The Facebook social network allows for-profit companies to create business fan pages to advertise products and services. Business pages are free for both firms and users and offer an easy way for company owners to start interacting with customers on Facebook.
Facebook ensures that unscrupulous firms do not spam the platform by forcing users to “Like” a business page before they can see any content in their news feeds. This system means that your business must get fans to Like your page before you will have any success on the platform. Likes are public votes of confidence in your business page and result in more interaction with potential customers.
Here are nine ways to get more Facebook fans for your business page:
1) Fill Out Your Entire Facebook Page
A business page on Facebook is quite similar to a company website. Initial impressions are the primary factor in determining whether users trust your business and interact with your page. Even more importantly, on a Facebook business page, the first impression determines whether a new visitor will “Like” your page and continue to engage with your business in the future.
Filling out your entire Facebook business page is an easy way to convey trust to your potential customers. More information on the page means more opportunity to attract visitors. More information also helps Facebook to understand the purpose of your business and may help you rank higher in search engines like Bing and Google.
2) Ask For Likes
With a Facebook business page, the number of Likes is a public signal of user engagement. The number of Likes appears everywhere your Facebook URL is displayed throughout the social network. Ironically, the businesses with many Likes tend to attract additional Likes, while businesses with few Likes tend to be ignored by users.
Asking for more Facebook Likes is critical to increasing the reach of your business page. Friends and family members are the obvious first choice for getting more Facebook fans. Suppliers, employees, and satisfied customers are also a option for increasing the number of Likes for your business. But if you do not ask for Likes you are unlikely to see steady growth in the number of fans of your page.
3) Select a Custom URL
Upon creation of a new Facebook business page, the network automatically assigns a URL with up to 16 random digits attached to the end. In addition to being quite long, this ugly URL is not suitable for use on external marketing. Internet users are unlikely to trust a page with a strange URL.
However, once a business page has 25 fans, the page administrator will be able to select a custom URL by logging into the network and navigating to facebook.com/username. Having a custom URL enables owners to market the page and makes it far more likely that users will remember the Facebook business page URL.
4) Market Your Facebook Page
While a Facebook business page is automatically integrated into the social network’s search function, simply having a page is not enough to generate user engagement. A Facebook page is best utilized as another way of advertising your business. As such, the page URL should be included in all market paraphernalia.
Business cards, brochures, and a company website are natural places to include the link to a business page on Facebook. Marketing your Facebook page will result in organic growth of fans and also increases the probability that users will interact with your business on Facebook.
5) Tag Users
Facebook automatically provides the option of “tagging” other users in any media files you upload to your business page. Tagging these users results in your media item appearing in the news feed of friends of that user.
By selectively tagging positive photos and videos of customers of your business, you can expand the reach of your Facebook page without having to resort to overt marketing efforts. In addition, tagged users will feel goodwill toward your business since the act of tagging means you recognize them and remember their name.
6) Interact With Complementary Companies
By definition, a social network like Facebook is built to encourage interaction between users. Your business page can benefit from interacting with both potential customers and with complementary businesses. Raj Verma, manager at social media company Argon Marketing explains:
A business that likes or comments on the posts of another business drives interaction for the other firm. Increased interaction also encourages fans of the other business to like the your business page as well. This improves customer loyalty and engagement for both companies.
7) Respond To Feedback
A business fan page provides the ideal location for customer feedback. Customers can easily post messages directly onto the wall of a Facebook business page. Regardless of whether this feedback is positive or negative, business owners should respond as often as possible.
Responding to feedback on a Facebook page benefits the relationship with the specific customer. But it also shows other prospective customers that your business is responsive to the needs of its users. A business page that shows immediate response to customer feedback is a visible signal of a company that cares about its customers.
8) Publish Consistently
The Facebook platform documents every update with a public time and date stamp. Users see public evidence of the frequency and timing of every business page update. Publishing on a consistent basis shows potential customers that your business is still active online.
A consistent publishing schedule also makes it more likely that interested fans will take the time to engage with your business and Like your page. Although more frequent updates are better, a consistent schedule is most important. Even a once-per-week publishing schedule will encourage potential fans to Like your page more than a dormant page with no updates.
9) Consider Facebook Advertising
Finally, firms with a marketing budget should consider a Facebook advertising campaign to drive users to a specific fan page. Since Facebook ads only appear to existing users of Facebook, your campaign will only be spending money on the audience most likely to engage with your page.
Other forms of online advertising like Google AdWords or Bing Advertising are far less effective since they do not exclude people who are not on the Facebook platform. For businesses with high-lifetime customer value, investing in a targeted Facebook advertising campaign can be an ideal way to jump-start a business fan page.
The Benefits of Facebook Fans
Getting more fans for your business Facebook page means more users will see each of your content updates. More fans also provides a visible signal to the online world of the popularity and level of engagement of your page.
Most importantly for a business, more Likes on a Facebook page means more potential patrons will see your marketing messages and become loyal customers of your business. As a free marketing option, a Facebook business page represents a low-barrier way to get started with online marketing for your company.