August 12, 2011
Hey everyone! I hope your week is going well. Facebook represents a tremendous opportunity for any business or website to interact with people, customers, prospective customers, and others with whom you would like to start an interactive relationship. Building your Facebook Fan Page and growing your fans are absolute musts in this day and age for any company, website owner, business owner, or blogger. You can never have too many fans because they always can be re-marketed to later with specials, updates, promotions, and interesting news. Not to mention share your content and promotions with their friends to grow your exposure and traffic. I wanted to put together some great ways to build out your Facebook Fan Page and really start to grow it and leverage it.
1. Advertising on Facebook – one of the best ways to build your Facebook Fan count is to actually advertise on Facebook for fans. This is particularly effective because you can target your ads based on people’s Like and Interests, as well as their demographics, which makes your ads really targeted and relevant. For instance, if you run a Jazz music organization, you can target your ads to people that like Jazz on Facebook. Advertising for fans costs money per click or per thousand ad impressions, so you have to make sure you control your budget and plan your strategy wisely. I highly recommend to my clients and companies I know to keep an ad campaign for fans running at all times to keep up the branding and fan acquisition. You have to try various likes and interests to see which pulls fans best at the lowest cost, and you should change up your targeting periodically because your ads can get burned out. So keep it fresh and it will pull in targeted Fans really well for you all year long. Not to mention all of these new fans are likely new eyeballs that you can turn into a customer or loyal advocate by interacting well with them going forward.
2. On Your Site – Promoting the Facebook Fan widget on your site is a great way to expose your fan page content, with a Like button, right in the layout of your site. This works really well for blogs because most have a side bar that the widget can be dropped into relatively easily. Regular sites can drop the fan widget into their articles section sidebar or put the Like button somewhere prominent on their Homepage. This allows you to capitalize more so on your web traffic by turning visitors into fans and grow your fan base. You can also drop the Facebook “Follow Us on Facebook” button on your site either in the header or footer and that will attract some fans for you as well. Also, the Facebook Like button, Recommend button, Send button, Facebook Connect, and Facebook Comment box, are other great Facebook social plug-ins you should be incorporating into your website. Tying Facebook into every aspect of your website and customer promotions should be the goal to really leverage the sharing and traffic you can gain from it.
3. Your Customers/Members/Subscribers – marketing your Facebook Fan Page to your actual customers or members is a must. You can send a dedicated email blast to all your current or previous customers/members and let them know to “Like” your Fan Page. You can run a Fan Page promotion or contest to your customers, subscribers, or members. Companies give away prizes and free merchandise to the winners of their contests and promotions, which will increase the number of Fans that enter to try to win. It’s usually effective because people are always trying to win something and it takes little effort usually to participate in the promotion. I recommend WildFireApp to run sweepstakes and promotions on your site and to your email lists to convert them into fans. It tracks everything and is really inexpensive. You have to use some kind of strategy like this otherwise your fans just won’t grow at a fast enough rate to keep you happy.
4. Auto-responders – including a link to join your Fan Page, or enter your sweepstakes/contest, in your website’s email auto-responders is a great idea because these emails are usually pretty basic without must substance other than thanking the customer for their purchase or thanking them for subscribing to the newsletters, so dropping a text link into these type of emails can take advantage of this opportunity to build your fan base. Make sure to periodically review your auto-responder emails to make sure they reflect your current promotions and other info you want to express to your customers. Many companies don’t review their auto-responder emails frequently enough or at all, so make sure to keep them fresh!
5. Messaging Your Facebook Friends – one of the of the easiest way to build your fans is to ask your Facebook Friends to come and join your fan page through a mass friend invite. This can be done in the left column of your Fan Page by clicking “Suggest to Friends.” Doing this is a great way to really boost your fan page numbers. Also, you can suggest to your fans and friends that they do the same thing, which can really help it go viral. There are tools that allow you toselect all your friends at once, so you don’t have to select them all by hand, so make sure to use that to your advantage.
6. Growing On Its Own – when you start employing all these methods for growing your fans and they start clicking the Like button, their friends will see this and could click Like as well. So the more you market your Fan Page, the more it can go viral by all the friends of your new fans seeing this. Also, when you post status updates on you Wall and they Like, Comment, or Share your status update, their Friends will see that and could Like your fan page as well. Once you start promoting your Fan Page like crazy, this spill over effect will really increase and your Fan base and traffic will grow big time.
These are but a few ways to grow your Facebook Fans. Make sure to put a lot of planning and effort into growing your fans and it will pay big dividends down the road. If you haven’t yet started your Fan Page, you can do so by clicking here. Make sure to get really into managing your Fan Page and engaging your fans into responding to your post. Here are some tips on effectively managing your fan page. Now go out there and build out your Fans and start interacting. Thanks for reading and make sure to leave a comment or share it!