Facebook is a powerful marketing tool because it allows you to create a community of potential buyers and lead a conversation. However, many businesses limit their definition of Facebook success to the number of fans/Likes their page has. But is that really the best way to look at it?
Although a high number of Likes can add credibility to a business, quality is more relevant than quantity. The fact is, many Facebook users never return to a page after they’ve Liked it. And you are almost certain to have fans that have chosen to unsubscribe from your news feed, so they don’t even see when you publish content!
This doesn’t mean you should discount the number of fans you have as an important metric. What you should do is focus at least as much on what percentage of your fans are actually engaged with your content. Here are sixteen tips you can apply to increase both fan numbers and fan engagement:
Promote your page on your business card
Include your Facebook page URL on your business card. When you hand out your business card to network with potential customers or partners, you’re giving them the option to easily contact you via Facebook message, leave a positive comment for your fans to see, and even like or share your page and its content.
To set a custom Facebook URL, go to facebook.com/username. You can only set it once, so choose wisely – it should be something easy for your customers to remember.
Add your page to your online signatures
You should also include your Facebook page URL in your email signature, and in your message board user signatures if you are active in a niche online community related to your business. Do this and your page is only one click away to those that read your emails and your message board posts. Those that stumble across your message board posts may want to continue the conversation with you on Facebook.
Link your page as your place of employment
If you list your page as your place of employment on your personal Facebook page, it will appear as a clickable link under your Profile Picture and in your About section. When you appear in search results or when friends are browsing your personal page, they can click this link to view your business’ page. Encourage your colleagues to do the same.
Take event photos and tag attendees
Planning to host a party, showcase, charitable event or seminar? Take lots of pictures during the event and put them in a photo album on your business’ Facebook page. While you’re at the event, mention to your guests that the pictures will be available on Facebook (and hand them your business card with your page’s Facebook URL as a reminder). Tag images to the appropriate people and encourage your guests and colleagues to do the same.
Tag your page in your status updates
By entering the ‘@’ sign and then typing the name of your business’ Facebook page, you can update your status with a clickable link back to that page. If you start gaining Likes on your status update, this link will show up in the news feeds of people who have have Liked your update, which can expontentially increase your exposure.
If you are posting a comment on a blog related to your business, include your Facebook page URL. If you are running a promotion exclusively on Facebook, mention this in your comment as a call to action for others to click your link.
Share your page with friends
Share a recent post from your business’ Facebook page on your personal Facebook page. Your more supportive and interactive friends are probably going to Like your page, engage with your page’s content, and even share it with their own friends.
Another easy way to share your page with your friends is by selecting the ‘Suggest to Friends’ options when you are viewing your business’ Facebook page. Once you have selected your friends they will receive a notification the next time they sign in, requesting that they Like your page.
Encourage fans to upload and tag photos
Depending on your business type, you may be able to encourage fans to upload their own pictures onto your Facebook page. For example, if you sell t-shirts, then you can ask your customers to upload a photo of themselves wearing one of your t-shirts. The photo will appear on their friends’ news feeds with a link back to your page.
Like box/button on your website
Get a Facebook Like badge, button or box put on your website. Ideally this should be placed above the fold so that visitors can easily Like your page without having to scroll down.
- To get a Facebook badge: click here
- To get a Facebook Like box: click here
- To get a Facebook button: click here
Offer incentives for Liking your page
Give people an incentive to hit that Like button. For instance, a special discount, exclusive content, or the chance to enter a competition or giveaway. You can use an app to create a Facebook landing page with a “reveal tab” which contains content visible only to those that click Like.
Quality and quantity
A big part of growing your Facebook fans is consistency. You should be updating your Facebook page at least once or twice daily. The content you upload should spark interest or virality with your Facebook fans. The more you update the page, the faster you’ll be able to recognise what works and what doesn’t.
The key to virally growing your Facebook page is by doing more of what people like such as interesting images and updated industry news, and less of what people don’t like such as constant hard selling and “look at me” spam. Similar to having a conversation with somebody that you’ve just met – if you constantly talk about yourself and don’t give them a chance to speak, they will disengage from talking to you or even worse, dislike you.
Another tip for increasing your engagement level: the most interactive posts are those that ask open-ended questions. They prompt fans to either fill in the blanks, answer yes or no, or choose between A or B. Some examples of open-ended questions you could use:
- “What is your favourite thing about _______?”
- “Which one do you prefer?”
- “What would you do if _______?”
- “How do you feel about ______?”
- “What are you looking forward to on _______?”
Partner with others
Look for a business in a related niche that has a very active Facebook fan base, and ask to partner with them. A great way to leverage other business’ Facebook communities is to run a promotion where you cover the costs and your partner promotes it to their fans. If the promotion is successful it will increase interactivity on both your Facebook pages.
No matter what industry or niche your business is in, there will always be an online community about it. Find the influencers in your niche and reach out to them – these are usually the popular bloggers and vloggers that other members of the online community follow. If you’re running a promotion or launching a new product or service, figure out ways to get one or more of these influencers involved – whether it be offering them free products or services to review or complimentary access to an event. In return they will post about their experience with your brand and get other people in the community talking about it.
Run a Facebook ad campaign
Planning to advertise on Facebook? Make sure that you track your growth and engagement level with Facebook Insights. Your Facebook Insights will display detailed demographic information to help you effectively target your ads. You will then be able to segment your ads according to age, location and interests.
Get an attractive profile picture
A picture says a thousand words so optimise your Facebook business page with a high quality image. The dimensions should be at least 200 x 600 pixels. The more eye catching and attractive this image is, the higher the chances are of people clicking onto your page once you appear in their news feed or as a Facebook ad in their sidebar.
Be creative with your cover image
Invest the time to create a cool or memorable cover image for your business page. When you change your cover image, it will appear as an update on your fans’ news feeds, so the more Likes you can generate on the new image the better it is for your page’s exposure.
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