5 Guaranteed Ways to Get a Bigger Facebook Audience
Posted March 25, 2010on:
The pressure for a business to gain a bigger a Facebook audience is reaching a fever pitch. Brands are trying everything to increase their communities short of giving away the store. This trend will not only continue, it will increase. And why not? As a marketing channel, Facebook represents a tremendous opportunity for brands to distribute information and content more cost effectively than paid media.
Yesterday, we discussed how Mircosoft’s Bing gained 400,000 new fans in 24 hours. If you don’t have Microsoft’s money or muscle – and who does – there are other ways to get results. Scott Meldrum – head of integrated marketing at Tivo – points out a few of them in this excellent article below:
If you have struggled to connect your customer base to your official page at Facebook, you’re not alone. Many brands are finding it difficult to turn customers into fans. Last week, I defined the 4 Cs of scaling your social media efforts (customer support, communication, content, count). While most brands want to scale social media responsibly, there is constant pressure from senior management to grow social media as a marketing channel. This pressure can sometimes lead to hasty decisions and bad investments as brands desperately try to get their numbers up on Facebook.
The good news is that there are several ways to grow your audience at Facebook without spending a ton of money. Depending on the size of your customer base and website traffic, it may not be necessary to spend any money on paid media to bring more customers into your Facebook. Regardless of the size of your fan base, you can experience exponential growth if you can follow most, if not all, of these highly effective habits of brands that have been successful at Facebook:
1) Give them a reason Include a compelling call-to-action on your Facebook page and give them an incentive for your customers to join your Facebook community. Offering an incentive is an important component in this process. Remember — you are building a community here and the audience will scale much faster if you can provide a clear benefit for your audience to join your community. Effective incentives include discounts, special offers, exclusive content, product giveaways, and/or anything else your customers might find valuable.
2) Invite interaction Another way to activate your customer base to interact with you at Facebook is to invite them to join the conversation. I’ve seen this work particularly well with broadcast news and talk radio. A celebrity gossip show like “Entertainment Tonight” will post a topic to its Facebook wall and invite fans to comment. It will also integrate that topic into the show on air. This brings fans and non-fans alike into the channel to interact. Consider doing this with your regular email communications and blog posts. Post one or two topics at Facebook that are central to your email communication; then, in the email or blog post, invite your subscribers to comment.
3) Fans recruiting fans Whether you have 300 or 300,000 fans at Facebook, two things are certain: 1) You want more fans and 2) you should be leveraging the fans you already have to get them. Facebook fan drives are becoming more popular than ever. Some of the best examples include “everyone benefits” promotions, where the fan base is activated to recruit their friends to join the page at Facebook. Once the fan base reaches a certain number, the brand unlocks a special “members only” benefit for all. Don’t underestimate your fans’ willingness to bring their friends into the fold — the entire Facebook platform was built on just such a notion.
4) Content, content, content By far, the most effective method of building your audience at Facebook is by delivering regular content that is truly engaging to your fan base. Every time fans interact with your content at Facebook — be it a wall post, a video or link, poll, or app — they have the opportunity to share that experience with their own networks. The more content you deliver, the more sharing opportunity you create. This sharing opportunity is the Holy Grail of Facebook marketing. Your wall posts need to engage fans to not only read your message, but to interact with it by responding with a “like”, a share, or a comment. In addition to your wall, you should be very focused on creating tabs that motivate consumption and sharing of content. Facebook tabs are your rich media banners. You should absolutely be taking advantage of them with more than text or a single HTML graphic.
5) Make it Visible As I pointed out last week, turning customers into fans can be as easy as making them aware of your presence at Facebook. It’s important to merchandise the connection to your Facebook page everywhere a customer might interact with your brand online. This certainly includes your website(s), newsletters, purchase confirmation emails, and other email communications. Be sure to make your links, buttons, and banners highly visible. Where possible, make sure to use the “one-click” fan button feature offered by Facebook. And, do not hesitate to cross-promote your Facebook page via other social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, or your online forums.