Everyone is on Facebook: kids, parents, grandparents, and even pets. So, how come your brand’s Facebook page doesn’t have a hundred thousand fans? The answer lies in this article.
Social media has become the go-to advertising and consumer relations medium for both large and small businesses. Facebook is the king of social media; it has over 160 million users in the U.S. alone and over 1 billion users worldwide. Facebook collects personal information on its users and has become a virtual paradise for marketers. Any business trying to reach new consumers either already has or is developing a Facebook page. But it takes more than just hanging a sign in the window or setting up a Facebook page to reach consumers. Here are five easy steps to increase fans on your Facebook Page.
1. Use fun and compelling visuals
You’ve seen these; they are the funny memes, interesting infographics, and cute kitten photos blasted all over the web. We live in a very visual society and social media is only encouraging this further. Do not post a status without a visual or media component and expect people to like it, or subsequently, to like your page. However, a compelling visual can draw in consumers who may never have thought to visit your page otherwise. Here is a list of emotionally engaging visuals that you might consider using, especially if they tie closely with your content or your brand imagery:
- Kids. Try to find great pictures of children using your product or otherwise engaging with your brand. They’re a big hit among parents!
- Humor. Can you tie your content or brand to a humorous situation?
- Sex Appeal. Try to display your product or brand in a way that enhances its sex appeal. If you can find a beautiful model for your product, that can be a great opportunity to include a sexy image.
- Symbolism. Utilize symbolism where you can to associate feelings with your brand.
- Art. Has an artistic person utilized your brand or product in some way, or can your product or brand be displayed in a way that makes an artistic statement?
- Puppies and kittens. Huge hits on social media. If you can show a photo of a baby animal interacting with your brand, you’ll be tapping into one key aspect of about 95% of all the viral content out there.
- Extreme conditions. Could you get a photo of your brand or product being used on top of a mountain? In a hurricane? While camping in the arctic?
- Destroyed, yet resilient. Is there a way to destroy your product in a way that makes it look like it’s been significantly used but still functioning? This is great for improving your brand’s reputation.
2. Put a face to your Facebook page
Yoplait is a great example of this. They grew their Facebook likes by 800k in one year, which is impressive for a corporate page. How did they do this? They allowed one social media professional, Yoplait Sara, to manage their page in an engaging and natural way. She posts about her experience in getting in shape for Yoplait’s 10-mile run and recipes she has experimented with. This gave a face to the Yoplait brand that people could relate to and interact with. Try doing this with your page:
- Profile the social media managers on the about page. Even if you are unable to have one person devoted to your page like Yoplait, you can still give that personal contact.
- Post statuses that are more natural; testimonials, personal stories, company stories.
- Give your brand a mascot, like “Yoplait Sara” or “Nerdy Nelson,” then have an amateur illustrator or photographer at your company take charge of designing accompanying visuals for your page. These don’t have to be works of art, just something that your visitors can feel like they “know.”
3. Interact with the Facebook community
This may seem like common sense, but all too often organizations engage in push marketing on their Facebook pages instead of interacting with their users. It is good to send marketing messages through your Facebook page, but make an effort to engage in the comments conversation. Also, look at other posts and make relevant comments to interact with the Facebook community.
- Ask questions, post polls, and solicit feedback from your viewing audience.
- Tell interesting stories about something that happened at the office.
- Create a rapport with your customers by responding to their messages and displaying their posts publicly on your page’s timeline – this won’t happen by default. Instead, their comments will go into a small box and be jumbled together. If you can get fans interacting with each other on your page, you’ve got a conversation engine.
- Talk human. Just because you’re representing your company, you don’t have to engage with your audience in “corporate speak.”
- Companies are made up of people. Give your people a chance to post on the Facebook wall with their own hobbies and interests and you’ll begin to form real bonds with your customers.
4. Host games and contests
Games and contests are fun and can both market your products or services and increase your Facebook likes. Georgetown Cupcake is a great example of this strategy. They host trivia games with prizes and post a free secret cupcake for the day for the first 100 orders.
5. Keep content clear and concise
Content is king in any communications campaign, and social media is no exception. You want to have interesting posts that are short and to the point. Although Facebook is not limited to 140 characters like Twitter, it is a good practice to keep posts to about four sentences or shorter. Anything that is longer had better “hook” your audience in the first sentence or two, because they’ll have to click the “See More” link at the bottom of the conversation on their timeline to read the rest of the post. For that reason, be sure to never “bury the lead” by putting important information below the first paragraph.
Social Media Success Story #1
Our first social media success story comes from Victoria’s Secret. We didn’t pick Victoria’s Secret because they have more than 20 million fans, though that’s a plus, but because they have 600,000 engaged fans, an engagement ratio of about 1:33. This was the highest ratio of engaged fans to total fans that we could find for a brand with more than a million fans.
Why are brands like Victoria’s Secret so successful? Over the last week, they’ve posted product photos with beautiful models (see recommendation #1 in this article), posted coupons and offers, interacted with fans, and made an average of four posts a day.
Social Media Success Story #2
Our second social media success story comes from Chobani Yogurt. Chobani’s a company who does social media very well. They have over 600,000 likes and more than 10,000 people “talking about this, ” an engagement ratio of 1:60. Compared to other brands in the category, Yoplait has an engagement ratio of about 1:120 and Dannon of about 1:2000. Compared to other food brands, Oreo has an engagement ratio of 1:150, Coca Cola of about 1:90, and Snickers of about 1:125.
Let’s review Chobani’s Facebook page. They regularly post photos of their products in action, interact with fans on Facebook and Twitter, and almost every post includes a “call to action” like “Share the excitement.” Or “Like our new flavor?” Of the ten most recent posts on Chobani’s Facebook page, two were a new product, three were recipes featuring Chobani, three featured a strategy that we specifically detailed in Step 1, and all ten had pictures. Eight specifically featured the product.
I wish I could tell you there was no recipe for success for social media, because that would keep social media managers employed, but there truly is. It’s something that you can do yourself with minimal effort and, thanks to Facebook’s robust analytics engine, you can watch your user engagement grow in real time.
What are the steps you’re taking to grow your Facebook fan page? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.