Let’s face it, Mark Zuckerberg has pretty much taken over the world and transformed it into a much smaller one through his social media site. Suddenly, larger-than-life celebrities seem not to be not so untouchable. The site has forced large corporations to listen to the little people. On Facebook, everyone has a say. And if you’re starting a business, you’d better have a stake.
How do business owners go about gaining fans? Here are five tips to ramp up your audience numbers.
1. Advertising: It might seem obvious, but advertising is a great way to get noticed. Creating an ad on Facebook takes only a few minutes by following step-by-step instructions. An eye-catching image is paramount to attracting Facebook users to click on the ad. Have the link lead to the Facebook page or to a webpage with more information about the business.
2. Barricade: When a new potential fan visits your Facebook page, put up a blocker that forces the user to “like” the page before gaining access or any information. There are a lot of apps that can accomplish this, including Woobox. This custom tab can be created to explain what the person will gain if they “like” the page. An example: Click “like” to enter our free giveaway for airline tickets.
3. Contest: Speaking of giveaways, everyone loves freebies. Think about what your company can offer. For instance, a restaurant can hold a contest for a free appetizer. Sometimes, a piece of intellectual information can be given away; for example, a bed and breakfast can present the top 10 must-have vacation items.
4. Update, update, update: Ever hear the saying “Out of sight, out of mind?” Unfortunately, a lot of businesses don’t update their page enough. Obviously, businesses have plenty of other things to do, and social networking isn’t at the top of that list. However, this isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it phenomenon. A live person should be posting at least one update a day. Beware: Not every update should be about the business. It will sound too much like an advertisement, and no one wants to read that every time he or she logs onto the site. On the other hand, posting too many updates will cram your company down the audience’s throat and they will respond by unliking your page.
5. Content: Behind every good Facebook page (and business) is great content. A business’ Facebook site can’t be a fluff page. The audience will know and will respond accordingly. When a customer posts negative feedback on your wall, which can happen, don’t shirk away. Engage the customer publicly, and fix the issue in the fastest, most cost-effective manner. This proves to other fans that you are listening.
Entrepreneurship can be a scary endeavor, but using social media is just one more tool in your toolbox to help spread the word.
Laura Burkey is a freelancer who writes about different topics ranging from social media to gardening.