7 Actions That Will Triple Your Facebook Fan Base
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Would you like to triple the number of fans you have on your Facebook business page?
As you are well aware of by now, your business success relies on turning audience members into loyal fans who trust you and want to purchase (at some point) from you.
Facebook is the #1 social media platform used by businesses. In fact, according to eMarketer, 41% of US small businesses now use Facebook as part of their online marketing strategy.
Facebook success will never come overnight. It will require that you apply the 7 Facebook Actions you are about to read … plus a whole lot of focused action on your part.
Action #1: Create a Culture
Many business owners report that their efforts aren’t as effective as they would like. In a survey of over 3,700 marketers, Social Media Examiner found that only 45% felt their efforts on Facebook were working.
This underlines the need for business owners to understand how to create a culture environment more than a business environment on fan pages. Successful businesses then leverage their Facebook fan page to drive that culture feeling straight towards sales.
- As a business invite your fans to share their favorite things around a central theme (product based) and then vote on their favorites. Most votes wins a prize of some sort.
- Using Facebook groups to engage with your target market. Create a powerful culture that will continue to grow as your personal brand advocates who talk about your products across all of their personal pages.
- Encouraging a true community culture by social sharing through the use of Facebook buttons on your website.
Action #2: Optimize Your Facebook Page For SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Your Facebook business page is the birthplace of your business marketing. When you focus on optimizing your Facebook business page for SEO you do so with the intention of ranking in a Google search and also in a Facebook search for your brand name.
Your goal? Make it as easy as possible for your customers to find you. Let’s go over some tips that will not only make your page easy to be found, but it will be appealing when people get there. After all, we want them to hit that “Like” button. The following tips will optimize your page for both of these purposes.
- Choose a descriptive username. Your Facebook page username is simply the web address for your page (e.g., www.facebook.com/businessname). Your username should quickly describe the topic of your page or your full business name. You want search engines and customers to find you in Google and Facebook search. You must have at least 25 ‘likes’ in order to claim a vanity URL.
- Use descriptive keywords in your About section. Accurately describe your business and products, using keywords customers might use in search queries. Be sure to include your website URL in your description to encourage clicks through to your site.
- Pick the appropriate category for your business. Choose the wrong category and you have a serious problem if you want to show up in Facebook Search.
- Optimize your page images. Your cover and profile images should be professional quality, and should accurately reflect the look and feel of your brand. Cover photos are 851×315 pixels and your profile photo should be 160×160 pixels.
Action #3: Run Weekly Giveaways and Discounts
Research and experience tells us that most people will visit your page wall only once.
They will like your page, and then continue to interact with your posts that appear in their newsfeed – but will rarely (if ever) visit your actual business page again.
For this reason, your business page’s primary function is to drive a loyal following. You want fans (potential customers) who keep coming back to your page over and over again.
One way to drive this type of interaction to your Facebook page is to have weekly giveaways that you pin to the top of your page. Facebook allows page admins to pin one post to the top of their page.
At IMU we suggest that you switch up this one pinned post every week. Use your Facebook business page, and your weekly pinned post, to provide weekly discounts on your products. But also share great instructional videos and very detailed photos that help educate and entice potential buyers.
Using this blend of giveaways and value will grow your fan base. But this action is about so much more than just tripling your following. It is about creating a community where your members are active and engaged. Typically, a Facebook business page will drive less than 10% of your sales. But a business page gives your fans something of much more value. When you build your community based on value, you build a thriving hub of activity that generates feedback for you, provides suggestions on what they want more of, and tells you how to make better products that followers will buy.
Action #4: Produce A Lot of Content
People like Facebook business pages for many reasons. They want to learn more about the brand, discover new products, and get educated.
When used correctly content can be an incredible source of traffic, and can lead to increased engagement and authority for your business.
By producing content surrounding your industry-related topics, you can help establish yourself as an authority in your field. Offering useful advice and tips can help you become a valued part of their everyday life. You also become a person they are eager to see on a daily basis when they check into Facebook. As people grow to trust you, they’ll want to find out more about you (and your business).
The very first action that you should take when you establish your Facebook business strategy is to provide a lot of content in different media, like photos, posts, videos, and surveys and you MUST do it consistently.
Your website content and Facebook business page should work together seamlessly. Content shared on each of these mediums will funnel traffic through your marketing funnel from your Facebook page to your website and vice versa.
Ensure each piece of content on your site has a like and share button next to it. You can add these manually, or you can use a third party service like a WordPress plugin to customize your buttons and make the process of adding buttons easier.
To give your website visitors the chance to like and interact with your page, install the page plugin in the sidebar of your site. When setting up the plugin, you’ll be given options regarding how you want it to look.
Action # 5: Encourage Fan Recommendations
The most common frustration with business marketers using Facebook is that many of their fans don’t actually see their Facebook posts.
This is for two reasons: First, because of the sheer amount of content being shared each day, there is simply not enough room in users’ newsfeeds to show every single post. This makes the competition for placement in users’ feeds fierce, and results in decreased exposure for organic posts.
Second, Facebook’s algorithm is designed to show the most relevant content to users. Among a LOT of other factors, this also relies on how a person has interacted with your posts in the past (likes, comments, shares). In other words, the more popular your posts are, the more often they’ll be shown in users’ feeds.
Besides just showing up more in people’s feeds, there is a very good reason to encourage your fans to give your posts a recommendation (through likes, shares, and comments). People trust people who their friends recommend. Bottom line, when they see a post of yours shared by a mutual friend, they are more likely to consider using that product.
To give yourself the best chance of tripling your fan base, through fan recommendations, use the following actions for your posts:
- Use videos as part of your posting strategy. According to research, videos now lead in terms of organic reach. Since February 2015, videos receive organic reach of 8.71%, compared to a reach of 5.77% for text-only status.
- Use your page’s Insights tab. Understand what types of content are resonating with your audience. This data show you what types of content gets audience engagement. See which post formats are getting the most traction (photos, videos, links, text-only posts), as well as which topics your audience seems to be passionate about. Also note which days and times, as well as posting frequency, seem to work best with your fans.
- Post promotional content with an amusing, relevant, and appealing backstory. In 2014 Facebook announced they would severely limit the reach of posts that are too promotional. For optimal reach and to triple your Facebook fan base, you must limit the hard sell and instead tell stories. Remember, stories sell. But blatant pleas to buy your products do not. Ask yourself, “Would my fans like this post even if they could care less about the product?” If the answer is “yes”, then you are good to go.
Action #6: When & How Often You Post Matters
Fight the urge to get too caught up on posting only on certain days or at certain times. Bottom line, there is no magic formula to post timing. There is tons of research done on optimal posting time and frequency, but be sure to consult your Facebook Insights to see whether these best practices hold true for your audience.
A good rule of thumb to triple your Facebook fan base is to “strike the balance between informative and annoying” (www.Buffer.com).
Research done by Social Bakers finds that 5-10 posts per week is ideal: “Typically if you post fewer than 2 posts a week, you will not engage your audience enough for them to maintain a social connection with you, and you will lose engagement. If you post more than 2 per day (as a brand) you will typically lose engagement. That means the ideal number is between 5 – 10 posts per week as a brand, and as a media company, this is typically 4 – 10× higher, as news [is] information people engage with all day long.”
Action #7: Yes, Paid Alternatives WILL Increase Likes And Reach
The first 6 actions of this post detailed free strategies which will certainly increase your fan base. You will have to work much harder for that reach and therefore you should explore the option of supplementing your organic strategies with paid alternatives. Facebook currently offers two main ways to extend the reach of your page posts.
- Post boosts: Boosting a post will increase it’s visibility in users’ newsfeeds. You can choose to have your post shown to your page fans, friends of your fans, or to other people who you select through targeting.
Targeting options for your posts include interests, age, gender, and location.
To boost a post, simply click on ‘Boost’ when creating a new post; you’ll also find this setting on old posts if you want to boost a post that’s already been published.
- Promoted posts: Promoted posts can be accessed via your Facebook Ads Manager. To begin creating your promoted post, go to Facebook’s Ad Creator and click on Boost your posts. Note that while this is still called ‘Boosting’, you’ll have more targeting and budgeting options than by simply clicking ‘Boost’ from your page.
Understanding when to promote a post may be your toughest metric to determine. As a rule of thumb you will only want to promote posts for a specific goal. For example, if you are promoting a webinar, or driving traffic to a product post at your blog (among many other goals).
Choosing your campaign objective will help you meet your advertising goals.
Your ad can have three potential placements: desktop news feed, mobile news feed, and desktop right column. By default, all three options will be selected. To stop your ad from being displayed in one of these locations, simply click ‘Remove’ next to location name.
Don’t forget your strong call to action: Let users know what you would like them to do. You should let them know why they should click on your ad. This could be to take advantage of a sale or deal, to read content, to request more information, etc.
Use different ads for different news feed placements. While Facebook allows you to use the same images and copy for all types of ads, it’s important to create separate ads for each. Ads for mobile, desktop newsfeed, or desktop right column will likely all have slightly different objectives and will obviously be displayed differently within users’ feeds. Customize your ads for their intended location, and be sure to track their performance as you go long.
Tripling your Facebook fans is all about rewarding the people who trust you.
Treat your fans to lots of activities that get them involved. Once you have fans, you need to keep them engaged using the 7 actions we have shared above.
Your constant goal is excellent follow up as you see increased user-interaction with your content. You can build on that momentum from the quick injection of fans as they spread the word about your company across the social web.
Remember to always reward fans with great stories about yourself and your business. What are the stories behind your history? This is a great way to deliver that human touch that shows customers this isn’t just another business who only wants their money. You are a business with personality that truly cares about your customers.
Bottom line… running a successful business Facebook page must have a very human feel to it. When used correctly, Facebook will be your effective platform for finding and engaging with your target market, increase traffic,and result in sales conversions. Remember to always provide awesome deals to fans as a thank you for their following you and you will be rewarded with a community of fans creating conversations about your brand across the social web, and driving traffic to your website.
What other Facebook marketing strategies have you found effective for building a fanbase? Share them with us below.