This is a guest post by Tom Parnell.
With more than 500 million active users on Facebook ignoring it as a platform has become the select privilege of the kind of people who live up mountains with a goat (and donâ€™t have wi-fi).
If you have anything to promote, on or offline, whether itâ€™s a product or just a personal blog, Facebook is a free and easy way to reach a huge potential audience.
It is very easy to get fans on Facebook if youâ€™ve got something worth liking, but what do you do once youâ€™ve got them? And how do you stop them abandoning you when itâ€™s as easy as one click?
Building an Attractive Profile
Kevin Costner may believe that â€œIf you build it they will comeâ€ but for us mere mortals we need something more than a crazy voice in our head to attract interest.
Before you do anything you must decide on the purpose of your Facebook profile or page. Do you want to spread awareness of another site or brand? Do you want to host all your content on Facebook? Do you want to just gather a contactable list of people who like what youâ€™re offering?
Think about the actions you want people to take once they reach your page and the resources you have to maintain it. If itâ€™s just you promoting your own blog or website do you have enough time to write long reams of fresh copy for the page? Or would you be better off making it clear it will just be the occasional status update?
Facebook is more about people than companies, so where possible make your profile human. With nearly everybody who has a computer able to edit photos these days you can easily make a composite image of yourself and a logo if needs be. Check Out LogoBee’s logo design samples for inspiration!
The worldâ€™s most popular Facebook page has a human face in its picture, even if it is a cartoon one.
Iâ€™m not going to spend too much time on this because everybody has their own marketing ideas and attracting fans to your Facebook page has already been widely discussed on the internet. Personally, I think the most important thing is to have a good quality service/product/idea because, however well you market it, in the end you are asking people to tell their friends that they like it.
There are 5,000,000 Facebook users out there, and as soon as you sign up you are connected in some way to each and every one of them. Invite your friends, invite your colleagues, invite your customers, ask them to tell other people (they will tell all their friends simply by clicking your like). The potential to grow is awesome.
Keeping Friends While Getting Results
Facebook may make it easy to make friends with people, but it also makes it easy to ditch them too. No need for a protracted conversation about their personal hygiene standards down the pub, simply click a button and theyâ€™re gone from your life.
The easiest way to lose people is to annoy them. Remember that your updates will appear in all your fansâ€™ feeds, so donâ€™t send out 20 a day saying things like â€œIâ€™m still great! Check out my website again.â€ Only put out updates when you have something new and of interest. Try to make some unique content for Facebook too so that your fans have an incentive to stick with your page and returning to it regularly.
When Oreoâ€™s page passed 11 million fans they created a congratulatory video to celebrate. You may not have a world-famous legend backing you, but you could always run a small competition or just hold a poll.
Whatever your goal, use interaction to achieve it. Ask questions of your fans, stir up controversy. If youâ€™re really good you can divide your fans, causing them to debate against each other. And where are they holding this debate? On your site, allowing you to promote whatever message you want.
A great example of this is the Cadburyâ€™s Spots vs Stripes campaign, which has two groups of more than 35,000 fans each and, while asking people to argue the most inane of questions â€“ which is better, spots or stripes? â€“ it sells both sides a huge heap of chocolate bars.
Keep your fans entertained and they will do your promotion for you. Who knows, they may even take your message to the top of a mountain and pass it on to a goat.
Your Tips to Keeping Fans
What do you do to keep your Facebook page fans engaged? Please share your tips in the comments below.