How to get more Facebook fans becomes a major issue once you create a new Facebook page. Unlike a Facebook profile that enables you to reach out to people and friend them, with a Facebook page you don’t have a similarly simple way of growing your fan base. A Facebook page can’t reach out to people and initiate a relationship with them.
Here are a few things you CAN do to get more Facebook fans:
1. Use Facebook ads to advertise your page. This includes either running an ad for your page, or paying to promote individual posts. This is obviously what Facebook wants you to do (hey, they need to make money too!), and the reason they’ve made it so hard for pages to recruit fans in the first place. It is also the reason most Facebook pages have been seeing a steady decline in the number of people that see each of their posts. Facebook definitely wants you to pay.
On my own Facebook page, it’s been very interesting to see Facebook sending me lots of traffic until I got to just over 9,000 fans. Since then, the organic growth of my Facebook page has been ridiculously slow, even though the quality of my material has stayed the same or even improved. Is Facebook trying to pressure me to pay to get to that magic number of 10,000 fans? Of course it is.
2. Run a contest. Facebook now allows brands to run contests directly on their page, which is the most affordable option. Still, using a third-party app such as Offerpop.com has the benefit of adding a fan gate, meaning that only fans can access the contest. This increases the chance that you’ll end up gaining a significant number of new fans from the contest.
3. Send an email to existing customers. While email blasts should be utilized very sparingly, sending a one-time email that announces you have a new Facebook page and inviting your customers to like it is a good way to get more Facebook fans.
4. Focus on real fans. It’s not just about how to get more Facebook fans – it’s mostly about how to keep them. Ads and contests have the major drawback that they get you what I call shallow fans, fans that are not truly interested in your brand. They see the ad and hit “like,” then when they start seeing your posts on their feed they get annoyed and unlike; or they like your page simply to go through a contest fan gate, then unlike as soon as the contest is over. In contrast, real, long-term fans are those that truly like your brand and enjoy your product. They WANT to interact with you, and as long as you have a good product to sell and don’t become too annoying on Facebook (such as posting too often), they’ll remain loyal fans. These are the fans you’re really after.
My recommendation to new clients: after creating a Facebook page, send one email to your customers, and use Facebook ads for a few weeks, until you get to 500 fans or so (1000 if your budget allows). Once you’ve reached that number, stop the ads; post just once a week, and BE INTERESTING. This is the best strategy I have found to get real facebook fans, and keep them. It’s better to have a small fan base of real, engaged fans than to have a huge base of disinterested Facebook fans.