You’re probably reading this because you have a Facebook Page yourself or are thinking about starting one, right? You want to attract “fans” or “likes” or whatever we’re calling them on Facebook these days but you’re not exactly sure how to do it.
Maybe you’ve put a link in your email signature to your Page or added it to you website, Twitter’ed about it, etc. but it’s still not taking off like you’d hoped.
If that’s the case then perhaps this post will be of value to you.
FIRST THINGS FIRST when it comes to growing Facebook, Twitter or any social media platform…. you MUST start with the right mindset. Don’t think about attracting “fans” or “likes” or “followers.” Think about it in the sense of building community, a community that you get the privilege to shepherd and grow. As Seth Godin calls it, think of it as a TRIBE. When your mind makes that shift then you go from trying to build a following for your own benefit to creating a community for the benefit of others. Sure, you’ll gain but hopefully so will many others in the process. It must be more about them than it is about you if you are to make it really work.
Don’t glaze over that last statement. It’s fundamental and will make a significant difference in how your community grows, if it’s sustainable and if it’s truly valuable.
SECOND, don’t think in terms of numbers alone. Think about Engagement. Sure, you might have been attracted to the “5000 Fans in a Month” headline of this post but seriously, the number is far less important than the level of engagement you create. I’d rather have 500 fully engaged community members than 2000 that were just lurking… not playing some sort of active role. Engagement is critical. It’s the only way your community will grow and be mobilized into action. Anyone can amass a flock but those who figure out how to engage it and lead it will be those who make a difference.
THIRD, think about conversations. When you step into a party, you interact with others. You converse. Now if you only talk about yourself then you’ll quickly crash and burn but if you are lively and engage others in conversation by finding common interests, talking about them or asking questions that bring out conversational responses then you you’ll be a hit. Same goes for Facebook and social media in general. Don’t just post just about yourself or your product all the time. Be helpful. Be resourceful. Share. (Hint: Use Michael Hyatt’s 20-to-1 Rule). Invite others to share and join in. Don’t be static, ask questions. Talk to people like they are real humans with real likes, interests, etc. Show that you care and perhaps they will care in return.
FOURTH, think topical. Many times you see someone create a Facebook page around a person, product or brand and that’s okay BUT those things alone are hard to create conversations around… at least ongoing and meaningful conversations. You need to engage in conversations that people care about. You can make you page an author page, product page, etc but just make sure your posts and your conversations are around topics that people can connect with and relate to.
FIFTH, how’d I do it? That’s what you really to know right? The formula? The magic pill? The silver bullet? Of course you do but don’t think that you can simply replicate the steps below without understanding the statements above and get the same impact. Even these steps I share and an understanding of the above won’t guarantee success. Every Facebook Page and author, product, business, personality, etc that it represents is unique and the results will be unique as well.
Take what I am sharing below as a guide but know that success for you might look different. Often it takes trial and error plus some testing to find the right mix of what works for your unique community and perspective. Be willing to try. Be willing to fail but most of all, don’t give up.
Here goes… the steps I took:
- I setup the page.
- I customized it a little by adding a FBML HTML box on the left sidebar to include some graphics and links (just to jazz it up a tad and personalize it).
- I kept the landing page of the Facebook page URL to the WALL TAB instead of creating a custom “Welcome” tab or anything like that (despite what many “social media experts” suggest). Why? in this case I wanted newcomers to come in and see conversations taking place. The conversations where the draw (Hint: conversations are what makes “social media” social). I wanted them to see not only what we posted as updates but also the interactions from others that added value to the conversation.
- I initially ran $200 in paid ads on Facebook to promote the page. Now this is a big point. I setup 10 different ads with variations of headlines and content (a form of split testing). Also targeted different demographics of people with the ads and tested variances in CPC (cost per click) rates. Once I found the ads that were performing best, giving me the most clicks at the lowest CPC then I narrowed those ads down to the 2 best performers and moved to the next step.
- Then I ran $500 in paid ads with my 2 best ads. Why? This helped me prime the pump and obtain almost 1000 members really fast. I was able to quickly attract a targeted, qualified person to the page. By qualified I mean someone that met the demographic / psychographic match that I was looking for.
- Simultaneously as the ads were running we began to post and interact with the community. We didn’t post about a product at all. We posted questions and statements that elicited a response. As members began to grow so did the interaction. A real sense of community was developing in that people were engaging, commenting on posts, and interacting with a topic that they cared about.
- Then we began to push traffic from elsewhere. We began Tweeting links, asking others to Tweet links, asking current Fans to spread the word and tell their friends about the page, share posts, etc. You see we first built a base in #5 & #6 above. Almost stealth like so that when we began to promote the Page more publicly that there would be something valuable already in play. Much easier to convert someone to click the “LIKE” button when they see others already engaged. There’s a certain emotional draw when people see other people involved, it makes them want to get involved as well.
- Rinse and repeat. Seriously, we continued that same strategy. Engaged the existing community, made the conversations matter, asked them to share (periodically – be careful not to over kill the “Ask”), promoted it externally and it grew and has continued to grow. Every now and then we pushed the product / book, etc but we did so very strategically and it worked.
The page is up to 7,100+ members at the time of this post and still growing. Now you might be asking if I am going to share a link to this page with you and the answer is no. You’ll have to trust me with the screen shot. Why not link to it? The page was created for a client based on a specific project he needed. It’s a page that has a heavy political slant and I don’t really want to go political on this blog (for a number of reasons).
So there you have it. How I Grew a Facebook Page to 5000 Fans in a Month.
Share Your Facebook Page / Tips. Do you have a Facebook Page? Share a comment and post a link to your Page. If I get some free time, I’d be happy to take a look and offer a few tips that might help you expand your community as well. Or if you have additional tips to share that might be helpful to others (the things you’ve tried that work and don’t work for you), feel free to post those as well. Click Here to Comment.
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