I get asked this a lot:
Scott, what’s the biggest misconception about Facebook marketing?
It’s this idea that any business can jump on Facebook, create a fan page & immediately start getting tons of engaged fans.
Sorry, but this is wishful thinking.
In fact, creating your fan page is just one small part the process of achieving Facebook marketing success.
If you really want to succeed on Facebook, you need to get the right fans.
5 Steps to Get Better Facebook Fans
1. Identify Your Ideal Fans
Many businesses skip this first & most essential step. They assume that every person on earth is their ideal fan — which just isn’t true.
Not everyone is a potential customer for your product or service.
In fact only a small percentage is — and that’s a good thing because it makes them easier to reach.
When identifying your ideal fans, try to identify the following about them:
- Demographic (age, gender and etc)
2. Tune Your Social Media Voice
I would probably change this to “Define Your Company’s Voice”.
What I mean is you have to decide which kind of voice you’re going to talk with on Facebook — 20-something or 40-something, casual or formal, etc.
This will say a lot about your brand — and it will dictate what type of fans your page attracts.
For instance I run a local bounce house business & my ideal fans are parents — typically young parents. So most of my posts are going to be light-hearted & all about having fun.
If you look at Heyo, they’ve taken more of a young, hipster voice in their posts. This makes sense, since most of their employees are college students & their offices are near a college campus:
So decide what type of persona your page will have & then act the part.
The worst thing you can do is flip back & forth between voices on your page – including when you change page managers.
Try to maintain a consistent voice even then.
3. Build Your Content Pillars
I hadn’t heard the term “content pillar” before, but I get what Nathan at Heyo is saying.
Basically he means you should find 2-3 types of content that appeal to your ideal fans — and then focus on that content & post about it.
So for example, instead of trying to cover every piece of news about social media, just focus on Pinterest news.
Jon Loomer, for example, has established his content pillars on his blog & fan page. His main focus is advanced Facebook marketing & advertising. The stuff he talks about is over the head of a lot of people (myself included sometimes) and is meant mainly for ambitious, advanced marketers.
Sure, small businesses can also get ideas from Jon, but a lot of his advice won’t apply to them — and that’s ok!
Jon has chosen his content pillars — and he’s sticking to them to help build his ideal fan base.
Things to remember when choosing your Content Pillars:
- Content that is relevant for your fans gets more engagement
- More engagement means more exposure
- Remember your fans are seeing posts in their news feed, not your timeline
- Error on the side of posting more — but find out what works best for your fans & page
4. Accelerate Fan Growth
Growing your fan numbers can be tough — and sometimes paid ads are the best way to do it.
But there are also free methods you can try that will get you more fans.
It’s always a great idea to add a link to your Facebook page in your email signature. Then people can find out more about you & can like your page.
I personally use WiseStamp to automatically add social links to my signature.
You should also be sending out a weekly newsletter to your subscribers, which includes a link to your Facebook page & a call-to-action telling people to Like it.
>> In Person
Those of us who spend a lot of time marketing online often forget about marketing in person.
But if you run a brick-&-mortar business, you should definitely be promoting your page to everyone who walks through your door.
You can do this with a sign that says “Like us on Facebook” along with a link to your page. Or you can print the URL on customer receipts — or on your business card.
And if you go to tradeshows or events, you should offer promotional material that directs people to your page as well.
Maybe on a banner, fliers, pens, mugs, etc. Be creative!
>> Friends & Family
I don’t completely agree on this one. You should only promote your page to friends & family if they are potential customers.
You don’t want to encourage friends & family to Like your page & then have them never engage with your posts!
Sure it could get you more Likes & help grow your page — but is 100 silent Likes really that valuable?
For example, for my bounce house business in my local area, I did invite many of my friends to Like the page — but only those with kids in my local area. It would not have made sense for me to suggest the page to friends in California or even friends in Dallas, 3 hours away.
My business is completely local — and it only appeals to people in a 30 mile radius from my house. So I only want Likes from those people.
So again — make sure the friends & family you invite to your page are potential customers — or at least connected to other people who might be.
5) Invest in Promotion
Yes, I’m ending this post talking about Facebook Ads!
And yes, if you want to build a solid, long-term, thriving Facebook page, you’re going to have to invest in Facebook Ads.
Would you open a car lot in your area & not run ads on TV, radio & newspaper?
So why do people expect to grow a Facebook following without running ads?… Beats me.
There are a ton of ad options — and we won’t go into detail here, but you should learn what a few of them do.
>> Boost Post
I’m a big fan of the “Boost Post” method on posts. It’s a quick & easy way to run an ad just for that post in order to boost engagement & clicks.
But you need to make sure you target it correctly & that you select a budget that makes sense.
In the image below, you’d first select “Boost Post” on the post itself, then choose an audience, then a budget & click “Boost Post”.
Whenever I boost a post, I wait at least an hour after it’s been posted to see if it got any organic engagement. You don’t want to pay to show the post to people who were going to see it anyway!
Also, if a post isn’t getting any engagement, you don’t want to boost it.
Boosting a post creates a news feed story called a “Sponsored Story”. The post will show up in the news feed of those you targeted & not as a traditional sidebar ad.
People tend to interact with news feed ads more than sidebar ads — but I do caution you that some will view it as spam since they haven’t Liked your page yet.
So make sure the post isn’t salesy or spammy. And make sure you’re targeting people who will actually be interested in the post’s content.
>> Promote Page
Another ad option to get more Likes is to run a “Promote Page” ad.
You can typically access & start this type of ad right above your cover photo. It gives you these options:
This type of ad is worthless if you don’t target the correct audience, so make sure you select the people you want as potential customers.
These ads will run in the sidebar, on mobile apps & in the news feed.
I’ve had great results with these ads on a local level — but not such great luck on products like Post Planner that have a worldwide appeal.
One warning — be careful when you set a daily budget, because the ad will run until you stop it. I tend to only let an ad like this run for 2-3 days & then pause for a week.
There are other types of ads — but if you’re looking to grow fans, these 2 are the ones I’d focus on as a small business.
If you’re a huge company, you’ll need more than this — and you should probably take Jon Loomer’s Power Editor course.
Another great form of promotion is contests.
Facebook has recently changed the guidelines when it comes to contests, making it easier for small businesses to run contests on their timeline — without the assistance of apps like Heyo, ShortStack, Tabsite, etc.
We’ve even recently added an entire category dedicated to contests to our Status Ideas Engine – giving you 100s of pre-written contest updates to use on your page!
If you do run a contest follow a few guidelines:
- Give away something relevant to your product — it doesn’t have to be an iPad!
- Keep the entry period short to get a quick burst of entries
- Promote your contest with an ad to give it more appeal
- Combine a timeline contest with a contest inside an app to gather email addresses
Check out the SlideShare
Following the above 5 tips will help you build your ideal fanbase.
You can view the presentation from Heyo below or go to SlideShare:
About the Author: Scott Ayres
Scott’s just a guy who became addicted to social media before even MySpace (the first time around!). He’s a horrible “internet marketer” as he’s more concerned about teaching than turning a quick buck. Any given day he spends probably 20+ hours on Facebook! He’s been married for nearly 20 years and has 3 kiddos that are his world! Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.