Building A Strong Base of Facebook Fans
Over the past few months I have been approached by multiple businesses that are actively leveraging Facebook to grow their business, but have become frustrated with the results. They have created their Facebook Business page, they post every day, and they even get involved in discussions – only to find that the number of people “Liking” their site has not exceeded 50 and that Facebook has yet to drive any measurable new business. This seems to be a common occurrence and I believe that many people have misconceptions on the starting point of using Facebook for business.
Let’s start by stating the obvious – Facebook is a tool. It is a tool that provides an easy way for large groups of people to share and consume information. The challenge a marketer faces with Facebook is that everyone is overloaded with information and one needs to find a way to make their information more important and consumable then the next. Although I do agree there is value to the social aspect of social media, I do not believe that just because a friend suggests a piece of content that content becomes more engaging to me. I still need to find a way to connect with the end user and to make my information top of their priority list.
So where to start – I normally like to convey to my clients that the single most important goal when starting a Facebook page is to build a strong base of followers as quick as possible. As we are building this base we must incentivize the followers to get more people involved and to stay engaged through a series of milestones. We also need to include the social media strategy within other forms of marketing – whether traditional or online.
Ideas to Consider
1. Develop a User Acquisition Campaign – The first item to consider is what we can do to incentivize people to “Like” the page, to get others to “Like” the page, and to ensure that all are engaged with the content we are distributing. A common example that meets all objectives is to establish a giveaway to a single or set of fans once the page reaches a determine number of Likes. People “Like” the site to enter the giveaway, encourage friends to “Like” the site in hopes of achieving the objective, and engage with the content for the purpose of knowing the status of the campaign.
2. Market the Campaign Across Other Forms of Media – Now that the campaign is established, we must communicate to individuals who might not find it under normal circumstances. Press Releases, Emails, PPC ads, print advertising, and even traditional mail are all viable options.
3. Create a “Like” Page with an Incentive – Once we have gotten an individual’s attention, we can also create additional intrigue by offering incentives that are available only to people who “Like” our page. You can do this by using the “hidden content” tags available within Facebook.
4. Ask Questions and Reward Answers – Although we have established one milestone in reaching the desired number of fans, we still need to ensure that users are engaging and prioritizing our content over that of others. A traditional way to accomplish this is to ask questions to your user base that reward correct answers with prizes or giveaways.