How to gain your first fans to your Facebook page

How to gain your first fans to your Facebook page

The temptation might be to share your Facebook page right away with all your Facebook friends. Not so fast. Take a moment to think strategically about your plan and to seed your page with content so that it looks inviting and engaging when visitors do stop by.

Publish three to five posts before you invite anyone.

Then try out one of these strategies to get to your first 100 fans.

Invite your Facebook friends

Facebook has a built-in feature to tell your Facebook friends about your page. Click on the Build Audience link in the top right corner of your page, and choose Invite Friends from the dropdown.

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You can then pick and choose which friends you’d like to invite, and you can drill down into specific sections of friends, filtered by location, school, lists, and recent interactions.

Once invited, your friends will receive a direct message with an invitation to your page. You won’t have a chance to edit the message they receive.

Invite your coworkers

One of the best sources of social media promotion for your company could very well be your coworkers. Ask everyone who works with you to like the page and—if willing—to recommend the page to any friends who might be interested.

Promote your Facebook page on your website

Facebook offers a full complement of widgets and buttons that you can add to your website to make it easy for website visitors to like your page.

One of the most ubiquitous plugins is the Facebook Like Box. With the Like Box, you can show faces of those who like the page and even the posts that you’ve recently published to your page.

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Promote your Facebook page in your email signature

One of the most visible places you might find to promote your page is in your inbox. Edit your email signature to include a call-to-action and link to your Facebook page.

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Hold a contest

Facebook contests can be huge for gaining likes on your page. One of the best apps for creating a contest is ShortStack, which helps you create custom campaigns to drive Likes to your page (or email capture or fan engagement or any number of different ideas you might have).

What to post and when to post it

In general, there are three main types of posts you’re likely to publish on your Facebook feed:

  • Photo/video
  • Text update
  • Links

As mentioned above, posts with photos garner 37 percent more engagement than posts without photos.

Definitely make visual content a huge part of your Facebook strategy.

As far as the frequency with which to post, Facebook’s algorithm changes have made research into the topic rather difficult. Publish more frequently—as often as you have fresh, compelling content to share.

Here are some highlights:

Use admin tags. Sign off as your page. This is a great way to increase how viral you are because it increase the amount of places people have to click on your post. This will mean your post gets more clicks/interactions overall and you get ranked higher on Facebook’s formula. The picture below shows an example of an admin tag.

Ask questions. Create posts that are designed for involvement—and by this I don’t mean “share if you agree!” Ask actual questions, and give replies to people’s responses.

Post more often, but don’t spam! Most business pages hardly post one thing a day, and then if they do that, it’s usually about themselves. You want to post content every three hours, 24/7. Make sure this content isn’t about yourself either.

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Posting often, as much as every three hours—might seem like a daunting task. You certainly don’t need to have the same frequency as he suggests, but rather I think there’s value in his advice to make your posting schedule consistent.

Social media scheduling apps like Buffer help make this easy by letting you schedule posts ahead of time. You can add to a queue so that your page always has fresh content being posted automatically on schedule.

Ideal length and timing of Facebook posts is another area you might want to experiment with.

Market research has determined that the best time was to post late in the day, after work hours.

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Similarly, they also found that posting on off-peak days of the week was best. Posts on Sundays receive 2.72 interactions and are 25% more effective than a post on Wednesday.

As far as ideal length, brand studies on Facebook have found that shorter posts were better. He measured engagement of posts, defined by “like” rate and comment rate, and the ultra-short 40-character posts received 86 percent higher engagement than others.

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How to tell what’s worked and what hasn’t

After sharing posts, you’re likely to want to know how they did. Your social media management tool would figure to have some built-in analytics that can help you better understand how your posts performed. Here’s a peek at what the Buffer for Business analytics look like:

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You can also gain a huge number of stats and numbers from Facebook Insights.

Once you’ve shared several pieces of content to your Facebook page, you’ll see an Insights tab at the top of your Facebook menu, between Activity and Settings.

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At the top of the Insights page, you’ll see your Page Likes, Post Reach, and Engagement stats for the week, along with a comparison to the same stats from last week.

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Another neat area to check is the demographic information on the people who visit and engage with your page.

Click on People from the Insights menu, and you can drill down into demographic information of your fans, the people reached by your posts, the people who engage with your post, and the check-ins you receive at your physical location.

Here’s an example from Buffer’s page insights about the people reached by our posts.

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One of the newest features of Insights is the “Pages to Watch” section at the bottom of the page. You can add other pages that you want to monitor—a great way to grab some competitor research and take inspiration from the way that other pages market themselves.

To add a page, simply click on the Add Pages button at the top of the section.

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Search for the name of the page you want to watch, then click to add it to your watch list. Once a page has been added, you can click on the name of the page from your Insights dashboard, and you’ll see an overview of their best posts from the week.

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Even more tips – What would you recommend?

I came across so many great Facebook page tips while researching this article. I couldn’t fit them all in! Here are just a couple more that slipped through:

  • Reply to all comments with either a response or a Like.
  • Tag other people and pages—especially your community members—in your posts.
  • Consider adding your first name as a signature to the posts you write.
  • Repost the evergreen content from your blog, regardless of the original date of publication.