There have probably been a thousand articles written detailing how to get more Facebook fans – half of them are sales-oriented trying to encourage you to ‘buy fans’, the other half are simple fluff pieces that don’t give you any real practical advice. Only my article, and mine alone, will actually help you implement real, actionable strategies to boost your Facebook Page with relevant fans – not random people who don’t give a fig about what you have to say. OK to be fair there are quite a few other articles out there that probably do this too, but since you’re here you may as well read mine. Enjoy.

1.       Add a Facebook Like box + links to your contact and homepage.

Make sure you have a Facebook ‘like box’ on your homepage. I know it doesn’t always ‘fit in’ with everything else, but seriously this is what is going to drive people to your Page. You can see mine to the right in my sidebar. The bigger and more prominent, the better, but Facebook gives you a number of options. For example, if you visit the Social Skinny homepage, you’ll see I have a small version at the top of the page (but underneath the header). Facebook makes it super easy to get the code for your like box in HTML5, XFBML or iframe format by visiting https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like-box/ and inputting your preferences for style.

Also make sure you add links to your Facebook Page on your contact page, so that people know that they can get in touch with you there (they will also like your page!).

2.       Set up Facebook POS signage

If you have a store or some sort of physical presence, be sure that you have signage that encourages people to like your page – and be sure to include a reason. Special promotions, new products, updates, industry news… whatever it might be, tell them what they are going to get from liking you or else they might not bother.

3.       Run a Facebook competition

This has to be one of the most popular methods of getting more Facebook fans. Run a competition that has a valuable (and relevant to your business) prize that you will give to people if they like your Page and go through some sort of entry mechanism (eg. a form). You do need to be aware of what is required for a Facebook competition (find out what you need to know about Facebook competitions here) and this includes the fact you must use an application. If you’re not that Facebook or tech-savvy, you can use a third-party service like Shortstack or you can speak to someone like me, who will come up with the strategy, put it together, do all the graphics and implement on your Page for, say, a few hundred dollars.

4.       Implement a Facebook advertising campaign

I know when you’re a small business implementing any sort of advertising campaign seems pretty daunting. We are taught to expect things to cost thousands of dollars when the word ‘advertising’ comes into play. The good news is that with Facebook advertising, you can spend any amount that you like. I have run a Facebook ad campaign for $50 that attracted over 50 new likes. I’ve also run a campaign for about $100 that attracted over 1,000 fans, which was pretty damn amazing… but it was in Turkey so that might have something to do with it. The point is, if you want to get your community started (and advertise your business at the same time), Facebook advertising might be a great way to go. The ability to target your desired market is unparalleled. Again, I can help you with this if you want to get in touch.

5.       Send an EDM to your customer base

If you have an email database, make sure you send out an email letting everyone know you have a Facebook Page, providing them with a reason (or incentive) to like your page, and obviously directing them there. Your customers should have a direct interest in your business, so they are the second people (after staff) that you should get on board.

6.       Ask your staff, friends, family and your social networks

Ask your employees, friends and family to like your page to help spread the word. When people like your page, their Facebook network can see this and are prompted by curiosity to see what the Page is about – if they see it may be of value to them as well, they might like you too. Plus, your friends and family are likely to ‘like’ the content on your page too, which helps with your post ranking in others’ newsfeeds. While you’re at it, share your Page with your social networks (even outside Facebook) – they might be interested to like your Page too.

7.       Include a link to your Facebook Page in all stationery, business cards and your email signature

This one is a no-brainer. Remind people at every chance you get that you have a Facebook Page, and make it easy for them to find it by providing the link. Don’t just have a ‘Find us on Facebook’ badge, but put the link in there so they don’t have to waste time searching for your Page on Facebook. It’s crucial to include a link in your email signature (though this can just be an icon as long as it’s hyperlinked), because you know people are already online when they are viewing it, so the chances they will click through to your Page are even higher.

8.        Comment on other Pages’ posts as your Page

This one can be quite effective, but granted it’s not as simple as the others. If you’ve got a bit of time, you can ‘use Facebook as your Page’, like other similar or related Pages (or those who share a similar customer base) and interact with their posts. By doing this you’re getting exposure on their Facebook Page too, and others who are reading the post might be prompted to click through to your Page to see what it’s about.

9.       Encourage check-ins (plus merge place/normal page)

If you have a physical presence, make sure you own your Place page, and that you merge this with your normal Page (or just use the Place page as your normal Page to begin with). That way you have a branded place for people to check-in to. They may also then like your Page from their mobile. Even if they don’t, the check-in is displayed to their friends (even on a nice map to show where you are located) which not only promotes brand awareness and effectively an endorsement for your brand, but also allows them to click through to view, and hopefully like, your Page.

10.   Create a Welcome Page

It’s one thing to get someone to your Facebook Page, but it’s another thing to convert them to a fan by getting them to click that ‘like’ button. You have to give them reason to want to receive updates from you, and the best way to do this is by creating a Facebook Welcome Page. The best tactic is to not just say LIKE US, but provide some form of detail about what they will get from liking your page. Will you be posting exclusive special offers? Letting them know of sales? Sharing important updates and/or info on new products? It doesn’t have to be rocket science (and in fact, it shouldn’t be too complicated), but make sure you’re giving them some indication of what you have to offer – even if it’s pretty pictures and/or a few words.

Implement these strategies and you will get more Facebook fans.  Just be careful not to get too obsessed by ‘numbers’, but focus on getting those who have liked your Page engaged with your content.

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