One of my favorite blogs, Freelance Folder, created a Facebook fan page on October 6th, 2009. On November 10th,approximately 35 days later, they reached the one thousand fan milestone. How did they do it? I’ll show you how they accomplished it and how you can to!
First things first, we’ll run through a quick guide to creating fan pages. From there we’ll move into some of the fan growth strategies.
Getting Started With a Facebook Fan Page
To create a Facebook fan page you can simply visit the public page that allows you to create ads and pages. Click on Create a Page. You will be given three options:
- Artist, Band, or Public Figure
Simply choose the category that suits your business the most and follow the instructions. As you can see, creating a fan page on Facebook takes about five minutes max. That said, building it and growing a community within that page can take months.
Now that you’ve created a fan page for your business or site, let’s start growing it.
Get Your Friends Involved
The first thing you want to do to grow your fan page is utilize close friends on Facebook. Let your friends know that you have created a fan page and ask them to be a fan. It’s almost guaranteed that they will become a fan without hesitating.
Save the first few days for the close-knit group and then extend invites to a larger group.
Now it’s Time to Send Some Invitations
Now that you have asked your close friends to become fans, it’s time to send out invites to your acquaintances.
If you have a few hundred friends, do not send out invites all at once. You don’t want a spike of fans one day and be dead in the water the next day. A great ‘rule’ to follow is to send out invites in sets by first letter.
For example, you can send out invites to those folks with names thta begin with the letters A, B and C on day 1. On the second day, send out invites to people whose name begin with the letters D, E, F and G and so on.
This way you don’t end up getting fifty fans one day and nothing the rest of the days. The Suggest to Friends feature is on the left right under your fan page profile picture as seen in the image above.
Now that you’ve sent out your invites, you need to decide whether to run an ad campaign to promote your fan page.
Run a Facebook Ad Campaign (optional)
Being a freelancer myself I know that budget are extremely tight. That said, if you can spare $5.00 to $20.00 I highly recommend running an ad campaign. Facebook allows you to target your ads and gives you the option to pinpoint who sees the ad. You can target ads based on age, gender, location, profession, etc.
You can either pay for impressions or for clicks. I recommend the impressions model because the main goal is to get the page seen by as many people as possible. Even if they don’t click and sign up when they see the ad, there is a possibility that they might come back later.
To create an ad, go to public page that allows you to create ads and pages.
At this point, you can start promoting your fan page through your website.
Cross-Promote Your Fan Page
Now that you are done asking for help from your close group of friends and sending out invites, it’s time to start promoting on your web properties.
Talk about your fan page on your blog or your site – and don’t forget about Twitter! Grab a fan page box and embed it on your blog.
After you are done implementing the above tips, be sure you are engaging with your fans. Above all, make sure your fans are interacting. There is no point in having a fan page with thousands of fans where no one really interacts. So let’s see some of the ways to pull in people without really having to ask them to become fans.
You should follow the tips outlined below as soon as you get your fan page up and running.
Your Updates Should “Call For Action”
One of the best ways to “call for action” through your updates is by asking a question – something that Freelance Folder does extremely well. People love to voice their opinion and share their expertise. Make sure your updates ask them to do that. Simply linking to each article you publish on your blog won’t help you much as far as growing your fan page goes.
Two of the best ways for your fans to interact are through the Like and Comment features.
Like and Comment Are Your Best Friends
These Like and Comment features are extremely important to growing your fan page. Every time someone comments on your update or clicks the like button it shows on their feeds. Your fans’ friends see their profile or feed on the main page. They also see that one of your fans have been commenting on or using the like feature on your fan page. This can creates a viral effect.
If the update is good enough and really thought-provoking, those users who didn’t know about your fan page might join because they saw someone they knew on Facebook actively using it.
The key is to make sure your fans are participating and using those Like and Comment features so that it shows on their feeds. This is one of the best ways to get your fan page exposed to as many people as possible.
Now onto third party apps…
Utilize Third Party Apps
One of the reason Facebook is so popular is because of all the third party Facebook apps that are out there. I am talking about the apps that actually add value to your fan page.
If you look at Freelance Folder’s fan page, you will notice two tabs at the top that are not default tabs for fan pages — News and Twitter. If you click on the News tab you will see our recent posts. If you click on the Twitter tab you will see our Twitter updates.
These apps allow for a single stop information source for their fan base. (you can find these apps at involver.com for free). Now fans can quickly check Facebook updates, see what’s new on the blog, and even see what is being tweeted.
I personally think one of the best Facebook apps is the FBML application, also known as FaceBook Markup Language. You can use this app to create customized tabs, etc.
We’d love to hear your experience growing your Facebook fan page! Do you have any additional tips to share?