At one point or another, all of us have been pitched a slick proposal from an alleged Facebook-for-business master that goes something like this: “I can get you thousands of likes and keep your followers engaged for a small price.”
(Insert the proper eye roll and “thanks, but no thanks” response here.)
Because even if a marketing ninja can wrangle us thousands of likes, paying for likes doesn’t assure that folks will stick around or even care about your brand’s Facebook page. Instead, we think going back to Facebook’s conversational, grassroots beginnings is the way to go… and who better to like your page than the folks who really like you in the real world?
It’s always surprising when clients come clean and tell us that they are unhappy with the number of likes their Facebook pages have received — and yet they haven’t attempted to market this page to the people in their inner circle first! Sounds strange, but it happens a lot. Maybe they’re afraid to “bug” their friends. Maybe they don’t want to mix business with social. Maybe the thought never crossed their mind. Who knows? What we do know is that when launching a business page on Facebook, it’s best to turn to the people who know you first before waiting endlessly for anonymous likes to just fall from the sky. The math behind this is simple: You have hundreds of friends and they have hundreds of friends and your employees likewise have hundreds of friends, too. Turning to this crowd of already friendly faces is an easy way to build a base of likes for your page. These are your friends, so don’t feel bad about “bugging” them. After all, they don’t feel bad about posting endless videos of their kid’s dance recital or telling you how they voted. Your friends actually like you (presumably) and should have no problem helping you get likes on Facebook, either.
Next, turn to that other valuable resource: your customers and clients. These folks already support your business, and chances are great that they’ll do so on Facebook, too. Let them know via email newsletters, in-store signage and on your website that you are on Facebook. In your page’s early days, entice them to like you with contests and Facebook-only discounts. Customers should use your Facebook page to get all of the information they need about your company, so make sure it’s frequently updated and filled with content they want to respond to.
The Facebook forest is a crowded and sometimes intimidating one. But with a little help from your friends, you can stand out, get noticed and even get liked.