How to get more fans and create an enthusiastic customer base
Today, businesses large and small must look at social media to help build their brand and to increase their brand awareness. While there are many social media sites out there, Facebook stands as the social media jauggernaut that all businesses must participate in. With over half a billion users, Facebook stands as an easy and mostly free way to reach your potential customers.
So how then do you begin to use Facebook to market yourself? What is effective and ineffective? While the answers to these questions vary from company to company, the 10 steps below will stand as a good starting point to reach out and educate current and potential customers.
1. Create a Welcome Page
Creating a welcome page for your business is a simple and extremely important step when first building you business site on Facebook. A “Welcome Page” is the first thing any new user sees when they visit your business page on Facebook. If you do not have a welcome page, new visitors will view your wall. While your wall can include helpful business information, it is a complicated mess that will not draw potential fans into your site. Once a fan “likes” your page, any time they revisit your business page they will default to seeing your wall.
When designing your welcome page, it is recommended that you look at pages of other companies for design inspiration. Check out Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and other large business. On all of their welcome pages, a few common design features emerge that you should seriously consider including on your welcome page.
I recommend including…
- A call to action: Be sure to ask your visitors to “like” you.
- Your logo/product: What is the point in having a Facebook business page if you do not let your potential customers know what you are even selling?
- An element of your story: Include something compelling about your company and why customers should even care to like your page.
2. Integrate your YouTube and Twitter feeds to your Facebook business page
If you want to be successful in social media, it is highly recommended that you have and are active on Twitter and YouTube. Both of these avenues are great ways to tell your brand story. If you are active on these two websites, you need to connect each website to your Facebook business page.
This article will not get into the minutia of connecting all of these websites together, but there are many free apps out there that will provide this service. When you load these apps onto your Facebook page, tabs will be added below your profile picture that allows fans to view your videos and tweets within the Facebook environment.
3. Include a link to your Facebook page in your email signature and email newsletters
This point may seem quite self evident, but including a link to your Facebook page in your email signature is a quick and easy way to spread the word about your social media presence. Think of all the emails you send in a single day, and imagine getting your Facebook link in front of each and everyone of these people. More than likely, the people who you email will already be engaged with your company in some way and should have a higher probability to “like” your site.
Above all else, be sure that your link is clickable. If you email signature is text based, make sure to include a hyperlink to your site, or if your email signature is a picture, be sure to people can actually click the appropriate hotspot and be taken to your business page. Also, as a quick note, it is generally best to use a text signature. More often than not, picture signatures are not downloaded onto recipient’s computers for spam and virus concerns.
4. Run a contest to get more fans
A great way to increase your Facebook fan base is to hold a contest giving away some of your product or giving away a product that will get people excited. There are a number of effective ways to create a contest, but you ultimately want your fans to share this contest with others. If you are giving away a great prize, you will need to structure your contest so that fans actually do share your business page with their social network. If they invite all of their friends, that gives them a reduced chance of actually winning the prize.
In short, be careful when running a contest, but definitely do not rule it out. A contest is an absolutely fabulous way to increase your fan base, especially if your contest goes “viral.”
5. Engage with similar Facebook business pages
Another great way to increase your Facebook fan base is simply by commenting on a complimentary business’ fan pages. For example, if you are an organic food company, consider posting comments on the Whole Foods business page or even pages from random organically minded bloggers.
By adding something relevant and meaningful to these conversations, you are exposing your business to an entirely new network of people. More than likely, some of the fans from these pages will click over to your business page, and if interested, they will become your newest fans. (This is one reason why having a strong welcome page is critical to drawing people into your site)
Keep in mind, you should not be posting on your competitor’s business page. It is bad form and could be seen as taking business away from your competitor. Ultimately, that should be the aim of your business, but you need to do it in an ethical manner. With that being the case, stick to posting on sites that are complimentary in some way to your business or industry.
QUICK DISCLAIMER: To create a Facebook business page, you must have a Facebook account. If you do not yet have a Facebook account, then this article will more than likely not apply to you. This article is intended to help current Facebook users who have a basic working knowledge of the mechanics of this social networking site.