We all want to see our Facebook Page skyrocket in numbers. And, there are many tactics for doing so. However, the fact is that numbers don't necessarily equate to engagement and return on investment.
In the short run, an increase from 1,000 to 10,000 fans might look great to your boss or client, but when the fans start dropping off at a rate of 100 or 200 per week, and nobody answers the questions you put on your wall, you may not look like quite the hero anymore.
This article will reveal some effective tactics to gain quality Facebook fans and introduce the concept of engaging influencers.
While the actual worth of a single Facebook fan may be in debate, there's no question that some fans are worth more than others. In addition, when quantity becomes a priority, there is a risk of driving low-quality fans by using general tactics that attract the masses.
However, there are ways to modify fan-getting marketing tactics to drive a more relevant consumer base and as a result increase the quality (and worth) of your fans over time.
One Key Strategy: Targeted Outreach
In my experience, new fans obtained will be at least 3 times as likely to stick around and participate over time if they're secured through a targeted outreach.
For an example of how this strategy might work in practice, look at two fan-getting tactics: giveaways and limited availability offers.
Giveaways and limited availability offers are both great ways to quickly gain Facebook followers. I have seen Facebook Fan Pages jump tens of thousands of fans overnight from a simple giveaway campaign.
In January 2010, for instance, Einstein Bros. did a free bagel giveaway on Facebook that the company claims increased their Facebook fan base from under 5,000 fans to nearly 400,000 in less than one week.
However, there is a catch. General fan-getting giveaway tactics do not inherently attract the right people to your page. In fact, they may attract the complete opposite of whom you want to reach.
You Need a Filter Between Your Brand Message and Your Ideal Audience
The goal of a fan-getting Facebook promotion should be to use up as few resources as possible, while reaching the highest amount of relevant consumers along the way. The outcome, if executed properly, is more fans, longer stay times, and a higher level of quality participation and sharing over a longer period of time.
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Without a filter, a promotion will inevitably reach the unfiltered masses of the web. Online giveaways that are not targeted properly nor protected with the correct barriers to entry will lead to a rush of people just out looking for something free. And, while some genuine consumers may be found in this group, the likelihood of your promotion capturing a high percentage of relevant consumers will be low.
Influencers will vary based on your business. But, in short, influencers include relevant bloggers, popular individuals on Twitter, moderators of groups, and anyone else who has an extended and attentive online audience that fits within your target consumer group.
Influencers can also include those who are already in your direct fan network. I recommend looking at your existing fan base on Facebook and Twitter as an outlet for potential influencers. Active participants on your Facebook wall who have a large social network can be great influencers for your brand.
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Tip: Look at the comments on your wall over the past month or two. Are there any individuals who continuously pop into the conversation and give positive feedback? If so, start with this group of fans. They are more likely to get excited by a direct offer and turn around and share your message with their social network.
Create an Exclusive Promotion For Influencers
In order to reach the largest percentage of relevant consumers through promotional efforts, create a mechanism by which an offer can be seeded to relevant influencers and not to the general public. Furthermore, implement a barrier that will prevent the general public from gaining access to the offer, at least for a certain amount of time.
One example of a mechanism is a digital gift card with an exclusive code. Each influencer is presented a card with limited usage that they can seed out to their network and readership. The code is then redeemable on your Facebook page until it has expired.
Tip: Create a digital gift card that an influencer can embed right on their blog, profile page or website. Encourage the influencer to link the card directly to your Facebook fan page so that readers can easily get to your giveaway page. The easier you make it for an influencer to participate, the better chance you will have of getting them onboard.
Not only do you get the public filter by using this method, but people are more likely to act on the offer when it has been presented by a trusted influencer source and not the brand directly. By the time the code does find its way out to the freebie hunters, it has already expired, or is close to expiring, and you've succeeded in reaching a larger percentage of relevant consumers.
Of course, this is just one example of integrating influencers and barriers to entry into your Facebook promotion. The proper method, in the end, will be determined by your brand, target audience and target influencers.
In the constant quest to increase return and decrease spend, don't underestimate the power of influencers in your Facebook promotional efforts.
Have you used other mechanisms to reach influencers as a conduit for sharing a giveaway or limited availability offer? Please share it in the comments box below.
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