People will not become instant fans of your brand, even if it‟s a product they adore and use regularly, if you don‟t offer them a reason to. In other words, you need to engage people and offer them an incentive to become your fans.
Some of the most common tactics include contests that require users to sign up to take part with prizes ranging from products to gift certificates, or offering discount coupons to those who join. The advantage to these methods is that once a customer agrees to input their Facebook information, a link to the contest will then be published on their wall as well, which leads to the contest becoming viral.
If you cannot afford to offer discounts or giveaways, another option is to simply ask your customers to become your Facebook fans. You can do this by advertising your social media pages on all your outgoing emails, existing websites and other advertising mediums you may already be using. You might be surprised how effective this approach is.
Remember that having a large following on Facebook is not simply about increasing sales but about increasing brand awareness as well. The more people are talking about your brand, the more sales you will eventually make because word of mouth advertising is one of the most powerful sales tools in the world.
Another interesting strategy is to use social media sites in a loyalty program. For example, you could offer customers two points for every purchase they make from you and another point if they become a fan and post about their purchase on their Facebook account. Once they reach a certain number of points you can offer them a freebie of some sort. The traffic and sales you generate will more than offset the costs of running the campaign and you will have the added advantage of having built a loyal following as well.
The first step to building your fan-base on Facebook is to invite your friends and existing clients to join up. Even if your friends aren‟t what you may consider prospects, you never know who in their networks might be interested.
Some other techniques you can use include:
* Leveraging thought leaders in your industry. By becoming a fan of thought leaders with large fan bases in your industry you can begin to engage with prospects on their pages. If you provide value through good content, you will find that people will want to find out more about you and your brand.
* Use other social media platforms and sites. Do you have a following on Twitter? Then invite them to join you on Facebook for a more interactive experience. Additionally, you can also pull content from sites like Youtube and Flickr which will keep your page fresh with new content while also promoting your page on these other sites.
* Leverage your email list. If you have an email list, offer your subscribers an incentive to become a fan of your Facebook page. Remember that your main goal is the viral effect Facebook provides and even though these customers are already on your list, you never know how many more new leads they will generate through their own Facebook networks.
* Offer interesting content on a regular basis. You need to make sure you keep your page updated with interesting content on a regular basis.
You want fans to visit your page and engage with your brand on a regular basis and the only way to do that is to provide fresh, interesting content.
* Interact with your fans. Don‟t simply post content and then forget to visit your page. You need to interact with your fans as much as possible which includes answering comments and even sending new fans a welcome message can do wonders to turn them into lifelong, loyal customers. This is because you are showing them that there is a human behind the brand and that you care. You would be surprised how much people want to help someone who is interested in them.