I actually find it quite difficult to grow a Facebook page.
All of the guides/suggestions imply that you already have a following somewhere that you can draw up on.
What if you are trying to grow a facebook page from scratch?
You can advertise (pretty expensive £0.42 for general UK population, even more if you narrow it down), you can invite all your friends, well you might get 10 friends to join. Then what? You can post all the content in the world but how is anyone to find out about it?
After you set up your page, encourage your friends to like your content and link to it so that their followers ("friends") can see it too. If your content is good, you'll find that new people will "friend" you. However, more important is that you find content you like and add your comments and likes to it. If people like what they see from you, they'll look you up and try to hook up with your page.
When someone does comment on one of your posts, make sure you check the like button. That's the way to pay a compliment to your followers and show them you are active and interested in their opinions.
In short, if you want to make a friend, be a friend.
Ah i see this has been spun off into it's own thread.
My page is B2C, most companies can talk about their products and their industry. I can't do that, as I'm in research, and aside from a few funny findings, there isn't much to talk about. I run a research panel where people take surveys for money. I use Facebook to recruit, but also to try and add value to them outside of survey research.
I've checked the Facebook pages of my main competitors and they have thousands of likes 2-30k but aren't really posting regular content at all. I'm posting at least 3+ times a week, some of my competitors haven't posted in months.
Polls help, but really progress is exceptionally slow. So far i have just over 100 followers on Facebook, some posts have been shared "e.g an infrogram stating 17% of people would turn down sex to sleep" etc.. But there hasn't been comments, and i'm a little apprehensive to start posting random things that nothing to do with my page, so that's information they can find elsewhere.
I don't think I would post random things either. If you do, you'll lose your target audience. One thing that might help you is to take better advantage of your forum profile. Did you know that you can add a link to your Facebook page by adding a signature through your profile? This option is open to all who have been members for over 90 days and it's a very cheap (free) way to advertise.
If you had a signature link, I would have looked at your page just to help you find more answers to your question.
If you belong to other forums, you might check their guidelines to see if that option is available to you in them as well. If you want to get the word out, you have to be assertive.
Thanks. I have since updated my profile including the facebook page. It's hard on my laptop under Chromium as the clicking the pencil icon doesn't seem to work.
Most of my posts are - random/amusing research facts, questions, discount vouchers, service announcements.
I started on 10th April. Everything before that was just so there was some stuff on the page before I invited people along. According to insights the creme egg post has 6 responses and 5 people talking about it. Which is the most i've achieved so far, but for that I personally invited/asked some friends.
Why are you starting a Facebook page without some sort of base?
I'm just wondering because Facebook isn't really the best place to deliver content. It's generally better to use Facebook to tell people there is content available to be consumed in other places. Without somewhere for your content to live (A blog or portfolio website) it's going to be hard to get and engage fans.
I know this because I've tried it both ways. It works far better when you have a primary source of content and you use Facebook as a supplement to that content. At the end of the day Facebook is simply another way to keep people interested in your content (Similar to Email marketing or other permission based marketing services) and without great content being produced somewhere else your facebook page will struggle.
Well that's it. My 'business' doesn't need really produce content. It's a market research company. This could be why my competitors don't regularly update their pages.
I guess members of my research panel just want to take their surveys and get paid their £1 - but I have a facebook presence as I feel it is useful as a tool for for my panellists to discuss, complain about, query things. I (will) also run prize draws and giveaways, and Facebook is a good way to announce them.
There's always something to create content for. Why do you do these surveys? How will these surveys help people? How have they helped in the past? These are questions you can answer and create content to explain. There is a lot of content to be produced for market research.
In my honest opinion you might want to sit down and think about a content strategy before you get too heavily involved in Facebook marketing. Facebook is a great tool, but without a clear vision of where you are headed it's not going to do you much good.
To be frank, Facebook Pages are there to compliment your website. Any Facebook Page I have created has been for an established business, and only in those circumstances do they ever seem to work.
If you're trying to grow a serious Facebook page without an established site you'll always struggle.
There is no full proof way. If the page is unique people will automatically come. That's what I have learnt from trying to make my page grow.
Completely agreed with @ULTiMATE;
I strongly believe that people have a state of mind when they do things. For example, when I go to a B2B event, I am in the business state of mind. When I am on Facebook I just want to play games and post something cool on my page. I don't take to advertising. Having said this even if you grow your FB page you'd struggle making money from it, unless it fits into the genre of your social thinking at the time, if that at all makes sense.
From experience I found community pages to grow on their own, I tend to get 2/3 likes per month without posting or advertising. Occasionally I post, but considering there is so much to learn on web technologies I really have overlooked keeping my Facebook page current.
There are so many business here who feel a Facebook page 'is' a website, particularly in my educated neck of the woods. Having said this people ARE replacing their company websites with a facebook.com/companyname. Not that I entirely agree with this, but it's happening.
Apart from that, I can't see an immediate benefit of having a Facebook page on it's own. Ideally it needs to be there to compliment an existing website, and as of such your business should go in this direction: Websites => Facebook Page => Like Page, rather than Advert => Like => Website. From exprience I've never returned twice to a website found on Facebook. If I did not Google in the start then I won't be interested in what's on offer. Unless of course I liked the page from their website. That's a complimentary different story.
I have started 5 FB pages from scratch with varying results. Design Festival is the most successful of them. I used other social media streams to advertise (mainly Twitter), as well as advertising on my other existing FB pages. The most successful way of building your follower base is by running a sweepstakes, but be super careful that you don't violate the FB TOS or they have the right to pull your page without warning (and they frequently do).
The chance to win something is a good way to build your facebook presence. ANother way is to open a limited ad campaign targetted at the relevant groups, it builds your likes - which in turn lets your page display to thier friends.
A facebook page is good to have, but from a conversion rate its not all that comapred to other methods
Even if you have unique page,you need to promote it by being active.People dont find anything automatically
I'm yet to have a Facebook Page cross two hundred fans, so take this advice with a grain of salt, but I've found that what always pumps up activitiy on my Pages is uploading photos of people and tagging them. That always makes a quick rush of that person's friends visit the Page to look at or comment on their friend's image.
I tend to get the Page started by inviting my Facebook friends, then try to keep things going with the tagging.
Again, I've never gotten passed two hundred fans, so there has to be a part of the puzzle I'm missing too, but just getting my ideas out there in case it helps.
I was thinking along the lines of Hawk (with the twitter thing) people are plugged into twitter more frequently than facebook, but you can put more valued content on a webpage or facebook page. For one 'Green' It company I helped launch, we did it from scratch. We setup a web-site that had a rich set of content focused on Green Technology in computing. Then we create complimentary facebook and youtube channels. We ran hooks to our main site in the facebook/youtube to drive the traffic to the site. We then layer a twitter account and pushed all channels website/fb/yt. We started with only 5 twitter followers within two years we had more than 40,000. Our facebook page started meager (like yours) but driving traffic through the channels netted approximately 20,000 facebook followers, and pretty good traffic to our site. I'm not sure how this is doing now as I sold my stake, 4 or 5 years ago and haven't check-in since, but this approach worked for us, from scratch.
If you're planing on opening a company or fan page you should also add relevant and interesting content otherwise, people won't have reasons to like and talk about your page.. Also, if you have an online store, try doing giveaways on your facebook page, keep them intreged and give them reasons to like your page (maybe offer 10% discount for facebook friends etc').
Based from experience, active participation in Facebook increases the number of your followers. By active participation, it means updating your status regularly, commenting on others' pages, uploading quality photos, liking pages with similar niches and sharing links with them.
The best practices to grow you fan base on facebook fan page is either by running a contest or by designing a fan gate using fbml language.
Contest means you run a campaign and encourage users to upload images and make their friends like. In return give them some reward.
and a Fan gate is like. To Enter this page share it on your wall or make two friends like this page.
These practices help alot!
It's actually good that you've considered asking your friends to add your page first before anything else. It's actually one of the important steps that you have to take when you're looking to increase your page's fans. If you have a website, you can add some sort of a widget that would lead to your page, or an easy way of letting people like your page. I know this one's going to be a bit difficult, but you can try looking for your target market in Facebook. If they're in some sort of a group, you can join that group and suggest your page.
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