By Hector Cisneros
|Courtesy of Flickr|
In the past, I have written other articles the show more than a dozen ways to grow your Facebook Fan Base. This article will focus on the easiest way to grow your fan base. If you're new to Facebook or have been using it for a while, but have yet to delve into its rules and multitude of functions, then you’re starting off by reading the right article. On the other hand, if you have been doing your homework, but are still not getting the kind of result you want then you're still in the right place. This article is geared to those gorilla and newbie marketers who just want something simple and cost-effective so that they too can compete in this huge social media arena. So, get ready and set your learning meter to full speed ahead to learn a dozen easy to use ways to grow your Facebook Fan base.
So, the obvious starting questions for any would be marketer should be; why grow my Facebook following? What’s in it for me? The simple answer is that Facebook is a big pond with almost 2 billion subscribers. If you love Facebook, then it is also a venue that you will spend time learning, use, and marketing in.
Facebook Vs Google
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If you compare, let’s say Facebook and Google, you will see many differences. Google has the biggest fishing pond out there. It has several billion subscribers to its Gmail platform, which also means they have people primed to use, Google Search, Google+, Google pictures, Blogger, YouTube, Google ad network, AdWords, Google Analytics and many more Google properties. Google search has the most traffic, and YouTube is the second most searched property on the internet. Also, those who are on Google, are usually searching for something specific. That is to say. Searches on Google properties were generally initiated by the user. The keywords are the most important focal point of the search.
For many, Google is a great marketing choice. Having said that, it's not the best place for a newbie marketer with a minimal budget. The AdWords platform is extensive and somewhat complicated. It is also not the best place to hunt for Facebook Followers. Facebook is the best place for that. You may be thinking that this is common sense, but many a business has come to me saying that Facebook and social media did not work for them, so they chose to use Google instead. Well, if you’re not fishing in the Facebook fishing pond, it will never produce anything for you. The real problem they had was they did not have any way of reaching a large enough number of Facebook fans to make their marketing work for them.
|Courtesy of WorkingtheWebtowin.com on Facebook|
Facebook works very differently that Google. Its method for targeting subscribers is based more on psycho-graphic information (i.e. what the person have in their profile) than what they are searching for. You can use keywords in your ads, but Facebook ads are not based on keyword searches, they are interruptive ads. That is, they show up based on the subscriber's profile not on what someone is looking for. In other words, they are not looking for your product or services they are using Facebook for their own devices. So, any attempt to get them to pay attention to you must be carried out in a way that gets them interested without making them mad or turning them off. If your posting useful content to the timeline, under the assumption that posting ads, coupons, and other useful sales information will be seen by your target audience, you're sadly mistaken. This is a Bad assumption! Facebook filters all timeline post based on relevance to a person’s profile preferences and other undisclosed algorithms criteria. This means that most of what you post is never seen, by people who have liked your Fan page. On top of that, no one else is seeing either!
Fan Base Vs Paid Reach
Just as important as having your post seen by your fans, is having it seen by a large number of other potential subscribers. To reach a large number of people in Social Media today requires that you either have a large loyal fan base like Lady Gaga or your buying advertisement to increase your reach. Marketing is a numbers game. You need a large following to get the impact most expect from marketing. If you have 150 fans and your discount coupon post for a $300 product doesn’t produce a result, most people throw up their hands and say, “this doesn’t work.” Well, statistically you can’t really tell because your sample is too small and your marketing is being skewed by Facebook's Filters. So, the first thing you must understand is that marketing in any media is greatly enhanced when that medium contains a large number of prospects that will see your marketing. They must see your post, coupon or other ad or it’s just a billboard in the desert! So, let’s fix the number problem. Also gone are the days of exclusive organic marketing. Today most social nets are using algorithms to determine what shows up in a consumer’s timeline. If you want to be seen by a large number of people, you will have to anti-up to the social net some pay per click, boost or other promotional money or your viewership will remain too small.
|Courtesy of WorkingtheWebtowin.com|
I had a client who was looking for a cost-effective way to get more sales. They had tried Newsprint, Radio, TV, Google AdWords, and Facebook. All of which he stated were either too expensive (Newsprint, radio, and TV), for the return he was receiving or the effort put forth (as in posting to Facebook). He felt that Facebook was not producing any significant return. I asked him how many Facebook fans did he have. He stated that he had several thousand Facebook fan page likes and that his teams were posting daily to Facebook. He also quickly added that, for all his work on Facebook, he had only received two sales in the last year that he could directly attribute towards that effort.
I then asked him, does he like to fish? He looked at me strangely and said sometimes. I asked do you normally go fishing where there are lots of fish, (like in the ocean, large lakes, rivers) or did he like to fish in small ponds. He said he liked going where there were lots of fish. I then asked what bait does he use. He stated he normally used what was appropriate for the area. I asked, what happens if the fish don’t bite on the bait you're using. He said then they would switch bait. I told him that he seemed like he was a smart fisherman, but I was confused as to why he did not do the same thing with his Facebook marketing? Again, he looked a little confused based on my reply. I then clarified my point. You had gone through a lot of trouble to build and stock a big fishing pond (his Facebook Fan page and following) yet when they did not bite (buy his products) based on the marketing method they used (posting special and daily curated content), he gave up. I asked him why did you try different types of bait? His answer was simple; he did not know what else to try. I then explained that there was a multitude of methods he could use and that we should experiment with several methods to see which work best (i.e. produced the best return on investment). Today that client has discovered that if one method doesn’t work, it’s time to change bait.
|Courtesy of WorkingtheWebtowin.com|
There are two ways to grow your Facebook fan base. One is organic, and the other is through promotional advertising. Let’s look at both.
Organic Growth Method and Marketing
- Easiest - Daily inviting people to follow you.
- Easy - Providing useful, curated post and asking fans what they think of your post.
- Harder More Involved - Providing useful, authoritative post (blogs, podcast, videos) and asking fans to share your post.
- Harder More Involved - Providing and make available, useful, authoritative content on your Facebook fan page (Articles, white papers, useful list, photo albums, etc.).
- Easy - Connecting with, following and partnering with other vendors on Facebook.
- Harder More Involved - Running fun, timeline contests and interactive surveys to engage fans. This requires research and money.
- Easy - If you’re on other social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn or Google Plus, ask them to like your Facebook fan page.
- Easy - On your personal Facebook page - promote your Fan page
- Easy - Ask customers to like your fan page when they visit your store.
- Easy - Send an email to ask your best customer to invite their friends to like your fan page.
- Easy Ask for testimonials and five-star ratings from your best customers.
- Harder More Involved - Create and send a snail mail piece inviting people to connect with you and like your fan page.
Paid Promotional Ad Marketing
|Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons|
- Easiest - Boost a post that received some engagement.
- Easy - Boost a sign based ad.
- Easy - Post your site on promotional directories and them to share and like your page.
- Harder More Involved - Boost a video, blog article or podcast you have produced.
- Harder More Involved - Create an ad. This requires some research and specific knowledge for running a pay per click/view promotion for your product or service. Make sure you also ask the ad viewer to like your page as well.
- Easy - Do a mailing to your existing Fan base and ask them to share your Fan page with others. This requires you to record their email address.
- Easy Use Facebook, email inviting system to scan your email list to invite people to follow your fan page.
- Harder More Involved - Purchase and setup value-add systems like scratch off games, couponing and customer loyalty rewards plugins to gather more loyal fans.
- Harder More Involved - Use sponsored post to generate likes.
- Easiest - Use any of the promotional items Facebook provides at the top of your fan page. These include; sharing a Photo or Video, Get Booking, Get Phone Calls, Get Message, Create and Event, Create an Offer, and Help people find you. All of these options can be easily created and then Boosted as an ad for very little money.
If you are trying to engage in Facebook marketing and your return on investment (whether it's just your time, money or both) is poor or worse, start by looking at the big picture. Are you trying to market to a small number of fans? If this is the case, you will want to expand your reach by actively growing your fan base, and by engaging in promotional advertising which will give you reach beyond your current fan base. If your efforts are still producing poor returns, you need to look at your methods, message, and offer. Your bait will often be the limiting factor. This is where the help of a good marketing company will go a long way. Often the cost of using an outsourced company for Facebook marketing is nominal. If they produce good results, they will pay for themselves anyway. If you still don’t have the budget to do this, consider learning as much as you can. I recommend reading; “An Irresistible Offer That Lets Small Businesses Compete” and “How to Create an Irresistible Offer.” I also believe you will find “Marketing 101 – What you need to Know before Buying Advertising” to be useful as well. It is my hope that you will utilize that information in these articles to enhance, grow and profit from your Facebook Fan Page and followers. In most cases, if you’re not profiting from your efforts, it’s because the pond is too small or you're using the wrong bait.
That’s my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.
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This article provides more than a dozen easy ways you can grow and market to your Facebook Fan base. The items listed are tagged as easiest, easy, and harder more involved, so that the reader can choose which items they want to try first. Also provided are links to other articles that share Facebook marketing tips and other marketing secrets.
If you feel your business could use some help with its marketing, contact us at 904-410-2091 or fill out the form in the sidebar of this blog, we will provide a free marketing analysis to help you get better results. If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, and co-workers. I recommend reading, "The Physic of Marketing - Analogies for the 21st Century", "The Three Phases of Successful Marketing" and "Understanding the Difference Between Branding, Marketing and Advertising" for a comprehensive view. You can find other articles on our blog by typing in “Facebook, marketing or advertising” in the search box at the top of this blog. Also, check out the “Blog Talk Radio, Internet podcast, that goes with this article ” and the Show Note Page, it has, even more, links for you to check out. If you have a useful comment or opinion related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog. Also, don’t forget to plus us, on Google+.
Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida. He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”