When a new user visits a business's Facebook Page, the ultimate hope for the business is that the user will become a fan. User-to-fan conversion is tough. But there are ways to increase the likelihood of a user becoming not only a fan, but an active fan who engages with the business online.
The company MECLABS came up with a marketing formula for customer conversion. The same formula also applies really well to Facebook user conversion. Here it is: C=4m+3v+2(i-f)-2a
This formula is made up of six variables which stand for the following: C= Conversion, M=Motivation, V= Value Proposition, I= Incentive, F=Friction, A=Anxiety
So what does it all mean? In short, conversion occurs when motivation is high, value is identifiable, and when offered incentives are perceived as easily attainable and advantageous. For a more in-depth analysis of the equation, here's a breakdown of how a business can translate the formula into Facebook practice.
Identify your value proposition... How does a business convey the value of their Facebook Page? For starters, it takes a good look at who the target audience is. Once a business can identify their target user, a business can then cater to this audience on their Facebook Page. Meaning, all design and shared content should be created in a way to appeal specifically to target users. Things like the design of a cover photo and the use of applications are all ways to portray to users the value of a Page.
Motivate Facebook users... Getting users to press "Like" is one of the biggest challenges businesses on Facebook have. What motivates a user to Like a Page, anyways? The answer differs between each user. First segment users by a couple distinctive traits, then try to predict the realistic reactions and actions of these users when they are introduced to specific Page content. Keep in mind, it's the media content being shared, the phrasing of status updates, and even Facebook advertising efforts that are often the most motivating factors related to whether or not a user will Like a Page.
Provide incentives...Offering something to users in return of Liking a Page is the most effective way for a business to engage with users who are not already familiar with their brand. This "give to get" marketing approach works exceptionally well when the offered incentive feels exclusive and unique to one business only. An iPad is great (for the one person who wins it), but knowledge or entertainment is better.
Reduce friction... A Facebook offer is most effective when the effort required to receive the offer is little. Long Facebook entry forms or requiring the users to divulge too much information are the most common frictions that discourage and also disinterest users from Liking a Page. The best advice is to keep it simple. Whether it be hosting a Facebook contest or asking users to participate in a Facebook poll, keep verbiage clear and minimize the number of hoops users have to jump through.
Decrease anxiety... Before a Facebook user decides to Like a Page, he or she often needs some assurance. For one, a business can let their past Page activity stand as an indicator that they're not going to clog News Feeds with frequent or irrelevant content. Second, for users who decide to engage with a Page through an application, they need to feel safe knowing their information is not going to be be misused. User testimonials or a note that states their information will not be used to spam them can often help put anxious users at ease.
There is no exact science of how to convert a Facebook user to a fan, but a tool like MECLAB's conversion formula can help. For all businesses, this formula is a great resource to help identify the things that matter most for user-to-fan conversion.