning, everybody was concerned about getting more people to “like” their page. Getting likes made sense because Facebook was putting your posts in front of a significant number of people.
Things are different today. The platform’s algorithm is now much more selective with what it puts in front users because of the massive amount posts being generated. As a result, current statistics indicate that only 8% to 10% of your fans (the “likes”) will see your posts.
But that doesn’t mean you should forget about gaining fans.
From a business perspective, the number of fans isn’t as important as how many are engaging with your brand. In other words, if your 10,000 fans aren’t purchasing but your competitor’s 2,000 fans have increased her bottom line by 15%, who is finding more success in the digital marketing realm? Don’t use any page’s number of fans as an indicator of success.
Now let’s talk behavior. When people come to Facebook, they aren’t there hoping to see a bunch of advertisements. It doesn’t take long to find any number of people ranting about Facebook becoming too commercial, clogging up their newsfeed with ads, and more. People want to consume content that they find valuable. It could be informative, entertaining, or even controversial—it simply has to be valuable--and free.
What can your business give to current and potential customers that is valuable and free? If you’re a financial adviser, it could be expert advice on making a budget. If you’re a plumber, make a video on how to remove obstructions from a sink drain.
Social media is about forming relationships. People not only consume content online, they fully expect to form relationships with other like-minded people. If you can form relationships with people, through giving away something that is free and valuable, you have a new fan.
If somebody replies, likes, or shares your posts, thank them, respond to their comment, or go to their page and return the favor. If appropriate, send them a private message and further build the relationship.
Additional Ways to Build Your Fan Base
1. Viral Content- Is there a funny video making its rounds that relates to your business? Post it on your page. If it’s already making the social media rounds, you know people like it so take advantage of its popularity.
2. Give them something free- How about something like this? “Show us that you’ve liked our Facebook page and get a free cup of coffee.” A promotion like this not only drives fan to your page but it also forces the person to interact with you while they’re visiting. Whether they show you their phone screen or print a screen shot, they have to talk to you. Use the interaction as a time to form a new relationship.
3. Take their picture- Everybody loves to see their picture online. If you’re having a big event, sponsoring a charity function, or just taking random photos, let people know that if they go to your Facebook page, they’ll see the picture. As people share and tag themselves, the picture will put your name in front of a lot of people.
4. Pay for it- If you’re one of those people who is a little upset that Facebook now charges so people can see what you write, understand that it’s here to stay and your competitors are ponying up the cash and building their brands instead of you.
Facebook advertising is relatively cheap when compared to other means of advertising. As the platform gets more advertisement rich, expect rates to move higher but consider “boosting” a post or creating an ad. You can do it with as little as $5.
Before you put into practice all of those great tips you read about social media, you have to gain a following. Try some of the ideas above. Change them to fit your business and you’ll see more "likes" in no time.
Erik Boh and Lynn Pistacchio are the contributors to our