This guest post is by Neil Patel of Quick Sprout.
Would you like to double, or even triple the number of fans you have on your Facebook business page? Are you looking to turn those fans into loyal and active fans?
Your Facebook business page can die on the vine without a loyal and active following.
But success will never come overnight. Instead it will require that you apply the marketing strategies you are about to read … plus a little bit of hustle.
Tactic #1: Crank out a lot of content
People like Facebook business pages for many reasons. They want to learn more about the brand, discover new products, and get educated.
So the very first Facebook marketing strategy you need to use is providing a lot of content in different media like photos, posts, videos, and surveys and you have to do it consistently.
The passionate community around eCycler was developed because the brand posted great content on recycling in the Notes sections on a consistent basis.
In addition, they posted fun videos and used Facebook to show its 10,000 plus fans how the inside of the company works. This transparency from the co-founders of this Illinois-based company has made it a great communication channel between the brand and the fans.
Meanwhile, the community over at the SmartPak Facebook page is very active, leaving hundreds of comments on the dozens of videos and 1,000 plus photos that SmartPak has posted.
The company uses Facebook to market new products on nutritional supplements and medications for horses, but it’s developed into something so much more over time. Over 110,000 fans talk, share ideas and like the consistent content that SmartPak shares. In turn Facebook has become the seventh highest source of traffic to their website.
SmartPak’s director of new media, however, says that it’s really become a place where they deliver great customer service, responding to complaints and trying to help users of their products to solve problems.
Tactic 2: Run weekly giveaways and discounts
One way to drive a loyal following to your Facebook page is to have weekly giveaways. The candle company Candles Off Main’s Facebook page not only provides weekly discounts on its products, but also shares great instructional videos and very detailed photos that help educate and entice potential buyers.
The company has been around for five years but joined Facebook only in 2009. In that time they’ve grown their fans to over 3,500 with a blend of giveaways. But this is not just about tripling their following: it’s about a community they created where members are active on discussion boards and constantly giving responses to posts.
Their Facebook fan page isn’t a big driver of sales—it produces less than ten percent of sales, but it provides something way more valuable. The community they built with giveaways and then cultivated into a thriving community gives the company insight and suggestions on how to make better products that followers will buy.
Tactic #3: Train your staff
Stella & Dot is a direct-selling company that gives women who work from home an entrepreneurial business platform. And their Facebook fan page, with over 166,000 fans, is a hive of activity. There, fans rave about products, people share ideas on how to be stylish, and direct-sellers share testimonials about happy customers.
But the unique thing about Stella & Dot is that they use Facebook to train a staff team that’s spread across the country. For each product that the company creates, they also create a video demonstrating how the jewelry should be worn and what it should be worn with. Then they post it on Faceboook so their direct sellers can watch it.
The neat thing about this is everyone gets to see the content—each instructional video serves to entice potential customers as well as training the staff.
Tactic #4: Create a culture
Clothing company Threadless has turned the tables on the conventional business model by putting all the power in the customers’ hands. It’s more of a culture than it is a business, and its using its Facebook fan page to drive that culture.
There, the business invite fans to share t-shirt designs and then vote on their favorites. Threadless will then make that product. You can also buy products straight from the Facebook site. Of course, the company shares interesting videos and photos on the stream, but it encourages face-to-face meetings through the page.
Thousands of people share their ideas via the company’s website, but it is on Facebook that the actual voting occurs. That voting, and the interaction between the designers and the fans, creates a powerful culture that continues to grow as Threadless advocates talk about the company across the social web.
Tactic #5: Make word-of-mouth advocacy easy
There is no denying it: you trust people you know more than you trust strangers. So when you see a product shared by a friend, you are more likely to consider using that product. It’s that word of mouth that really works on Facebook, which Brendan’s Irish Pub in Camarillo, CA used to grow its fan base before the business opened its doors.
It created a business fan page to generate buzz about parties, sell products, and get commitments from first-time customers about coming to the grand opening.
The Facebook page existed months before the pub did, and owner Tyler Rex used that time to create hype around the Camarillo area. In just those few months he gained over 3,500 fans in a city of 65,000 people.
Tactic #6: Encourage fan-to-fan conversations
Your Facebook business community will get much better if you have fans talking to each other, and the best way to do this is by putting the spotlight on those very fans.
One way you can do this is by creating a “Fan of the Week” post to recognize top contributors to the community. But if you have a Facebook fan base like Bare Escentuals you can take a hands-off marketing approach, and still get fans to talk to each other.
Fans totally dominate the conversation here. Bare Escentuals has adopted a strategy in which they do not ask for testimonials, yet the 550,000+ fans leave hundreds of them, which in turn leads to traffic being driven to their resellers and shops.
But this fan-to-fan conversation has also given the company recommendations on how to improve the product. The chief marketing officer said that their new “Click, Lock, Go” container was created as a result of suggestions from fans.
Tactic #7: Focus on your brand
When it comes to how your Facebook page should look, you can go about it in two ways. One way you can brand it to look just like your website. The other way is to create a completely different experience so that fans have a feeling of exclusivity when they like your page.
Community Coffee chose to keep the brand consistent, using the same colors, style, and even images from their website to their Facebook page. But they deliver that feeling of exclusivity through the use of recipe posts, and inviting fans to post their own recipes, contests and trivia.
Facebook has proven to be a great new media marketing tool for this company, which is over 90 years old. The active fan base is exposed to the brand, which in turn builds awareness of the business, generates more leads, and engages customers.
Tactic #8: Donate a dollar to quickly build a fan base
You can build a terrific following by pledging to donate $1 to a charity every time someone Likes your Facebook page. That’s exactly what Clarisonic did last year. They increased their fan base by over 80 percent and raised $30,000 to help women with cancer.
But once you are a fan of Clarisonic, you’re treated to lots of activities that get you involved, such as contests that invite users to share pictures of themselves using the brand’s products. That’s the key to running this type of pledge: once you have fans, you need to keep them engaged using some of the tactics that I’ve shared above.
When you follow up with good user-interaction content like Calrisonic did (they’re doing pretty well, with over 118,000 fans) you can build on that momentum from the quick injection of fans as they spread the word about your company across the social web.
Tactic #9: Reward your social media users
If you have a brick-and-motor store like Fresh Brothers, a southern CA pizza chain, then you can use your Facebook business page as a place to reward your fans with discount codes for products.
The company actually shares a weekly special to thank fans, and if you Like their page, you’ll get access to these weekly deals. This is applying the exclusivity trick to entice people to follow Fresh Brothers.
But Fresh Brothers also rewards fans with great stories about their family, as the company is run by three brothers, employee tales, and snippets of company history. This is a really great way to deliver that human touch that shows customers that this isn’t just another business who wants to get its hands on their money—it’s a company with personality that truly cares about customers.
What’s your favorite tactic?
One of the keys to running a successful business Facebook fan page is to create a very human feel to it. That can be done through great content like photos and videos, all the way to providing awesome deals to fans as a thank you for their following you.
You will be rewarded with an active community of fans sharing their own stories, creating conversations about your brand across the social web, and even driving traffic to your website.
What other Facebook marketing strategies have you found effective for building a fan base? Share them with us below.
Neil Patel is an online marketing consultant and the co-founder of KISSmetrics. He also blogs at Quick Sprout.
awesome and valuable topic. I am interested to using one of the above.
I’ll definitely use these! I’m interested in all of these.
This are really cool tips, thanks for sharing
Neil always writes some of the best blog content around. I love all of the different examples and screenshots. It really brings the blog post to life and makes you start thinking about how you can make Facebook Fan Pages better.
How about another article where the “brand” is a blog? I’d love to see what other blogs (not connected to a brick and mortar or online store . . . just ads, affiliate marketing and maybe an ebook) are doing!
Facebook is a big part of my strategy and I’m always looking for new things to do with it and ways to grow the fan base.
I like the focus placed on rewarding fans. Reward your fans, your fans reward you. Sow. Reap.
Reward fans with top shelf content. Grow a loyal, rabid following who does much of your marketing work for you via word of mouth advertising. Running weekly specials is a powerful way to develop even greater trust among your fan base.
Engaging fans works well, too. Respond to each Like and comment in the beginning. As your page grows it might be impossible to respond to each Like and comment but maintain an active presence. Show up to remind your fans why they are fans: you, or your company cares, and listens. No better way to market like a pro. Show up, listen and let your fans know that you care about them.
I like logging in to FB under my Fan page profile. I network with other people in my niche to expand my presence, attract more fans and create value by adding value-packed comments to helpful status updates. If you want to gain traction in the fan-adding department try this little trick to gain a quick fan boost.
Really neat ideas here. Thanks for sharing Neil.
Another masterpiece from the expert! I think I can try most of them for my latest blog.
“Tactic 8: Donate a dollar” is the best one in this list. thanks Neil for sharing the great content.
Great tips overall Neil, but Im going to have to strongly disagree with #8. Not that it doesn’t work sometimes to gain numbers, but as far as gaining true fans and interaction, it’s poor.
Also, I believe that if an organization truly cares about a cause, they should just give money. Using “Like us and we’ll donate” feels manipulative, dis-ingenuousness, and cheap.
Some very good tips. I’m not new to Facebook, but new to my Facebook Business Page. We have started to post pictures and product specials, but it’s difficult to get a good following right away. I may use some of your tips to jump start our page. Thank you.
Great tips. I will definitely will be using a few of them to promote my page.
I definitely have been missing out on the facebook traffic method. I need to start implementing social networks in my regimen.
These tips are great! I do like when companies talk about their products but only if they do it in a breif message. I like to be able to just get the facts and then if I want to know more I can always ask. Thank you for sharing your ideas.
Thanks Neil. Those are great tips!
One other tip that I’ve found useful is to pin / highlight some of the great content that fans have shared and openly acknowledging them for their contribution.
This method has proven effective in both increasing user engagement as well as brand loyalty on our clients pages.
P.S. The link for ‘online marketing consultant’ in your byline seems to be broken. You might want to check it out.
Thanks for that tips, my blog is realy doing fine, because it has to secret about life, many do not know about, such as how to be successful in life, how to stop suicide worldwide,how to know if someone truly love you,how to get wisdom and many more visit now to get the best out of it and you will never remain thesame any more
Content is king when it comes to being able to engage your current community. If you stop giving them good things to click on you will lose your edgerank score, and never be seen in the news feed :(.
Another important thing to mention from this post is a lot of custom applications formerly tabs were used to help these companies complete their goals. With the right application you can create a fan increasing campaign, that actually helps you continue your marketing funnel. You can use your application to collect emails and even addresses to add marketing value.
These were great tips for both big business and the small entrepreneur like myself, working on building an active community and a nice fan base. I agree with Ryan about rewarding your fans and reaping the benefits of that. I think that contests and giveaways are great but they can also be fleeting as far as loyalty goes. It’s a fine line between basically “buying” likes and actually getting loyal engagement. Will those fans continue to pop in over the long-run even when there isn’t a contest or giveaway?
awesome and valuable topic.I am interested to using one of the above.
Great post, we are finding that once you get a certain fan base it starts to snowball, as soon as one fan likes your page all of their friends see it then some of those like it continually multiplying which really helps to grow your fan base. We have also been trialing facebook questions which is getting a lot of feedback and now more and more fans are posting how many out if our 100 places they have been to which is generating inter fan conversations.
I’m definitely gonna create a FB page for my salon because of this article. love it, keep it up.
Great tips, I was looking for some advice on how to increase my FB fans and guess this will do! I appreciate all the given advice.
Great post Neil! I recently created a facebook page for my blog and I’ll try to incorporate all your tips. Anyway, thanks for the tactics.
Good work Neil! I think given the nature of Facebook and how it functions, you really want to jam-pack your page with useful material (without flooding it of course). It really gives that “full and complete” feeling to both your page and your brand. It’s something we are really trying to incorporate into our Facebook page! We’ll be implementing some of the things you’ve outlined in your other 8 pointers :)
Definitely precious tips! I’ve been looking for just like this tips so that I increase my FB fans as good as. I appreciate all the given advice and tips. I hope now I can do this very easily. Thanks
These tips are definitely the best to follow, it’s important not to lack on your content here, a lot of people do when it comes to a Facebook Status, just remember though you have more space than a tweet you should use it, be creative, ask questions, ask your users views.
I’m currently working on building our fan base on Facebook. I’m beginning with contests) to get people in the door but I don’t want our Facebook page to just be a place to post links to our blog’s articles. I love this list of tips… thanks!
Thanks for leaving this comment, Tim! I *do* use my Facebook mainly as a place to post links to my blogs articles. I think I am a little too formal with my blog (for fear of pissing people off…. a lot of people tend to get mad at me just for talking once they find out I’m vegan. They love puppies and will talk about adoption etc and humane treatment of animals with anyone but vegans lol). I think trying to tiptoe around anything controversial had led me to appear to have no personality, which I actually have a lot of. My FB page is exactly that, personalityless and boring. This comment helped me realize that and I’m going to make an effort to use my facebook for more than just posting links to my blog. Thanks for the unintentional help!
awesome and valuable topic. I am interested to using one of the above.
It’s a great article but it’s soooooooooo much easier to promote a business with a product AND a bricks and mortar store front. With a service, such as mine, there are not pictures of the products, there isn’t a physical store front either. I would like to see a great article on marketing that. This stuff above, no disrespect meant, is the easy part.
Using Facebook as a RSS feed of your blog posts is not enough. As said in point 1, I regularly add pictures, polls, or simply small tidbits of info that don’t justify a full post. In other words, exclusive Facebook content.
WOW! Honored to be mentioned. Thanks so much for noticing us.
How much promoting is too much?
Love em. Thanks!
All of the FB marketing tactics are great.. However, the ‘Fan of the Day’ and ‘donate a dollar’ really did a kick-start to my marketing brain. Thanks for sharing!
Wow! These are great strategies. My business page is only a week old and over 50 “likes” already which is cool. Your tips have given me some great ideas as to how an artist can build a page and create “brand.” I like the giveaway idea and you’ve given me and idea of what I could do. Thanks!
Tactic #6: Encourage fan-to-fan conversations
Love this tactic. A successful FB page is where fans connect to other fans. This what makes a strong online community.
Great advice, thank you. Our business page fans have been static for months now, I’m grateful for the tips on kick starting our campaigns
Great post and information Neil! I also like Tactic #6: Encourage fan-to-fan conversations.
It is something I have been working on. This article has spurred me on to do more. Thanks!
Has anyone noticed, only 3 people haven’t put their website link. That’s pretty large. Maybe we could all stop spamming our links (lol, that would never happen), but I’m still doing it. But anyways, great job Neil! I loved Tactic #5. I’m going to do more!!! Facebook, here I come! Neil, could you do some on Google Plus, etc.?
Thank you Neil – an informative and professionally written post.
I really enjoyed it and I clicked on each link to the Facebook pages you mentioned. This is triggering ideas. I have websites that offer services as well like advertising or web design so it is going to be a little different for my business, but all in all it is the same principle: offer something valuable to your visitors. What do we offer to our customer? If there is no photo of an actual product, we may offer a photo or a video of a happy client or the process itself. Thanks again very much! Mira
the hardest is to create a culture, you need to get targeted niche before drive them into your culture.. It’s better especially for a new site/page to give offers like discount or giveaways 1st! nice post btw!