Last week, I shared some tips to spruce up your FaceBook Fan Page. Yesterday, I asked people at the Indie Business FaceBook Fan Page to share their Fan Page links, along with their tips and questions about attracting more people to a FaceBook Fan Page. My goal was to crowd source some new ideas so that everyone would have some new things to try to raise awareness of their brands on FaceBook.
By the end of the day, I was even wiping a bit of egg off of my face. (See below for more on that …) Dozens of fun conversations were sparked, and you can see many of them all at this link. Here are 6 ways to attract more people to your FaceBook Fan Page.
Remember That Fans Are People.. “Fan” Pages are an odd choice of names in my opinion, but whatever they are called, remember that fans are just people. Frequently, they are the people who find your Fan Page as a result of becoming connected to you as a person on FaceBook. Before trying to attract more “fans,” it's important first to remember that fans are people.
Adjust your mindset to treat them like people and not like fans, and you're already positioning yourself to appeal to more of them.
Give People Reasons To “Fan You”. Many of your “fans” will be the friends and family members who will never become customers, but who want to show support for your business. To appeal to people who don't have a moral obligation to pat you on the back, you have to give them something to do at your Page.
Periodic contests and sweepstakes are popular, but small businesses can't always host those. Another option is to share information that your fans are interested in, and ask them to share their opinions. You can also post regular updates about what you are doing in your business to encourage people to ask questions. This will give you new reasons to post things at the site. Sharing photos is a big plus too, especially if you make the products you sell.
Sharing the manufacturing process is always interesting and your fans will appreciate seeing first-hand the love and care that goes into creating the things you offer.
Use Your Fan Box. The Fan Box is created by pasting a snippet of code into a sidebar at your blog, at the social networks you participate in and at your websites. The Fan Box makes it easy for people who have a FaceBook account to join your Fan Page without actually having to visit FaceBook or your Fan Page.
Check out the right and left columns at my Ning-based social networking site to see how I use my Fan Box there. If you don't manage a Ning site, you can add your Fan Box using the text box feature on all Ning profile pages, profile pages, like I did here. In case you don't feel like clicking, here's my Fan Box.As you can see, you can click “become a fan” if you'd like to do so. If you are already a fan, the box will say, “you are a fan.”
This amazing feature turns FaceBook into your very own free marketing work horse. You'll go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning to more fans! You may need to know some HTML code (or find someone to help you if you don't) to configure the code properly for your particular blogs and websites. Whatever you have to pay someone to help you is worth it. Fans at the Indie Business Fan Page more than doubled in just under a week after I added the Fan Box to a few of my websites.
The Fan Box is one of the most powerful tools in the small business arsenal and if you're not using it already, you must start now. Here are FaceBook's instructions on how the Fan Box works.
Invite People To Share Their Fan Page Links.If you want to enjoy a stampede to your Fan Page, invite people to come and share their Fan Page links. Doing this is like inviting people to an even where you are serving free food — they just can't say no. Not only will people participate at the Page when they are invited to talk about themselves in this way, but you'll also notice that they will begin to connect and share information. This helps conversation occur on your Fan Page while you are busy elsewhere.
Like any good host, you should do everything you can to encourage people at your Fan Page to get to know one another. This makes everyone feel welcome and gives them another reason besides you to return to your Fan Page in the future to see what's going on.
Blog About Your Fans. One of the most useful things about maintaining multiple media outlets for your business is that you can leverage them to work together to be everywhere your customers are. Let your fans know you appreciate them by blogging about them. In the first paragraph of this post, I linked to the entire stream of conversation at my FaceBook Page. Note that many of those updates contain the Fan Page links of my Fans. This is a wonderful way to help your Fans increase their own Fan Page numbers organically, and it's not hard for you to do. It also saves you having to think of something new to blog about.
Blog about the stream of conversation at your FaceBook Page. You'll get more fans, your fans will get more fans and you'll get ideas for blog posts.
Invite People To Your Fan Page. Use the information box on your profile page to promote your Fan Page. To see how I do this, check out the information box under my profile photo at my profile page. There's not a lot of space, so be succinct. You may wish to use a URL shortener like Bitly to free up more space.
Sharing the link to your Fan Page on your profile page is a natural way to invite people to your Fan Page.
Depending on your style and how much time you have, you may also wish to invite people to your Fan Page when you accept their friend requests. It's easy to save a canned invitation that you cut and paste into an update on a wall after you accept a friend request. In this way, not only do you thank people for adding you, but you also share your Fan Page with them and all of their friends.
If you have a newsletter, use it to invite people to your Fan Page. Here's an example of how I did that last week.
Another thing you may wish to do is to use FaceBook Twitter connect to automatically post status updates you initiate at your Fan Page to Twitter. In this way, people on Twitter can see the first 120 characters or so of a conversation on FaceBook they may wish to join. Here's an example of how I did this yesterday. For instructions on connecting your FaceBook Fan Page to Twitter in this way, click here.
About That Egg. Earlier in this post, I told you that I had a little egg on my face by the end of the day yesterday. The reason is because one of the things I had been suggesting to separate business from personal interaction on FaceBook was to create two FaceBook accounts and use one for friends and family and the other for professional interactions and to administer your Fan Pages. I did this and it worked well.
The problem is that maintaining more than one FaceBook account is a violation of FaceBook's Terms Of Service. I closed my “personal” FaceBook account immediately upon discovering this. Thanks to Katy Terpac Tafoya for pointing this out.
Question: I know you have some tips right? What works for you? Please share your ideas here. Also, if you have any questions you'd like crowd sourced for next week's FaceBook Friday, post them here and I will choose one of them for next week's topic.