Click “Suggest to Friends”. Once your Facebook fan page is published (or refurbished if needed), it’s time to spread it as much as possible through your actual friends. If they accept your invitation to “like” your fan page, these will be your first “fans”. Try to think of as many people as possible who you know, to begin with. If you have work colleagues, supporters of whatever it is you’re doing (such as running a charity, starting a website, blog readers, etc.), ask these people too.
- Do spell it out concisely and politely that you’d appreciate it if they clicked “like” on your fan page. Not all people are clued in about what to do after they’ve clicked on the URL!
- Build on your friends’ contacts. Ask your friends to suggest your page to their friends as well, both on Facebook itself and through any other methods they’re comfortable with (such as Twitteror by email). Word-of-mouth and genuine friendship trust can be used to your advantage to obtain “friends of friends” who will possibly have similar interests to yours or will be thrilled to start following your page if you’re a business or cause.
- If any of your good friends are highly influential on Facebook, ask them if they mind inviting their friends to become fans of your fan page. You can return the favor many times over by highlighting them now and then on your increasingly popular fan page!
- Try emailing friends who don’t seem to be on Facebook already. This might be their first encouragement to join!
If you’re a fan of other Facebook pages, add your comments and links on their status updates as often as reasonable. You’ll most likely get the best results by posting your comments to pages with hundreds of thousands or even millions of fans, and by being one of the first to comment on updates made on those pages. Don’t overdo your links, however; keep it to a reasonable amount or you’ll risk annoying people.
- Post a link to your Facebook fan page on other Facebook groupsor pages. This is another way of attracting more fans. If you’d like, add a short explanation about the page with the link. Again, do this with care and not too frequently.
- Use “@reply” (similar to the “@” function in Twitter), to tag a person on your Facebook page. Whenever you do this, your note appears on the page of the person or company whose name accompanies the “@reply”. It’s important not to overdo this though or you’ll be pulled up for “spamming”. And if you’re a business, don’t be surprised if a competitor does it back to your page; smileit off, as it’s all part of the social media game!
Use contests for people who become your fans. Have your fans win something, whether it’s a cyber-award you bestow on them, or a real, tangible product or service from your company, such as an eco-bag, a free dog wash, or a can of vanilla roasted peanuts. Try doing this fairly regularly, such as weekly or monthly.
- Photo tag: Ask each winner if they wouldn’t mind uploading a photo of themselves holding the item if they win something tangible, and ask them to tag themselves in the photo they’ve uploaded. This is a cool way of encouraging them to spread the word; many fans will do this because they’ll be excited and grateful. These photos appear on your Facebook page in a “Fan Photos” folder (you could term it your “winner’s” club, a page for others to see and aspire to!) and the tagged photos also appear in their own stream, encouraging their friends to check out your page. (It doesn’t have to be a product they take a photo of; it can be a photo doing something that’s related to your site, blog, or fan page, such as cooking a recipe or grooming a dog, etc.).
Place your Facebook link on other social media networks. For example, use your Twitter address link box to place your Facebook page URL rather than a site address. If you have a lively Twitter account, curiosity will cause a lot of your Twitter followers to click and follow through to your Facebook page. Whatever community you join, always be sure to include a link back to your Facebook page so that curious readers can find and connect with you there.
- Use a Social Media Management tool to synergize activity across other social networks. Use a third party program such as Hootsuite or Seesmic to make it easier to manage this. Be careful using direct messages to send your Facebook link; more and more people are wary of “automated messages” as they feel that you’re not being genuine using these. Try to add a personal touch to show you wrote it for them personally.
- Be sure to share other people’s Facebook updates too. This will create a reciprocal relationship that encourages them to share your Facebook updates with their followers and fans.
- Whenever you add information about yourself to a user or contributor page on a social community site, include the Facebook link.
Promote your Facebook page in real life. There are many ways you can promote your Facebook page in real life. More often people notice about your Facebook page in real life, the chances of them visiting and liking your Facebook page increases
- Display your Facebook page contents live in your store television; it is like a Facebook TV (brandwand by thefunage.com)
- Print your Facebook page url and stick it in your store
- Print your Facebook page url in the receipts or notices that you hand over to your customer
Add the “Facebook Like” tools to your website or blog. Using the “like” buttons or boxes makes it easy for people to find your fan page and to “like” it from your site or blog. Add it to your site or blog, preferably toward the top so that it’s clearly visible. While the button is handy for sitting above posts or articles, having the box to one side is great because it shows real faces of the people who have already liked your Facebook page, and will include the statistics on people who are already your fans for potential new fans to learn about.
- To add the Facebook Like box to your website: To add a Facebook Like Box to your website or blog: Go to your Facebook page and click on “Edit Page”. Look for “Promote Your Page” and click on “Promote with a Like Box”. Choose the height and width of the box as it will appear on your site. Tinker around for the best settings. Among the choices, it’s helpful to use “Show Stream” and “Show Header” because this lets people see what you’re posting to your Facebook page and they can click through immediately. Choose “Get Code” and insert the iFrame or XFBML code on your site or blog.
Become part of an external social media networking community. There are a number of social network communities springing up that do nothing else but support one another’s social media pages and links in return for you doing the same for all the members. This can be a highly beneficial way of getting trusted people who might be have completely different business, hobby, or personal interests from your own but who are willing to support you because you belong to their community of trust. With such a network of people spreading your Facebook fan page link around, you’ll gain more fans. Just be sure to return the favor.
Keep learning and stay genuinely interested in your fans. Facebook continues to evolve, as do your own strategies and needs for your fan page and your related online business or hobby pursuits. Keep in mind the following important points as you continue to build your fan page:
- Building a fan base takes time and dedication. It requires constancy and consistency, as well as ensuring that you’re also reciprocating the efforts of the fans who are actively supporting you and sharing the information and updates you’re providing. If you’re patient and persistent, you will build a reputation as a trusted Facebook “brand” and you’ll start being noticed as a good performer worthy of discussion in broader social media circles, not just in relation to your product or service. There is nothing more exciting than finding out you’ve hit someone else’s blog or article as an example of how to relate well on social media!
- As upgrades and changes are made, keep up with them and try to be one of the first to either use them or critique them. This sort of knowledge is looked upon with respect by those yet to adopt changes, and you can easily become a leader in setting a new trend. That will definitely get you new fans. It can also help to ensure that you don’t fall afoul of spamming or annoying other Facebook users by not keeping up with changes that are implemented to stop anyone misusing Facebook with too many marketing strategies, and knowing that well in advance is a good thing for your “brand”.