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5 ways to build your Facebook fan base

How do you build your fan base on Facebook? This can be quite subjective and it truly varies from company to company and across various audiences. And of course you will have to do some testing and research to figure out what works best for your organization and what will resonate most with your audience.

Begin with the end in mind. Outline a very specific goal complete with a timeline, target number of fans you want your page to reach or what you want your page to do. How do you want your page to serve your fans? Outlining a goal will provide a solid foundation for developing measurable objectives and hopefully these five ideas will spark some ideas.

1. Give fans a voice – whether through daily questions, polls or by inviting fans to post photos, links or relevant events, it will help your brand become the venue for virtual social gatherings. By giving fans a voice, you let them know you value what they have to say about your brand and often times they become your best advocates.

2. Contests – engage your fans through fun, interactive contests. Create a campaign that requires them to take some sort of action, which will in turn appear on their wall and in their friends’ newsfeeds. See what Ikea did with their photo-tagging contest…brilliant.

3. Exclusivity and consistency – make your fan page a virtual “Members Only” jacket through special offers and exclusive information only available to your fans. Consider posting one piece of information on a consistent basis – something that’s signature to you…maybe a tip, question or interesting fact of the day. See what Sears did with their $10 coupon or Einstein Brothers did with their free bagel offer. Dell used their page to create a social media resource for small businesses.

4. Make it easy for people to find you – typically users are not poking around Facebook for companies to fan. They are usually pointed to the page by some external link. Be sure to link to your fan page from your other sites, social networks, email newsletter and in your email signature block.

5. Advertise – consider advertising on Facebook. The self-service ad platform works much in the same way early versions of Google AdWords worked. You can set spending limits and choose either cost per thousand impressions (CPM) or cost per click (CPC). The platform also enables you to drill down to an extremely targeted group based on gender, age, location, and preferences to name a few.

Bottom line…engage, engage, engage, but always keep it relevant to your fans. There are also tons of Facebook applications that can help you customize your page and develop fun ways to interact with your fans. To help spark a few ideas check out other business pages that have successfully grown their fan base: Ikea, Dove and Pepsi Refresh are just a few.

Question of the week:

What tactic have you used to generate more fans or what is an approach you’ve seen another company successfully use?

For more tips and tools check out JetPack Radio. Feel free to fan Wired PR too!

Enclosures: MP3, M4V

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