Your company's Facebook page would make Zuckerberg proud and the branded Twitter background screams "This brand is awesome and you should follow us!" So you should have thousands of fans and followers, right? Wrong. That whole "If you build it, he will come" saying only holds true if you redefine the it. It isn't a Facebook page. It isn't a Twitter account or a YouTube video.
It is an audience.
You have to build an audience to cultivate an online community of brand supporters. You have to focus on your existing fans to gain new fans. The more often your fans interact with your brand, the better chance you have at their friends seeing it in their newsfeed and deciding to become a fan as well. Every time someone interacts with your page, it's free advertising for your brand. That's right: Free. You don't have to drop thousands of dollars into Facebook PPC to grow your online community. Just use the 7 'A's of Fan and Follower Acquisition:
- Announce to your existing customers that you're on Facebook and Twitter. Send out an announcement email with a fun graphic that says "Are you a fan/follower? If not, here's what you're missing out on!" Illustrate the benefits of being a fan. Have you given away any prizes on Facebook? Fan-only coupons? Exclusive content? Show your customers what they're missing and encourage them to join.
- Add social media icons to your website and include icons and links to your email signature and e-newsletters. Add a call-out in any recorded messages (voicemail greeting, automated messages) that says "Remember, you can also reach us on Facebook at facebook.com/[your page ID] and Twitter @[your twitter handle]." This might help ease any frustration a customer might have if they can't get ahold of someone to answer a question they might have.
- Alert your customers of any coupons or contests you're running on Facebook through an e-blast with direct links to the page.
- Assess your fan demographics to make sure you're posting content that caters to them. If your fans are mostly women between the ages of 18-24, they're going to have different interests than males who are 45+. Make sure your Facebook posts speak to them.
- Analyze your Facebook insights to see what types of posts have been most engaging with your current fans. Sort your Page Post analytics by number of Engaged Users and look at the 10 most engaging posts and the 10 least engaging posts. If the majority of most engaging posts were photos, post more photos. If they were questions, ask more questions. Analyze your least engaging posts to find out what type if content your fans are least interested in.
- Ask questions. Instead of just posting a link to a useful article, ask your fans what they think about it. Use Facebook Questions (poll) to ask your fans anything from what kind of breakfast starts their day off right to what they like most about your brand/product. The more engaged fans you have, the more impressions your posts will have.
- Appreciate your current fans with deals and specials. The more someone feels appreciated, the more likely they are to communicate with the brand, post positive comments and recommend your page to their friends. This will also show non-fans the perks of becoming a fan.