ImageWith more than a billion active users, Facebook is a behemoth of a marketing opportunity – and one that a growing number of companies are positioning themselves to take full advantage of. According to a September 2012 study conducted by the social media experts at HubSpot, 42 percent of marketers consider Facebook to be an integral part of their marketing strategy. Though a substantial percentage of businesses now have fan pages, at this point in the game, simply being on Facebook is not enough. For a fan page to be effective as a marketing tool, time must be devoted to cultivating and maintaining an active, engaged fan base. 

 

1. Be cool.

Facebook is high school and you’re running for election. People who like your brand or business may “like” your fan page, but the personality behind the label is what will drive them to engage. Don’t be afraid to be funny or spunky; fans respond to posts with individuality. If you have a dedicated social media manager, reveal who’s posting: “Dave from Extreme Hockey World” beats “Extreme Hockey World,” any day.

2. Forget the text  go visual.

In June 2012, Social media researcher Dan Zarella analyzed 1.3 million Facebook posts of varying types and the response rate of each. His conclusion? Photos garner more attention and engagement than any other type of media on Facebook. More responses means more exposure, which equates to more opportunities for expanding your follower base.

3. Pad the deck.

Invite friends and business contacts to connect with your fan page by uploading an email contact list and inviting everyone on it to “like” your page. People familiar with you or your business are far more likely to engage with your fan page than those with whom you have had no previous contact. This opportunity is only available to Facebook pages with 4,999 likes or less, so take advantage of it while you can.

4. Make your fans interesting by association.

Everyone wants to be clever and entertaining on Facebook – so give your followers what they want. Post genuinely unique, compelling content that is relevant to your brand or business. Your fans will like it, comment on it, share it – and love you for making them look good. Each time they share your content, their friends will have the opportunity to like your page too.  

5. Don’t be a vacuum salesman.

Use Facebook as a means to build relationships, not hawk your product. If your fans like you, business will follow. Make interaction the goal, and don't underestimate your followers – they like being marketed to about as much as you do. If you're genuine and give with no expectation of getting, your fans will respond.

 

Image courtesy of Tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net