February 15, 2013
5 Ways to Get More Facebook Followers for Free!
Don’t worry, I am going to stick to the title in this article – there’s no big expense in these ideas. However, the first big myth about social media is that it is free. Well, the big myth is that you can be successful on social media quickly for free. The second big myth is that if you build it, they will come.
In reality, without a piece of content happening to go viral, some heavy press coverage behind you or a retweet from Justin Beiber, Lady Gaga and Ricky Gervais, you’ll need a design, promotion and advertising budget combined with time and resources to make a swift impact on social media.
But what if you don’t have a budget for these items at the moment, and what if you aren’t on first name terms with Stephen Fry? Start by asking yourself these 2 questions, then follow my top tips for building your Facebook followers for free!
- How are people going to find my Facebook page?
- Why will people want to ‘Like’ and engage with my Facebook page?
1. Website Integration:
- Include a Facebook stream on your homepage. Enable your website visitors to see that you’re on Facebook and that you’re posting great content that they’ll just have to follow!
- Go further than social media buttons. Most business’ websites have social media buttons on them these days, but how often do they actually cause you to divert from the real reason you visited the site and decide to follow the brand on Facebook? Hardly ever. So, ensure you have an effective call to action and make sure you promote your social profiles with more than just social buttons, for example, with an image banner on your homepage that visitors can’t ignore.
- As well as applying the above to key pages of your website, make sure you apply them to your blog too and any other key pages.
- In your mailing list you have a collection of people who know who you are and hopefully like what you do. Having bought something from you or signed up to your newsletter, there’s a reasonable chance that they might also want to follow you on Facebook too, so send out an invitation to announce to your opt-in subscribers that you’re taking to social media and that they should ‘Like’ your page for all the reasons you’ll list. Why not offer an incentive, such as exclusive content, a promotion or discounts. N.B. Be sure not to abuse this channel by repeatedly begging people to ‘Like’ you, although a sporadic reminder can be effective.
- Within regular emails/newsletters, include links to relevant content on social media.
- Within post-purchase confirmation/Thank You emails, make sure you provide an unavoidable message and reason to follow you on Facebook – that’s your big opportunity to capture customers whilst you’re top-of-mind and have their interest.
- Add social media profile links to your personal email signatures. Your friends and business connections may well be keen to ‘Like’ your brand if they have a vested interest in you or your company.
- Create a custom welcome page to encourage visitors to ‘Like’ the page, using content such as a call to action and reasons to ‘Like’ your page.
- Offer exclusive content to your Facebook fans to encourage new ‘Likes’ and to maintain engagement with existing fans e.g. linking from you website and emails to videos or tools that can only be viewed by visiting and ‘Liking’ your Facebook page.
- Offer Quality content. As well as exclusive content, it is crucial to offer relevant, valuable and high quality content to your fans. This will encourage them to share your posts with their friends and connections, thus spreading the word of your brand and your Facebook presence. With Facebook users’ being confronted with more and more businesses vying for their attention, you’ll need a top notch offering for them to decide that you are worth a ‘Like’.
- Network and collaborate with other complimentary pages. Why not try finding similar or related Facebook profiles to develop a relationship with; share each other’s content or even put together a piece of content together that could be promoted via both your Facebook pages. This will highlight your presence to relevant Facebook users and they may be more likely to show interest in you based on the recommendation from a page they already ‘Like’.
4. Social Networks:
- Social media users often use multiple networks and may well want to follow your brand on several of them. Make it easy for them to know which networks you’re on and for them to find you by adding links from your social profiles to your other social profiles.
- Why not further this by including your Facebook URL in your Twitter background!
- You can also use your social media content to encourage users to visit your profiles on additional networks, for example, promoting your Facebook competitions/discounts on Twitter.
- Offline integration can be crucial to achieving a successful Facebook presence. Make your social media presence evident and provide a call to action on all appropriate print materials, and be creative – if you’re a retailer, why not do the same on your customers’ purchase receipts and at the bottom of your bags and on packaging?
- Keep up to date with latest social media updates and promotion opportunities. Good starting points are Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner.
- One of the biggest stumbling blocks for small and medium sized companies trying to establish a Facebook presence from scratch and with no budget is that they don’t 100% buy in to it. A company needs to understand and embrace social media from top to bottom to get the best out of it. Have a detailed social media strategy, a well-defined direction and your whole team behind you.
Ultimately, the most reliable, effective and efficient method of building a Facebook presence is through using Facebook advertising to publicise your page or a promotion you are running on it. This costs money, but so does your time, and either way you’ll certainly need to invest non-financial resources. However, if you want to take on Facebook without advertising and expenditure on design and promotions, follow the above tips and you’ll be well on your way!
Facebook Promotion Checklist / Key Takeaways:
- Facebook feed
- Facebook buttons
- Call To Action
- Attention-grabbing imagery
- Email signatures
- Invitation to join
- Refer and Link
Use Facebook Itself:
- Custom Welcome Page
- Quality Content
- Exclusive Content, Apps and Tools
- Networking and Relationship-Building
Use Other Social Networks:
- Refer and Link
- Use profile imagery
Use Offline Media:
- Printed Media and More
- Be Creative
Embrace Social Media Fully:
- Ensure 100% Company Buy-In
- Have a full strategy
- Have a clear direction
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