When I first wrote this headline, it almost sounded too good to be true. Sure, you can generate Facebook fans via random followings, scattered postings, and local word-of-mouth. Eventually, you’ll run out of steam – and your company page will run out of influence. There is a better way to handle social marketing on Facebook – and it can bring thousands of active people into your community.
Social media consultant Andrea Vahl presented such a plan at NMX, focusing on the harmonious relationship between content strategy and efficient Facebook page design. You won’t even need to raid the company budget much – Vahl emphasized that these tips are made for businesses with little room for additional social marketing funding.
Here are Vahl’s 5 easy steps to skyrocket your Facebook brand page:
1. Set Your Goals
How do you want to achieve your Facebook growth plan? Vahl noted that social managers should set goals that make sense – overall growth is still good for awareness, but subscribers are the best goal. Goals should be specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Vahl made specific mention of Facebook’s recent firestorm over organic search, and ultimately argued for a change in behavior. Social managers should shift their mindsets on organic search, as Facebook is becoming more pay-to-play at this point. Consider it more as a subscription model – the sooner that you realize Facebook isn’t free anymore, the better your results will be.
2. Set Up Your Page
There are multiple tactics and best practices to optimize your Facebook page. Vahl highlighted five key strategies to make your page more attractive:
- Use an engaging profile picture (sized 180×180 pixels)
- Create a well-design cover photo (sized 831×315 pixels)
- Craft keyword-rich copy on your About page — add testimonials, use milestones creatively, and add your FB page policy
- Create tabs that capture visitor email address
- Set up your custom page URL
These tips should help your page look cohesive and professional – an important goal regardless of the business direction.
3. Develop Your Content Plan
As organic search is declining in Facebook, you should adjust posting strategies accordingly. Vahl suggested evenly splitting status updates between text and photos, and using links only 20 percent of the time. Engagement is the primary goal with your social content, so encourage frequent sharing and post on a regular basis (at least 2-5 times daily).
As an added tip — instead of using the share button on updates, post something straight on the page and tag users with their Facebook page name. Vahl argued that this generates greater reach potential.
4. Grow Your Page
Your Facebook page – business or personal – is a fluid, dynamic property. It doesn’t exist in a vacuum, nor should it linger soulless in the digital ether. You’ll need to build and cultivate your audience – and there are several strategies that can help.
- Invite your warm market. Use the Invite Friends button, and reach out to customers via e-mail. These are the people most likely to follow right away, so utilize them to kickstart your plan.
- Participate as your Page. Target complementary pages, comment on posts as your page, and watch local pages. Spend at least 5-10 minutes per week on community management.
- Use all areas of Facebook. From your page to your personal profiles, to natural groups and private groups. There’s much digital real estate for the taking.
- Use Facebook Ads. Focus on news feed ads, which generate the best click-through rates. Also, look to Sponsored Stories for building social proof.
- Add a Facebook Like Box. Embed this handy widget on your website for additional inbound traffic.
- Run a Facebook contest. Providers such as Offerpop, North Social, Woobox, Tabsite, Contest Domination, ShortStack, and Strutta offer contesting services via Facebook.
These are just some of the tools readily available for page managers, and they can help attract, engage, and convert new members.
5. Assess What Works
Your Facebook Insights page is a gold mine for engagement data. Look at engagement rate — the percentage of people who interact with your post from those who have seen it. This will help identify which posts are most effective with your audience. Keep an eye on traffic spikes as well – they are often attributed to a single update or interaction.
There are no guarantees in social media, but these strategies can help any Facebook page manager legitimately boost their audience – and likewise increase their influence within the market.
What strategies have you found useful in increasing your fan base?