21 ways to get more fans to your Facebook fan page

Posted by Shikha Kedia | Posted in Social Media | Posted on 16-12-2011

If you build a Facebook Page, will fans come?
mmm NOT that easy!!!

How can you really add facebook fans or friends?
Add Facebook Fans Now!

That is the great hope for many companies. But fans do not magically appears on Facebook fog. People should be enticed to your fan page. And there are some good and bad ways to go about doing this.

The Big Myth

There is a great myth that when you create a Facebook fan page for your company, the first thing you must do to get fans to invite all your friends from your personal profile by using the “Suggest to friends” feature.

Unfortunately, this strategy not be that effective and can actually often backfire. We have seen many industry gurus complain that when they fall a fan page request, it is frustrating to continue to be asked again and again.

There are several reasons not to use suggest to friends feature:

  1. Facebook users can only like up to 500 pages and may wish to be selective. (Although I have seen it is possible to go over this limit).
  2. Fan page proposal can often build up, unnoticed. (At last count, I’ve missed 593 fan page proposal and is already a fan of 500!)
  3. To aggressively pursue all your friends to join your fan page – without any apparent stimulus – is counter intuitive to the nature of social media.

So the good news is that there are many ways to promote your fan page and proactively increase your fan base without intercepting all your existing Facebook friends, and also to think broader than just Facebook:

  1. Embed Widgets on your website
    Choose from a range of new Facebook Social Plugins and place them on your website and blog. The Fan Box widget is now, Like Box and it works well to show your current fan page stream and a selection of fans – see the screenshot below, with Whole Foods Market Facebook Like Box. I would recommend to add a tit above the box encouraging visitors to your site / blog by clicking on “Like” button (which should make them a Facebook fan).
    You might also consider Live Stream widget to more advanced applications, especially in a FBML custom tab your fan page itself. Live Stream widget allows Facebook users to add their comments to a live event, for example, and this activity pushes into their stream.
  2. Invite your email and Ezine Subscribers
    Assuming you have an opt-in email list, definitely send an invitation to your subscribers via email (repeatedly over time) to let them know about your fan page and encourage them to join. Ideally give them a description of the page and an incentive to participate. Be sure to get Facebook logo / sign displayed in HTML newsletters. Instead of the usual “Join our Fan Page,” says something creative like “Write on our Facebook wall” or “Join our Facebook community” or “Come add your picture to our Facebook group” (where “group” is actually your fan page). Users have to be a fan to interact with your fan page this way.
  3. Add to your e-mail Signature Block
    Instead of promoting your Facebook personal profile (if you do), a link to your fan page in every email you send out. If you use web-based email, check the Wisestamp signature addon.
  4. Create a compelling Welcome Video
    Create an attractive landing tab (canvas page) with a video explaining exactly a) what your fan page is about, b) who it is and c) why they should join. The result: you increase your conversion rate from visitors to the fans. One of my favorite fan page free videos is by Steve Spangler, the Science Guy! After watching his video, you cannot help but want to join!
  5. Using Facebook Apps
    I recently tested a new live video streaming app called Vpype. The app adds a tab to your fan page called “show” and when you send in your fan page, anyone can see by default. (You may also be sent via your personal profile and selectively invite friends / friend lists). I wrote a review of this app here. By announcing via Twitter, your personal Facebook profile your blog and your e-mail list, you can send regular live Internet TV shows from your fan page and create much buzz.
    Another example of app integration is Target’s “Bullseye Gives” campaign. Target had their fans vote on which of the ten charities they most wanted to see the company donate to. By voting, becoming a post out on your Facebook wall and into the News Feeds of all your friends, leaving Target with valuable exposure. (For custom apps, see companies like Buddy Media, FanAppz, Wildfire Apps, Involver, Virtue, Context Optional.) [UPDATE: Thank you to Context Optional, the creators of Target’s “Bullseye Gives” campaign!]
  6. Integrate Facebook Comment Feature
    My favorite example is the t-shirt company Threadless. On their landing losses (canvas page) you can see and buy t-shirts and the like and comment on any item and choose to have that comment sent to your Facebook profile, as shown in this screen: Threadless actually have their landing tab set up so visitors need not be a fan of buying / comment / interact. But they have an organically built well over 100,000 fans. As users comment on articles that the activity is pushed out of their current (profile wall and their friends’ News Feeds), creating valuable viral visibility for your fan page.
  7. Add Fans to Tag Photos
    If you host live events, be sure to take lots of pictures (or even hire a professional photographer), load photos onto your fan page and encourage fans to take themselves. This, again, pushing into the wall and their friends’ News Feeds, gives valuable (free!) Exposure. And a picture is worth a thousand words – we noticed thumbnails in our feed more than text. (Props to Nick O’Neil for this tip.)
  8. Add and Embed Videos on your site
    Facebook’s video feature is very powerful. You can add video content to your Facebook fan page, take the source code and integrate into your blog / website. There is a “Become Fan” button to the right of the video itself. For an excellent tutorial, see Nick O’Neil’s post: How To Get Thousands of Facebook Fans With a single video. Since Facebook changed Become a Fan button Like button embedded Facebook videos now display a white watermark hotlink of Facebook’s name in the upper left corner of the video player – see first screenshot below. This is a clickable link that goes to the original video page on your fan page. If visitors to your site clicks through to Facebook from your video and logged in Facebook at that time, they will see a similar button on the top left corner of the video player.
  9. Create Facebook Ads
    Even with a nominal weekly / monthly budget, you should be able to increase your fan count using Facebook’s own social ad spots. It is the most targeted traffic your money can buy. To buy an ad, scroll to the foot of a page inside Facebook and click on the link at the bottom that says “Advertising”. From here you can go through the wizard and get an excellent sense of how many Facebook users are in your exact target market.  And when you advertise your fan page, Facebook users are a fan (click on the Like button) from the ad, as shown in the screenshot below. In addition, Facebook shows more of your friends who have already met you and thus create social proof.
  10. Run a Contest
    This is somewhat of a gray area, because Facebook has changed their Promotional Guidelines last year. Major, you prior written permission from Facebook and will use a significant amount of ads per month. You can however ask for Facebook users to become a fan of your fan page to participate in a contest, sweepstakes, drawing or competition. See these two posts for more explanation. Plus, good news: You can run contests and competitions using apps created by Wildfire App.
  11. Link to Twitter
    Link your Twitter account to your Facebook fan page and automatically send your Facebook content to Twitter. You can edit what is posted, choose from status updates, photos, Links, Notes and Events. You have 420 characters on Facebook and 140 on Twitter. In twitter, going out, truncates Facebook your post past a certain character count, and inserts a bit.ly link back to your fan page. To track click-through statistics on this link, just paste the bit.ly link, Facebook created for you in your browser’s address bar, and add a “+” sign to the end. This works for any bit.ly link! We advise you to promote your Facebook fan page to your twitter background and possibly in your Twitter bio / URL field too.
  12. Get Fans to Participate Via SMS
    Your fans can plug in your fan page via SMS! You must get your first 25 fans and ensure your username. Then your fan page, Facebook users simply send a text message to 32665 (FBOOK) with the words “fan yourusername” OR “as yourusername” (without quotation marks). This feature is ideal when you take a live audience, says. Have all pull out their cell phones and join your fan page on the spot! This would also work well for radio or TV. (Note that this only works for Facebook users with a verified mobile device in his or her account.)
  13. Using Print Media
    Look at each piece of print media you use in your business. Your Facebook fan page (and Twitter and other social sites you are active on) must be clearly shown. Put your Facebook fan page link (and logo) on your business cards, letterhead, brochures, print newsletters, magazine ads, products, etc.
  14. Display your shop / Business
    If your business is run by physical space, put a sign on the front desk let your customers know you are on Facebook. Ideally you have a simple, memorable nickname. Incentive clients to adhere to the same via their mobile device and show you / your staff confirmation of a kind instant rewards!
    You can give the physical coupons promote your fan page. For restaurants, made for Facebook, your user name and a call to action on your menus.
  15. Add a link on your personal profile
    If you would like to advertise your fan page to your Facebook friends, just below your image on your personal profile is a section to write something about yourself. I call this “mini bio” field and strongly suggest to add a link to your fan page like so: Be sure to format the URL with http:// or it will not be clickable only with www’s. You have a limited amount of characters, so keep it brief and leave out the www. You can put in hard line breaks even making the content easier to read.
  16. Add a Badge / Button to your profile
    Using an app like Profile HTML or Extended Info, you can create your own custom HTML, including a Facebook badge and/or graphic embedded.
  17. Use the Share button
    Share button is all over Facebook, and is a very handy feature. This only works to share on your personal profile. So periodically go to your fan page, scroll down towards the bottom left column and click the “Share +” button. Add a compelling commentary in style with exciting news, the latest changes, special incentives, etc. that goes on your fan page and invite your friends to participate if they have not already. I think the Share button far more effective than the Suggest to friends approach. (And if you want to share content from the Internet on your fan page vs profile, I highly recommend using Hootlet bookmarklet tool HootSuite.com).
  18. Use @ Tag
    As long as you are a fan of your own fan page, you can “@ tag” it on your own personal profile wall. From time to time, you can let your friends know about anything happening on your fan page by writing a personal status update that contains code your fan page with an @ tag. Simply start typing the “@” symbol and the first few letters of your fan page name (this works if you have your username registered or not) and it will be apparent from a drop-down menu to select. This then makes it a nice, subtle hyperlink that your friends may choose to click.
  19. Autograph Speakers of Other Walls
    A subtle way to get more visibility for your fan page is to add a @ tag for your fan page when you type in your friend’s walls as a way to sign. Use this one sparingly and again, monitor response from your friends. I’ve never been a fan of adding a signature block on the Facebook wall posts, because our name and profile picture thumbnail always link back to our profile yet. But the simple @ tag could be effective.
  20. Autograph Other Fan Pages
    By adding your fan page @ tag for posts you make on your friends’ walls, you can equally use the same technique when posting on other fan sites. This must be used wisely, and I would advise against doing this at any potentially competing fan page!
  21. Maybe Use “Suggest to friends”
    We would not rule this one out completely as it does depend on how many friends you have, your relationship with your friends, how often you propose fan pages / friends to your friends, etc. (see “The Big Myth” above). But I recommend monitoring the response to this technique – maybe just by asking for feedback on your status update.

So these are just 21 ways to create strategic visibility and promote your Facebook fan page. (Adapted from an article by www.gripel.com)

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