I got to speak at a marketing expo we attended this week. The topic I discussed strategies for engagement on Facebook.
I first shared what I think business owners and entrepreneurs need to know to get understanding to market themselves within the social space. Then I took some questions from the audience.
Today I’d like to elaborate a little bit on one of the questions I got.
How do I get more Facebook likes?
To set the stage a little I see a Facebook LIKE as a form of permission marketing. I also feel that it is important to focus on quality in not quantity. I would rather have an email list of 20 people that would always open my email than a list of 1000 who are indifferent to me. Same with Facebook, I’d rather have 20 people that really cared and engaged with me on Facebook than 1,000. That’s not to say that numbers don’t help–they do but let’s focus on results. First step is too…
Niche Your Pages
Another general tips I gave is it is more effective to niche out your pages. For example, let’s say your core customer base is both principals and superintendents. You could have a single page for your business and work on providing value for both of these target markets. I think this is the wrong path to take and I suggest you break these apart. You have one page focus solely on principals and yet one page focus solely on superintendents.
This allows you to create a very focused message and gives you the ability to provide highly relevant value. While having two pages might up here to be more workload it actually saves you tons of time and effort. When you have a single page focused on multiple markets you have to guess how you can add value across multiple disciplines. With this niche focus it makes it easier for you to do updates, share value, and keep a focused relevance.
So now let’s assume that you’re focusing on quality and you have a Facebook page for each of your vertical markets.
Focused Landing Page
The first thing to do is to create a single focused landing page. This landing page has one purpose for being alive. Its sole goal of this landing page is to get someone to like your Facebook page. I’ve seen pages that send people to various websites other social networks and I think this is a mistake. For that reason, this landing page should visually include your positioning, your brand image, and create a single call to action of asking the visitor to like your Facebook page.
The first thing to do is make sure that you’re always providing value. Value means different things for different markets. One thing that cuts across all these is your ability to tell a story. Focus on ways that you can tell a story of how your product or your company has helped your target market. The best way to do this for Facebook is with pictures and video on a consistent basis. This really is the backbone of Facebook. Studies show that pictures and video within Facebook get engaged with and clicked more often than just text and questions.
Your next step is to place your Facebook URL on all of your promotional materials. From business cards, of and banners, newsletters, and even letterheads. For most companies Facebook is a supporting mechanism for word of mouth and connecting with their existing client base.
I do not recommend that you spend any advertising dollars directly promoting your Facebook page. I know this is becoming popular but to me it’s a huge mistake. Your spending advertising dollars sending traffic to a platform you do not control. I’m not saying Facebook is bad it’s just that at a moment’s notice Facebook and make a change to their system that attracts from your marketing and your message.
The only way I suggest spending direct advertising dollars to promote Facebook is within the Facebook advertising network itself.
Here’s a current mistake I see a lot of companies making that I will talk about in my Podcast next week. That is coupons and special offers. I feel that companies are training their audience is to buy only when they offer coupons and special deals. I suggest you find a way to connect with your audience above these means.
Giveaways and special promotions that require or suggest your ability are some of the most effective ways to get new likes. These other promotions and I suggest you look in running.
Like I mentioned above–I don’t believe that you should spend advertising dollars sending people just to your Facebook page. If you can define your target market using psychographic information I believe you should be advertising your Facebook page within Facebook itself. This is a highly effective way to gain likes. One word of caution, advertising on Facebook is a little different than other pay-per-click platforms. First, there is no intent to purchase or like your page. Second, advertising gets stale quickly within this platform so keep in mind you will be constantly innovating your ad.
Anybody who tells you there are some secrets to growing a huge LIKE following isn’t truly adding value. Yes you can buy fans and sure you can suggest your page to your contacts, but all in all this is a marathon and not a sprint. If you have the view of slow growth you will be 100 times more successful than focusing on the short gain.