The Key to Growing Your Facebook Fan Base

by Ken Mueller on March 14, 2011 · 7 comments

Question: “I’ve built a Facebook Fan page for my business, but no one is coming. The growth is slow. How can I get more people to like my page?”

"Thumbs up" picture, mostly uploaded...

We build pages on Facebook expecting that 600-million people will suddenly “like” their little local business simply because we’re on Facebook. After all, Social Media is this amazing tool, right?. Unless you are a major corporation with a national or international reputation, your job won’t be that easy. If you are a rather small local business, you can’t live by the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy. So what’s the key?

Take it off-line

That’s right, in order to grow your on-line properties you need to first look off-line.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is most interested in your business?
  • Who is most likely to tell others about your business?

The answer is most likely your customers. So in order to build your fan base you need to get your existing customers to connect with you online. Just building a page won’t cut it. You have to let them know you are there in any way possible.

Think about your customers.

How and when do you have contact with them? It could be when they are visiting your brick and mortar business, or you’re making a call on them. Or perhaps it’s on the phone. Those touchpoints are your opportunity to let them know that they connect with you online.

Are you telling your customers that you’re on Facebook? You should be.

How do you communicate with them?

Letters? Newsletters? Brochures? Business Cards? Invoices? Receipts? Slap the Facebook logo on there and let them know you are there.

Do you talk to them on the phone?

If they call you with a question, direct them to your Facebook page. If they thank you for your help, tell them, “Thanks! I appreciate that. Would you mind posting a similar comment on our Facebook page? It would mean a lot to us.”

Now take it back online

That’s right, there are also some other non-social online methods of letting them know about your social properties.

Do you have an email database or newsletter?

Use it to tell your clients about your Facebook page. Every newsletter you send out should have at LEAST a link to your Facebook page, but at least one of your emails should discuss it rather prominently.

Do you have an email signature file?

Throw a link to your Facebook page in there. If you don’t have a signature file, I highly recommend using Wisestamp. It will help you create an incredibly social email signature, with link to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other social networks you use.

Is your website social?

I’m still amazed at how many business websites have no connection to their accompanying Facebook or Twitter accounts. If you put them on there, place it high up in the header area. If you bury it at the bottom of the page, it will be “below the fold” and a lot of people will miss it.

You can build it, but they won’t come unless you tell them where it is.

I’m working with a number of clients right now who are trying to come up with some rather creative ways of connecting online with their existing offline client base. I’ll have more on that tomorrow in Offline Tactics for Growing your Facebook Fan Base.

How are you building your Facebook fan base? What offline methods are you using to let your existing customers know?


Linda LaFianza
Linda LaFianza

Ken, because you rawk, I will share a Facebook secret that seems to be very effective: post photos and tag the people & businesses (their FB pages) in the photos. It really extends your reach as all the friends of the people & businesses you tag receive a notice about the tagging that links back directly to your page where the winsomeness of your content will surely cause them to "like" you!

Rachel Fabulous
Rachel Fabulous

Great post!! I couldn't agree more with your suggestions!

Ken Mueller
Ken Mueller

Thanks, Linda. That's definitely a must. The only difficult part of this is that you can't tag people unless you are friends with them. This is one of the reasons why I recommend a rather liberal friending policy...that you try to friend you customers if you can!

Linda LaFianza
Linda LaFianza

Very true, Ken, however, whether or not you are friends with all of your followers, they can tag the pictures. Dittos for staff members, but this does bring up the subject of "public friends" versus "REAL friends" it can be tough to integrate the two aspects of one's identity.


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