If you want to get very far on Facebook, the first thing you need is a lot of followers. How do you do that? Use this back-to-basics guide for building your Facebook fan base.
You can find a dizzying number of articles about how to make your social media presence better but you, probably with some frustration in your voice, 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 go back to the 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 in its infancy, everybody was concerned about getting more people to “like” their page. Gaining likes made sense because Facebook was putting your posts in front of a significant number of your fans.
Things are different today. If Facebook were a country, it’s 1.3 billion users would be the third largest country in the world—three times the size of the United States. 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 without investing money into advertising.
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But that doesn’t mean you should forget about gaining fans. A small percentage of an increasing amount of fans is still putting your message in front of more people and paying to advertise to your current fans will likely be cheaper than other methods.
Finally, from a business perspective, the number of fans isn’t as important as how many are engaging (fancy social media term for interacting) 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.
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“But how do I get People to Notice Me?”
Before talking strategy, 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.
Don’t take the “Social” out of Social Media
Social media is about forming relationships. People not only consume content online, they fully expect to form, and build, relationships with other like-minded people. If you can form relationships with people, through giving away something that is free and valuable, and then following that up with dialogue, 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.
5 Ways to Really Build Your Fan Base
- Viral Content- Is there a funny video or “meme” (those pictures with words on them) 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.
- Take it Offline- Print your Facebook address on receipts, store signage, company vehicles, business cards, and whatever else you use to advertise. But don’t stop there. They need a reason to visit the page. Remember the free and valuable content? Tell people it’s there. “For a list of 10 ways to make your lawn greener, go to our Facebook page.” Make that article a sticky post that always stays at the top of the screen.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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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 pairs of eyes in no time.