By Andrea Vahl
Published October 23, 2012
Now is a good time to examine your Facebook activities, cutting out what isn’t working and expanding what works.
Here are ten tips to help grow your Facebook community.
#1: Connect With Other Page Managers
This is a powerful tactic to a make a live connection with other Page admins who have a similar demographic to yours and cross-promote each other.
So if you are an ice cream store with a Facebook Page, make a live connection with the pizza parlor in your neighborhood that draws the same clientele (you may already know the owner of the pizza parlor). Then talk to him or her about doing a little Facebook cross-promotion and share each others posts with your audiences every once in a while.
Joint ventures also help forge these meaningful connections. Host a webinar with another company that has a similar audience. This can be a great way tobecome visible to their audience.
#2: Share Original Content
Content is still king and when people share your content, your Page name travels with it. Think of new ways you can add original photos as part of your content.
Maybe it’s a screenshot from a hot tip. Or maybe it’s a photo from something happening behind the scenes at your business that you ask people to caption. Or you can add an inspirational or thought-provoking quote to a photo.
Just make sure you are following photo copyright laws. Notice how this photo is also branded with the name of the blog.
#3: Tag Your Page From Your Personal Profile
Make sure it’s easy for your friends to like your Page. As we know, Pages are not being seen as much in the news feed, so what is a page owner to do?
I recommend you post about your business occasionally on your Personal Profile. If you tag your Business Page (type “@” and then start typing your Page name until you can select it from the drop-down menu that appears) rather than share the status, people who mouse over your Page name in your post can easily like the Page right from your update.
#4: Link Your Profile to Your Page
This is a very simple thing to do, yet I see so many people skipping this step. If users are searching and finding your Personal Profile on Facebook, you want to make it as easy as possible for users to find your Business Page as well.
When people list where they work and it’s not properly linked to their Facebook Page, a strange “Community Page” is created with that same name and it has a suitcase icon. Then people start liking that Community Page rather than your real Facebook Page.
All you need to do is to delete the Community Page from your Work and Education section in your About area (click Edit in the About section), then add in the correct Facebook Page.
#5: Add Facebook in Your Email Signature
How many emails do you send each day? Again, this is not rocket science—just consider this tip as your gentle reminder to add a link to your Page in your email signature. Many email programs such as Gmail make it easy to customize your email signature with clickable icons.
Or you can use WiseStamp to make your email signature stand out.
#6: Comment (Thoughtfully) on Other Pages as Your Page
This is a great way to get more exposure for your Business Page with a target audience. Participate on other Pages where your audience is already having conversations. Find complementary Facebook Pages and like them as your Page, then watch your Page home feed and comment on the posts.
Use Facebook as your business the same way you use it personally: by interacting and having conversations as your Page.
Remember to add to the conversation and authentically build relationships. That will lead to those meaningful connections I mentioned in point #1.
This activity takes time and you may find that you only have 10 minutes a week to do this. But it’s a good habit to get into to get more visibility for your Page.
#7: Run a Contest
Running a contest can be a great way to get new likes on your Business Page. It does cost some money to run a contest, but hopefully you have a marketing budget for your business.
Many of the apps that are available for Facebook contests (and you MUST run a Facebook contest through an app) are not too expensive and are easy to set up yourself.
Running a contest is also a great way to promote your product or service in a fun way. Running a contest with a like-gate on your contest app also gives you the ability to make sure people like your Page before they enter. And it’s a great way toget folks on your email list to come over to your Page to like you and enter your contest. Who’s the winner here? It’s you.
#8: Add a QR Code to Your Business Card
Use the link for your Facebook Page and you have automatically created a QR code that you can add to the back of your business card.
#9: Advertise Your Page on Facebook
Today there are many options for advertising on Facebook. To get the best value for generating new likes for your Page, I would suggest you use a Sponsored Like Story. This will advertise your Page to friends of your current fans and give social proof in the ad by showcasing that the user’s friend likes your Page.
Sponsored Like Stories can be a bit cheaper to run, but you won’t have any ad copy to help convert people into fans. Hopefully seeing that their friend likes you is a sufficiently compelling reason.
Your Sponsored Like Story will be targeting the friends of your fans, but you can alsouse the regular Facebook targeting features to narrow the audience to your perfect demographic.
It’s easy to create your ad and limit your budget so you know how well it works before spending an arm and a leg.
#10: Add a Like Box to Your Website
In the Business Pages I have seen, a Like Box is one of the largest sources of likes for the Page if the website gets good traffic. It’s very easy to add a Like Box—just go to the Facebook Developers site, add the URL of your Facebook Page,configure the settings for how you want your Like Box to appear and click Get Code.
You will now have a choice among HTML5, XFBML, iFrame or URL. For most WordPress sites, you can choose HTML5, XFBML or iFrame for your code. But your WordPress theme may affect your choice. In this case, the easiest thing to do is to paste the code into a text widget on your sidebar.
Finally: Watch what is working.
Know where your likes are coming from and do more of that. Do some tracking by using link shorteners such as bitly to drive traffic to your Facebook Page and see how many clicks you get.
Dive into your Facebook Insights and click on the likes link to see your sources of likes. Many of these you can’t control, but at least you can be informed about your statistics and know what is currently working for you.
How about you? What are you finding to be a good way to get new likes for your page? Let us know in the comments section below.