After setting up a new Facebook Page, you’re likely to be feeling both excited and daunted.
Excited because a new Facebook Page represents a new beginning; a chance to engage with your audience directly, personally and possibly even convert them into loyal customers. Setting up a social media channel and deploying a well-thought out social media strategy could do wonders for your SEO too. Having one is a no-brainer.
Then “Urghh, what now…?”
Immediately after this, however, the doubt sets in: “Okay, so I have my page set up, my graphics are there, all my company info is correct… so now how do I get people to actually like this thing?”
1. Shout about it
Unless you’ve only set up your Facebook Page to facilitate a very, very small business, you’ll no doubt have plenty of channels in which to promote your new social hangout.
The biggest one – of course – is your website.
Your website offers a plethora of opportunities in which to promote your page; be this via static social buttons, permanently affixed in your site’s navigation pages, through a line of text on your About Us page or by including a reference to your social channels when a customer makes a purchase on your site.
Similarly, you have an opportunity to reference your social spaces through your email signatures and other corporate communications.
Your company newsletter is also an ideal place to flag up your new site – you could even send your customers an email simply alerting them to the fact you’ve set up a new Facebook Page.
2. Give incentives to join
While this might sound like a rather primitive piece of advice, the “carrot and stick” approach can work wonders when you’re attempting to attract Likes to a new Facebook Page.
Competitions are a fantastic incentive because – for a small investment on your part – you could attract hundreds or even thousands of Likes to your Page in a short space of time. One idea might be to announce that, once a certain number of likes are achieved, everyone who liked the page goes into a prize draw.
For example, Red Rocket Media’s own Facebook Page recently experienced a swell in brand page Likes thanks to the Britain’s Best Office Dog competition – you can read more about here.
What is important to remember is to attract the Likes to the brand Page over the Facebook competition post itself, where possible. Although you could still receive some ancillary traffic from those who have seen that other friends have Liked certain photos or posts in their news feeds and also decide to get in on the action. Such a situation occurred in my previous post: How does a newsagent gain 200,000 Facebook likes in 24 hours?!
You could also offer Facebook-only discounts on your products to achieve a similar wave on interest, or promise your audience access to exclusive material or insights (available on Facebook only), depending on your industry.
Don’t forget, “it’s called social for a reason”. You need to get stuck-in on Facebook, joining and Liking-back relevant communities, brands and groups, contributing content, commentary and encouraging discussion back into the Facebook eco-system.
You mustn’t just be a publisher on Facebook. Your new Page isn’t just a place to syndicate content – it’s a place to engage with people. You should invest time into your early followers by talking to them, and outreaching to new followers by going to the places where they’re likely to be hanging-out and making a contribution (acting under your brand Page alias, where possible).
4. Content – mix it up and make it shareable!
While it might be tempting to solely post articles relevant to your industry, you can offer your community so much more than that.
Think photos, think videos, think infographics. Give your community a reason to care about your Page, enjoy it, and return on a regular basis.
Every now and then – as well as posting what you’re up to – also consider hosting a Poll on a particular topic that might interest your readers. You could even use this kind of crowd-sourced opinion-gathering to find out what your readers think of your company blog, your products, or what kind of things they care most about.
Above all, make sure your content is the kind that you might want to share with your friends, family and colleagues. The Facebook eco-system is an extremely tight-knit community where people’s actions and Likes are extremely visible (as these often appear in the news feed), so encourage fun and interactive posts where possible.
5. Analyse early fan base and adjust accordingly
There are dozens of brilliant social tools out there that can help you understand when your new audience is most active, their demographic make-up and what kinds of posts they’ve been enjoying the most.
Reports from tools like Sprout Social, for example, might impart you with the knowledge that Monday is the day when your new fans are interacting with your content the most, and that the overwhelming majority of them are male, in the age range of 30-40 and based in the UK.
Armed with this knowledge, you should then announce your biggest news on Mondays; perhaps a new blog post that’s specifically been created with young-to-middle-aged males in mind, based in the UK.
By recognising and acknowledging this most popular demographic with targeted and well-timed content, you should expect to see your fan base grow quite nicely.
What’s your strategy for gaining new Page Likes?
Do drop me a line in the comments below if you’ve used any of these tactics – or if you have any others up your sleeve.