August 29, 2014

Tips To Get People To Join Your Facebook Fan Page

With its new tagging ability, Facebook has made its site a whole lot more appealing for small business owners. Small business owners have the ability to seek out the people talking about them and users can get their voices heard, knowing businesses can check to see who has tagged them. But before either party can take advantage of Facebook’s new feature, you first have to get your customers to opt into the relationship. You have to give them a reason to friend your Facebook Fan page, and that’s not always easy.

I’ve written in the past about how to create a Facebook Fan page – how to set it up, what to put on it, how to make it look and feel like your brand. But how do you get people to actually want to join the page? How do you combat brand fatigue and take them from a passive observer to a full-blown brand evangelist?

You have to create an incentive.

Make People Feel Part Of Something

Think back to high school. You joined cliques for survival and to help you feel liked, respected, wanted, etc. You joined because you were made to feel like you were missing out if you weren’t part of the group. Social networking works the same way.

It’s very easy to be passive on Facebook. If you want someone to take that step and openly associate themselves with your brand, you need to make them feel like they’re missing out by NOT being part of your community. That they’ll be losing out on a common experience or missing the joke if they stay on the outside. You create that by making your community sound and feel 100x times larger than it actually is (unless you’re purposely trying to seem small and elite). You fake it until you make it. You make tagging part of your fans daily interaction with you. You make a game out of it so that you’re always showing up on their wall (with a link to your Fan page) and they’re always showing up on your page. Doing this helps spread your brand, it keeps you in people’s top of mind, and it makes them curious as to why they’re seeing you all over the place. I mean, how else do you get people to become fans of tarantulas?

Appeal To Core Members

Every group has a core bunch. The handful of folks who are responsible for change, for leading things, for getting everyone excited and spreading the company message. Reach out to these folks and get them involved in talking about your Fan page.

Create your promotional army by hand selecting the major players, sending the messages thanking them for their support, and then telling them that you need their help. Make them feel important and like they’re on the cutting edge of whatever you’re doing. Get them to always be talking about you and tagging you places. These types of action increase your trust, build your credibility and give you social proof. These types of connectors are usually the ones with very large social networks on sites like Twitter or Facebook. Ask them to use Facebook’s Suggest feature to “suggest” that their friends fan your page. When the request comes from them, it’s harder for others to decline and it just reinforces that “inside joke”.

Offer Exclusive Content

Facebook is much more intimate than the other social media sites. Users are less likely to invite strangers into their networks and are wary of brands. If you want their attention, you have to give them something of value for their efforts. Something exclusive that they can’t get from your Web site, Twitter account or anywhere else on the Web.

The most popular way of doing these seems to be through Facebook-specific coupons or special offers. Friday’s is offering free hamburgers, Victoria Secrets gave away free undies, Sears gave away coupons and gift cards, etc. Other brands give away exclusive content via video, photos, applications, advanced notice of events, or even just real interaction with other members. Figure out what your customers crave and then give it to them.

Make Your Fan Page Their Forum

No one wants to join a group where they have no voice. They want to interact with the brands they love and feel like they’re being listened to. Once of the best ways to get people to fan your page is to use it as a forum where you ask and listen to your customers’ advice. Let your members lead by turning your Fan page into a place where users can express themselves, to talk about what they don’t like, and things like they’d like to see you do in the future. If you have an upcoming campaign or product you’re working on create a Facebook focus group that encourages people to offer their input. If word gets out that your Facebook Fan page is where you go to crowdsource your ideas, people are going to want to be a part of that. Make your Fan page the place where your customers can go to get heard.

Facebook Fan pages have always been a valuable way to build a community and learn about your audience. However, now they’re also a great way to get your users to spread the word about your brand to their friends with the use of tags. Give them a reason to join your Fan page. Make it exciting and worth their time. And then encourage them to talk about you, to tag you and increase the eyeballs interacting with you online.

More in: 65 Comments ▼

Lisa Barone


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

65 Reactions

  1. Don’t forget that you can also advertise your Facebook page with Facebook ads (disclaimer: I’m a big fan of PPC). The fan page ads have a Become a Fan button right under your ad making it easy for new fans to “join the club” and when one person becomes a fan all their friends see that in their feeds as well, allowing for a viral growth pattern if you’ve followed Lisa’s advice above.

  2. Thanks Robert for the reminder. Good idea.
    Lisa, your posts are always right in the pulse of life. Thanks for these thoughts. I’ll pass them on to some clients.

  3. Does having lots of Facebook fans matter really anymore? It was the same as having a lot of MySpace friends…just a sea of people on a webpage who barely know who you are or what you stand for.

  4. I agree the new @mention function on Facebook can create a much deeper level of Fan engagement as well as broaden the Page reach across Facebook.

    Gadget – Facebook reported yesterday it has 300 Million users growing at over 5 Million users a week. How can any brand ignore such an opportunity. A FB Page will be as successful as the ongoing value it provides to it’s Fans… it’s about what you GIVE… in order to get anything out of it.

  5. These tips give me great thoughts about downloads and other content to encourage new members to my two fan pages (with more pages to come, no doubt).

    It’s not easy building a base or convincing people to stop what they’re doing to check out your page and join, so valuable bribes with expiration dates are good incentives.

  6. Robert Brady,

    I am interested to learn more about the Facebook ads for your fan page. Please “shoot” me an email…

    Lisa: I can’t offer your “undies,” but a you could win a cool t-shirt if you join NetZpider.net’s fan page. Please check out the site if you want to learn how Kalle Blomqvist a.k.a Charlie Bloom will use crowsourcing for “inventing, developing, spreading and selling two-way messages.”

    Full disclosure: I am social media enthusiast for NetZpider Network. Click on “Martin Lindeskog” Says: and you could read more about NetZpider Fan Page.

  7. Hi again!

    I saw a Facebook connect button, so I had to test to write a comment by using my Facebook login! ;)

  8. Sorry for the typo. It must be the crow epistemology that is kicking in… ;) It should be crowdsourcing.

  9. Good tips. Thanks Lisa. I partcularly like the ‘make your fan page, their forum’ concept and will share it with clients to see how deeply they want to engage with their audience.

  10. I believe the engaging part is half the battle. Make a page and give fans a reason to come back. Thanks for the tips.

  11. I just created a facebook site for our challenging mission. Your article was just in time because at this time we have no fans :)

  12. The twitter frenzy is a great brand marketing opportunity for marketers, although I’d have to say Facebook is the Bomb with 175 million users in comparison to 6 Million Twitter users. Facebook users spend an average of 3 hours and 10 minutes on the site per-month the highest average time per-person amongst the 75 most popular brands online.

  13. I like the idea of exclusive content. A big draw for consumers would be the added benefit of providing exclusive coupons and coupon codes to shoppers. We’re all looking to save money and time, so being alerted to exclusive savings and sales would appeal to a lot of consumers especially with the holidays approaching so quickly.

  14. The important part is that the fans are incredibly targeted. For help doing this, http://www.cfsrevolution.com is a great resources

  15. Do you have a short intro. on how to create Facebook Fan Page? Do create your fan page via your main profile or should first create a new account?

  16. Besides not downloading apps from people you do not know, watch out for messages you’re your friends that request you download files or follow links to other websites. If you are not 100% sure the message really came from that friend, do not click those links!

  17. good post, I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who thinks that Facebook’s tagging feature, esp. in status updates, can be important/powerful.

  18. Nice. Generally follows the “how to do social media” blueprint, but great to see it made specific to this!

    Jeff Yablon
    President & CEO
    Answer Guy and Virtual VIP Computer Care, Business Coaching and Virtual Assistant Services

  19. Social networking tip #2: Turn cards into contacts

    When you get a business card in a meeting or conference, what do you do with it?

    * Stick it in your Rolodex?
    * Shove it in your drawer?
    * Use it to level up a rickety table at your café?

    If you want to make the most of that connection, you’ll immediately send that person an invitation to your network. That way they’ll keep up to date with your professional movements so down the track when you reach out to them, they won’t go, “Helen who?”.

  20. I’m an author with a fan page (http://facebook.com/susanmallery), and I love these ideas. My fans seem to love playing word games with me, like a madlib-type game I call MalleryLib.

    I don’t completely understand the @mention feature yet. I understand that when fans mention me by name on their wall, @susanmallery, their friends can click on my name and come to my page. But is there a way for me to see who has mentioned me?

  21. Great article – we find our Facebook page very easy to keep up-to-date and also get instant reactions and quote requests to any new services or products we offer. Great article!

  22. Thanks for the great article – we have our Facebook page address on all of our email communication – a great way for people to check us out and add us as a fan – please check out our page: http://tinyurl.com/have1com

  23. I just started on the Facebook Fan Page for Palmetto Cheese. Another great way to attract fans is to give them content on your page that makes people want to come back. I made a recipe of the week slideshow that takes you step by step making a recipe using Palmetto Cheese. We also just started the Soulful Recipe Contest; which allows fans to signup on our fan page to the contest. I used an application called Wildfire that enabled me to put the contest directly on the fan page. I also began developing a character for the brand that will attract more families. He is called Pawley the Pimento. Palmetto Cheese was started in Pawleys Island, SC. For more information check out the Palmetto Cheese Fan Page

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Palmetto-Cheese-The-Pimento-Cheese-with-Soul/174917607012?ref=nf

  24. Great tips to get people to join your Facebook Fan page! Thanks for sharing your insights!

  25. I always kept Facebook as my personal space online. I also don’t think that Facebook ads provide the ROI small businesses need.

  26. Today i am very happy because of i made 60 twitter followers in a single day. Guess how? Mentioned tips helped me a lot.

  27. Offer Exclusive Content. Like this section because we should post “Exclusive Content” or services that are different or that can make a difference. Saving time and money is what we are all about. Visit us at http://www.Facebook.com/pages/Memphis-TN/ClowardDesign/112592642491

    —- Thanks, Jade Cloward

  28. Thanks for the tips, have just started a Facebook fan page!

  29. In the world of Accounting Marketing many of these concepts are just coming to the surface. As someone who has been following this for a quite a while, I find this article to be spot on. I am wondering how effective the new tagging features offered by Facebook will be i9n generating traffic.

  30. And how exciting is it to actually increase your turnover with a Facebook page? We made a story about an architect using Facebook and how 1 in 5 referrals now comes through his page.

    http://themultimediainstitute.com/social-media/how-grow-your-business-facebook-page

  31. These Are All Really Good Ideas. I Recently Started A Facebook Page For A Dealership And Am Trying To Make Our Content Unique By Posting Frequent Videos From Around The Dealership. They Might Not Be Exactly What You Would Expect. Check Them Out At Facebook.com/GollingChrysler And Become A Fan!

  32. Thank you for the insightful post.
    These all helps, no doubt. But its about saving time. Promoting facebook fanpage is just like broadcasting commercials on the television. As a business personal I think I may leave the advertising part on the experts, I continue doing what i do the best and let others do the promotion for me.
    actually there are some agencies providing social networking services.

  33. hello

    But when you add a fan page.. why doesnt their news updates or wall postings appear on our Top News of Most Recent buttons of Home page?
    Would be ideal.. Otherwise people wont know. they have to look for you in a special link somewhere like with Groups..
    I guess making a work profile is the only way for real exposure but then you have that friends limit of 5000 i think.. no?

  34. Or buy facebook fans- works as well and it’s a lot cheaper than FB ads

  35. These are some awsome ideas ..really a great resource to help people. I also would suggest a complete marketing strategy for facebook. Facebook advertisements are difficult to manage..moreover they are costly. I would recommend you to use Socioniks to get facebook fans, twitter followers.This is the most professional company i have seen in facebook marketing and they just dont sell fans but actually promote your business.

    Another thing is that i don’t find untargeted fans of any use to business pages that are limited to a particular region or industry. So even if you go for promotion, choose wisely

  36. Find out people who “Like” the same page as you do in “We Like” facebook application and make new friends at http://apps.facebook.com/ourlikematches

  37. Really, these tips must work. Every content not fit for FaceBook, however people try to promote there.

  38. You can also choose a short username for your fanpage. The page Lentovelho has chosen http://www.facebook.com/halvatlennot which means cheap flights in finnish and is their target for customers. Just an Idea!

  39. Very helpful article, thank you. I just built a page for my home business and looking to get exposure/fans. This article will help. Thanks again.

  40. Helpful article! Here at Dydacomp, we work with a number of small businesses who look to us to help them work out the details of not only getting their websites off the ground but start competing with the larger eCommerce retailers. This is a great resource for me to share with them to help they improve their Facebook pages!

  41. A little late commenting on this post, but I think the article has several great points. Best advice? Crowdsourcing. Facebook pages are more about seeing what your customers are really thinking than anything else. And often, customers feel most comfortable sharing their opinion online.

    I do tend to be wary of “exclusive” Facebook deals. How do you know that your followers aren’t “Liking” eight different pages of similar companies to get the deals and then bouncing between them all, only patronizing their business when they have a coupon or discount code? It’s a great way to get people’s attention, but companies must use Facebook to go beyond deals to keep customers in the long run.

  42. Offering a free e-book is a simple way of getting people to “Like” your page. Once they’re in though you have to work hard to keep them around and involved.

    Many small businesses fail to keep their fans because they broadcast at people instead of encouraging them to be active & participate in the conversation.

  43. I am currently conducting a contest and still not able to gain enough fans.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/ISpaff/190882434255233
    Please take a look and advice me what did I do wrong.
    Thinking to get an ad,
    what time and targeted market are perfect for this kind of page?

  44. Just now came across this while searching for social media articles. I don’t remember seeing it when it came out. Good stuff Lisa!

  45. I also think this is a very helpful article. I just got a website and facebook page for my home improvement business and looking to get exposure and fans. This article will help. Thanks again.

  46. I am trying to get homeowners in Salem Oregon to talk about their homes, what they like, what they wish was different, what they hope for. We think that it isn’t to much to ask to have your home the way you want it. Still learning how to do that on Facebook. thanks for the tips.

  47. Great, article.
    Facebook is the new google, although buying facebook fans, seems to be the new craze

  48. Thank you for the information. I have been very fortunate to have a site kidshealthexpert.com and a fan page that offers great information to parents. I just started posting articles so I need to know how to get people to login and get involved with my platforms, your information has been so very helpful.

    Thanks again and keep up the good work.

  49. With starting a new website company in the midst of giants this is very helpful. I am thinking of running a contest for a free website to help attract potential customers.

  50. The best way to double your fan conversion is to set up a facebook “reveal” fan page…here’s a video on how to do it in 3mins with no hosting and no designer. responsemagic.com/facebook.php

  51. I have a facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/TerraSinclairPhotography and I am always adding new content and having contests and try to keep my fans engaged, however it seems very hard to get people engaged in these. Can someone give me tips on what I might be doing wrong and what I can do to make my page more interesting for my fans to get them interacting more?

  52. Very interesting article! thank you!

  53. Great tips to get people to join your Facebook Fan page! Thanks for sharing your insights!

  54. I have tried so hard to get people to join our rescue group. We are a 501c3 non profit and we dont beg for money but unless people share our animals it is going to be nearly impossible for them to be adopted. My best friend pays for everything out of pocket and does occasionally get donations but not enough to cover the expenses. I promised her that I would do my best to get people to join the group. Does anyone know if there is a forum where you can post your group to try to get members? We are from a small town and only have about 100 members. About 35 minutes away is Erie PA and the small animal rescue there is flooding the market. If anyone can help me please let me know. If you want to check out the group it is below. She really just wants numbers so people will share and you never know whose brothers, cousins, ex wifes niece is looking for a particular animal. Again any info would be greatly appreciated.

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/337127503037878/

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