After you’ve created a Facebook Page that has all the elements you need, you can begin promoting it. The power of using a Facebook Page for marketing exists in the Facebook social graph: the network consists of hundreds of billions of friendships, Pages, and Page updates. But at the point where you might lack any presence on Facebook, you have to use resources outside Facebook to promote your Page.
In this article, I show you the best strategies to grow your Facebook followers and likes. Although followers seem like a silly number to chase, they have a proportional impact on how far and wide your message spreads and how many conversions you generate.
How to Get More Facebook Followers
You can get Facebook followers through a variety of methods, from Facebook ads for beginners to influencer marketing. The following are the ways I found useful:
1. Adding photos and videos
You can upload an unlimited number of albums, and as many 1,000 photos per album, to your Facebook Page. You can reorder photos, rotate them, and acknowledge Facebook members by tagging (identifying) them in photos.
To upload a single photo or video, follow these steps:
- Click the Photo/Video link in the Publisher. A box pops up, giving you the option to upload photos/videos or to create a photo album.
- Click the Upload Photos/Video link, and navigate to the image on your computer.
- Double-click the photo or video when you locate it on your computer. Facebook automatically uploads the photo or video. To inject personality into your Page, add images and photos that communicate who you are and what your business is about. Select photos that you want customers to see, not the holiday party at which everyone had a few too many cocktails.
- If you’re uploading a single photo, describe the photo. After you select a photo or video, write a short but compelling description in the Say Something About This field above the file.
- Click the Post button. When you upload a video, you have to wait. Facebook needs time to upload the file and displays a process bar while the video uploads.
- When the video finishes uploading, edit the title and description. You can tag the Page in the video, add a location and a title, and write a description.
- Click Save to publish the video on your Page Timeline.
2. Adding photo albums
Facebook lets you create photo albums that contain multiple photos, which is an excellent way to organize content based on specific topics for your fans to enjoy. The National Wildlife Federation has created several albums containing photos submitted by fans
To create a photo album, follow these steps:
- Click the Photo/Video link in the Publisher.
- Click the Create a Photo Album link. Facebook opens a new window, prompting you to select photos to upload.
- Select photos on your computer, and click Save.
- Add a title, location, and description to the album. You can rearrange the order of photos in the album by dragging them to new locations in the album.
On an Android or iOS device, you can take a photo or video and immediately upload it to your Facebook Page by using the Facebook Pages Manager app.
3. Adding milestones
The Facebook Pages milestone feature lets users easily view important moments in your business’s history. Examples of milestones are opening a new store, releasing a new product, and winning an award.
To the right of the Page Timeline is a date selector that lets Facebook users quickly navigate to different years in your Page Timeline.
To add milestones to your Page, follow these steps:
- Click the Offer, Event+ link in the Publisher, and then click Milestone. If you haven’t created milestones on your Page, Facebook prompts you to add as your first milestone the date on which you joined Facebook as a business.
- In the pop-up window, add an event title and a photo, date, location, and description. Add the title of the event, such as Opened for Business, along with the opening date, a location and description, and a photo. The dimensions of a milestone photo are 843 x 403 pixels.
- Save the milestone by clicking the Save button.
- (Optional) Hide the milestone from News Feed, if you want. Select the Hide from News Feed check box if you’re adding several milestones at a time and don’t want your fans to see it in their News Feeds. After you save the milestone, fans see an update about it in their News Feeds, and Facebook users who visit your Page can navigate to all your milestones by using the date selector.
4. Making Your Facebook Page Easy to Find in Search Engines
Anyone, whether that person is a Facebook member or not, can find and access your Facebook Page by using Facebook’s internal search feature or search engines such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing. A Facebook Page can improve your search engine rankings so that people can more easily find both your Facebook Page and your website.
All Facebook Pages are public; therefore, search engines such as Google include them in search results. Build a positive image for your brand and engage readers so that they engage with you and return to your Page often.
By publishing a steady stream of links to your company’s blog posts and other pages on your company’s website within Facebook, you allow search engines to find you more easily. This process is known as search engine optimization (SEO). Simply by having a Facebook Page, you increase the number of relevant links to your site — and, therefore, your site’s SEO.
Adding links to your Facebook Page is only a start. Those links should include relevant keywords related to your business. Additionally, the content within the linked article should have relevant keywords. An auto repair garage, for example, would post links to articles about do-it-yourself auto-repair tips on its Facebook Page.
Here are seven ways to optimize your Facebook Page for both Google and Facebook search:
- Decide on a page category. Select the best possible category for your Page. You can edit the category in the Page Info admin panel.
- Refine the subcategories on your Page. If you have a Facebook Place (a local place or business), you can add or update as many as three subcategories within the Page Info admin panel.
- Complete your address. Graph Search allows users to search for local nonprofit organizations that their friends like, for example, so supply the complete and current address.
- Fill out the About section. The information you share in this section helps people find your Page in search results — both on Facebook and search engines, particularly if you insert keywords at the beginning of specific fields.
- Tag photos. A photo is a primary content type that’s displayed in Graph Search results. Tag every photo with your Page name and any location that’s associated with the photo.
- Pay attention to photo descriptions. Include appropriate keywords in the description of each photo you post to your Page. A photo of an adoptable dog at an animal shelter, for example, should have the breed of dog and the words for adoption in the description.
- Create a username. If you haven’t done so already, create for your Page a custom URL (in the format www.facebook.com/username) that includes the name of your organization to improve its SEO for both Facebook and Google.
Your Page should contain many instances of the keywords that can help it appear at the top of the list of results in search engines. If you’re a professional photographer, add keywords such as wedding photography and photography in Atlanta to help track down the people who are in the market for those specific services. Use these keywords on the Info tab and in any notes you post. Also, provide all necessary contact information, such as your address and your company’s website and blog addresses.
5. Encouraging your friends to share your Page with their friends
The Share button, which appears at the bottom right of the cover image on every Facebook Page, lets people invite their Facebook friends to check out your Page.
Follow these steps to post an update about your Page to your Timeline:
- Click the Share link on the right side of the Page. The Share This Page dialog box appears.
- Write a compelling message about your Page. Though the message can be as long as you’d like, keep it short and sweet. Be sure to add a call to action, such as “Share this Page with your friends!”
- Click the Share link. A story is published in the News Feeds of many of your friends and on your personal Timeline.
6. Promoting your Page to friends with the Invite feature
People who have become friends with you on Facebook may not realize that you’ve set up a Page specifically for your business. Facebook makes it easy for you, as a Page admin, to let people in on the good news. Follow these steps:
- Click the Invite Friends link below the Build Audience menu in the admin panel of your Page. The Invite Friends dialog box appears
- Scroll through your friends’ pictures and click the Invite button of each person you want to invite, or type a friend’s name in the Search All Friends box at the top to find a specific friend quickly. You can narrow the results by using the Recent Interactions drop-down menu to sort by network, location, or recent interaction.
- Click the Submit button at the bottom of the dialog box. The Success dialog box appears, letting you know that your recommendations have been sent. Get ready for all the new likes to roll in! People to whom you promote your Page who aren’t already Facebook members must join Facebook to be able to like or comment on your Page.
7. Tagging photos to promote your Page to your friends
Tagging (identifying and labeling the name of) an individual fan in photos, videos, or notes links that person directly to your Page. When you tag someone, the person who’s tagged receives a Facebook notification, an email notification, or both, depending on her profile settings. That user has the option to approve the tag.
You can only tag Facebook users when logged in as your profile, not your Page. Also, being able to tag specific Facebook users depends mostly on how their own privacy settings are configured. To tag Pages in a photo or video, log in as your Page by following these steps:
- Click the arrow icon in the top-right corner of the page. The Use Facebook As drop-down menu appears, displaying all the Pages you manage.
- Choose the Page that you want to log in as. When you’re logged in as your Page, you can tag Pages that you’ve liked, but not profiles in photos and videos that you’ve posted on your Timeline.
To tag a user in a photo or video, log in as a profile, visit the photo or video, and then follow these steps:
- Click the Tag Photo (or Video) button to the right of the image. The cursor turns into a plus sign (+) if you’re tagging a photo. The tagging field opens below the description if you’re tagging a video.
- Click the photo to begin tagging. A box appears below the cursor, where you can start typing the name of a friend or a Page (if you’re logged in as a Page).
- Enter the name of the friend or Page in the tagging fields. Take as many photos as possible at in-person events, and shoot as many videos as you can so that you can post and tag them accordingly. You can obtain a suitable photo to include on your Page by conducting a promotion to find the most creative use of your products. Then take a photo of the winner with your company’s CEO and tag the winner in the photo on Facebook. You can only tag Facebook users as a person using a personal Timeline. You cannot tag users when logged in as a Page. When you tag a user in a photo, that person can hide the photo from his Timeline by clicking the Remove Tag link next to the profile name.
8. Adding an anchor link in your email signature
Suppose that every email you sent in the course of doing daily business included a link to your Facebook Page! Adding an anchor link in your email signature that connects with your Facebook Page is relatively easy to do in most email programs, such as Outlook, Gmail, and Apple Mail.
If you use Gmail, the useful WiseStamp (www.wisestamp.com) add-in for Mozilla Firefox adds a Like button to your email signature so that people can like your Page and continue reading your email.
Someone could become a fan of your Page based on the number of current fans your Page has. Gaining as many new fans as possible creates a kind of social validation for these future fans.
9. Making use of your email list
You can promote your new Facebook Page in many ways, but the easiest way to attract new connections is to use your email list — an asset that you may have been growing over the past few years.
Facebook users share useful information with their friends and click the Like button on Pages that help them achieve that goal. If they receive an email saying “We’re now on Facebook; please like our Page,” they’re likely to delete it unless they’re hardcore fans. If they ask “What’s in it for me?” and don’t receive an answer, no perceived value exchange takes place.
When you’re emailing your current list about your Facebook Page, keep these tips in mind:
- Focus on the value to the recipient, not to your business. Prospective customers and customers are always asking “What’s in it for me?”
- Write the message in the second person, using you and your to speak directly to the customer. This approach gives the email a more personal feeling.
- Present the benefits in a concise list of bulleted items (as I’ve done in this list). Bullet points are easy to scan and read, allowing recipients to find what they’re looking for fast.
- Tell recipients that they’ll meet other people who have similar interests and ideas. They’ll feel that they’re joining a community, not just another Facebook Page.
- Make messaging the same. Don’t confuse people by using different messaging in email and in Facebook content. When the messaging is consistent across your channels, the results are more effective. An email subscriber who reads an email about a recent sale will be more likely to act after seeing a Facebook update about that sale, for example.
- Make the content different across channels. Email subscribers may wonder why they should become Facebook fans when they already subscribe to the email list, for example. You can use email to share customer stories about your product or service and use Facebook to share photos and videos from those stories.
- Consistently cross-promote each channel. Within your email newsletter, for example, include links to the photo album that are related to stories covered in the newsletter.
10. QR codes
To let people visit your Facebook Page directly by using their mobile devices, rather than typing a URL in a browser, provide a QR code.
QR codes are best used on printed material, signs, T-shirts, and any other items that can have images or symbols printed on them.
Here are two helpful resources for getting started with QR codes:
- Kaywa (http://qrcode.kaywa.com): Create customized QR codes that can link to a URL, phone number, or to text. The paid service includes analytics. To create a QR code with Kaywa, simply enter your site’s URL, phone number, text; click Generate; and then copy the code or save the image.
- GoQR (http://goqr.me): To create a QR code at GoQR, simply select the type of content the QR will link to, then enter the link, and save the QR code to the desktop.
11. Your blog
Write a blog post that describes the launch of your Page, followed by a few posts that elaborate on the best comments on your Page updates. Include a link to your Page or the Page update (or both).
If your business regularly holds webinars, make your Facebook Page’s Timeline the place where follow-up questions are answered. CharityHowTo holds free webinars monthly and has used this strategy almost exclusively to acquire more than 5,000 fans in just a few months.
As you may know, YouTube is the top video-sharing website in the world. Posting videos there is a way to promote your business to millions of people. If you already have a presence on YouTube, you can leverage that asset to promote your Facebook Page.
Blendtec posts whimsical videos from the mock game show Will It Blend? on YouTube to promote the power of its blender. In its Facebook video, the nerdy, engaging host demonstrates the product in a funny way and then announces a contest for potential fans to share — on the Blendtec Facebook Page — ideas about items to blend, such as golf balls and glow lights.
You can find this ingenious promotion at www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lQ1Pz_O-j0.
If have a YouTube brand channel, you can annotate your video with a link to your Facebook Page. If not, include your Facebook Page URL in the video description.
14. Promoting Your Facebook Page in Your Store
When people visit your business and have a positive experience, they naturally want to share that experience with their friends (and this type of word-of-mouth advertising has been going on for eons). When you launch your Facebook Page, promote it in your store.
If people check in to your place on their mobile devices, those posts provide additional exposure for your business in their News Feeds. As an example of using an in-store promotion to promote a Facebook Page, the cashiers at iParty (a party-supply store) handed out bingo cards to customers before Halloween, which drove in-store traffic to a daily drawing on its Facebook Page.
15. Promoting Your Facebook Page by Using Facebook Ads
One way to acquire Facebook fans is to use Facebook Page Like Ads to promote your Page to the friends of your existing fans.
These ads appear in the sidebar on Facebook and in the News Feeds of Facebook users. The powerful aspect of these ads is that they leverage the social graph — the Facebook network of friends.
Facebook Ads are different from traditional online ads or Google ads in four ways:
- They can target friends of your current fans to take advantage of the idea that “birds of a feather flock together.”
- A user’s friends who have already liked your Page are displayed this way: “John, Bill, and Barbara like the National Wildlife Federation.” Facebook users are more likely to take action when they see that their friends have already taken that action.
- Users can like the Page directly in the Sponsored Story. This setup eliminates any potential abandonment that may occur when people click a link to visit your Page and then decide not to like it.
- The names of new fans are displayed in the Likes report within Facebook Insights so that you see how these Sponsored Story ads compare with other methods of acquiring fans.
Learn more about how to run Facebook ads.
How To Organically Boost Facebook Likes
Users are unlikely to like a Page for the simple pleasure of liking it. Telling customers and prospects that you’re now on Facebook isn’t a compelling reason for them to like your Page. Facebook users are people like you and me; they need a good reason to like it. The exchange of value has to be clear. Why should they like your Page? Do they like you and your business in real life? If not, Facebook won’t fix this problem.
Here are a few ideas to help you start developing compelling reasons for Facebook users to like your Page:
- Offer a discount. In exchange for people liking your Page, create a custom tab to display and manage a discount.
- Focus on the community. Communicate the value of the community of Facebook users who’ve already liked your Page. The Bob Marley (www.facebook.com/BobMarley) Page, for example, showcases fan artwork in cover images.
- Offer exclusive content. The best way to offer value may be to publish content that can’t be found on your website, in your Twitter feed, or in any other channel. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston frequently posts behind-the-scenes photos of exhibits being assembled.
- Highlight contrast. Research your competitors’ efforts, and offer a benefit that’s unique in comparison. A hair salon might post short how-to videos on quick do-it-yourself trims that you can do in a pinch.
- Post Timeline contests. Facebook allows marketers the opportunity to conduct contests in updates by offering a giveaway to anyone who likes or comments on a specific update.
In the typical business or nonprofit organization, the marketing communications include various channels, such as direct mail, email, social media, traditional public relations, print assets, and online and offline advertising. Using these methods shows that your business or organization has made an effort to embrace a wide variety of channels, hoping to engage people from every angle.
As you may have already experienced, the results from any single promotional channel or approach are much less significant than the results from an integrated approach, in which all channels are combined into a single communications plan. To start creating an integrated plan, ask yourself these questions:
- How do people typically find out about my business or nonprofit? (From a Facebook friend? From searching on Google? From a road sign? From a newspaper ad?)
- What is the next step for someone to take with my business after becoming a Facebook fan? (Joining an email list? Redeeming a coupon in my store?)
- Where do people usually begin their relationship with my business? (Searching? Joining my email list?)
- Which channel do most of my new customers join? (Email? Direct mail?)
- How can my customers easily tell their Facebook friends about a new purchase?
- Where do I have a lot of natural attention? (In my store? At events and conferences?)
After you’ve jotted down a few ideas for the channels mentioned in this article, use the answers to these questions to start mapping a way for all your channels to work together as a whole.