Over the last two years, I am fortunate to have grown an audience of over 100,000 fans on the Facebook page for one of my blogs. Along the way, I’ve learned some truly genius tips for building a community on a Facebook fan page. Today, I thought I’d share a few gems with you.
1. Make “Mistakes” on Your Fan Page
One of the statuses I posted that got the most interaction from readers is when I wrote “The iPhone 6 was just announced….” I knew that it was the iPhone 5s and not the iPhone 6, but I made the “mistake” to get people to correct me. That post received hundreds of comments of people correcting me on the name. I don’t know that such a simple “mistake” really makes me lose any credibility, but it definitely worked to get interaction. If my memory serves me correctly, we doubled the number of likes we usually get in one day when I wrote that status. Success! Think about the simple “mistakes” you can make in writing your status in order to get a reaction from your audience. You certainly wouldn’t want to gaff and lose your reputation, but a simple mistake is downright genius. By the way, there is a sneaky “mistake” in this post. Did you find it?
2. Monetize Your Marketing
I’m amazed, simply amazed, at the number of social media users who miss out on earning a few hundred or few thousand dollars per month by failing to use affiliate links on their fan pages. If you simply sign up to be an amazon.com affiliate, you can make between 4% and 8% of the purchase price of whatever people buy on Amazon after clicking on your link. Even if you link to a car part and they buy toilet paper, you still get your percentage. On my photography fan page, I frequently link to products that I (legitimately) like. When I do, I use my affiliate link and then I make money if anyone orders anything on Amazon after clicking my link. BE CAREFUL that you don’t become spammy, or you don’t abuse affiliate links. People can sniff out a fake from a mile away. Only link to products you’ve personally tested and you think will truly help your audience. But if you’re going to be talking about products anyway, why not make some money from it? Affiliate links may seem like an old idea–and it IS an old idea to use affiliate links on a website–but far too many social media users miss out on the opportunity to make money from affiliate links straight from their Facebook fan page.
3. Ride the coattails of the news
I listened to a fascinating podcast on “newsjacking” today, and I’m anxious to try it out on Facebook fan pages. The idea is that you think of ways to relate your business to a current news story, and then start spreading the buzz. For example, a wedding dress shop in Boston could see the news of the royal wedding and hijack the news story by writing on social media about the bride’s dress and what similar styles she has available in her shop. By riding the coattails of popular news stories, your status is more interesting to your listeners and others. Genius!
4. “Hide the ball” marketing
I did this last week on my Facebook page and it was a great marketing move for me. I hired a new person to work with my on my business and I wanted to introduce my audience to him. I could have simply put up an introduction bio on the Facebook page, but that probably wouldn’t have gotten much of a response. Instead, I got a picture of him and hid it on one of the pages of my website. It was hidden on a random article that I wrote 4 months ago. Then, I wrote on the Facebook fan page that there was a hidden picture on one of the pages of the site, and offered a (pretty good) prize to whomever found the picture and commented with the URL. Not only did this accomplish the purpose of introducing my audience to the new worker, but it also made my page views go through the roof! People were searching desperately to be the first person to find the picture. Successful marketing? I think so.
5. Reward Your Most Loyal Fans
A couple weeks ago, in an article written by Mari Smith, I learned about a cool new tool called Booshaka. It’s totally free tool (they have a paid version, but it isn’t necessary) for Facebook fan pages that shows you which of your followers commented, shared, and liked your status updates most during the previous week. With this tool, I’m going to start rewarding my most loyal followers with cool prizes. Wouldn’t it be a cool way to establish a community around your Facebook fan page by putting up a status that says something like “Congratulations to Ricky Kesler, who liked more of my status updates than any other fan this week. Ricky just won a $25 gift card to Amazon.com (or a freebie dealing more directly with your business).” How likely do you think you’ll be to get engagement the next week?
6. Declare Today “X” Day on Your Fan Page
Sometimes it can be tough to come up with creative status ideas day in and day out. One way I’ve found to fix this, and to increase engagement on my page, is to post something like “Today is before and after day. I’ll post a few before and after shots of clients.” Then you can post pictures throughout the day and ask followers to post their own before and afters. In my photography niche, I posted pictures straight out of the camera, and then what they looked like after getting Photoshopped. You could do before an afters of clients if you’re a personal trainer, or before-and-after photos of clients logos if you’re a graphic designer, etc.
7. Offer the help that only Facebook can provide
More than anything else, the thing that has helped my fan page to grow is that I publicize that I personally respond to every photography question that gets posted to the Facebook page. I find that this usually only takes 20 minutes per day, and it drives dozens of people to like my page every single day. So simple, and probably something you’re already willing to do, but advertising it makes a HUGE difference in the quality of your page.