Offline Tactics for Growing Your Facebook Fan Base

by Ken Mueller on March 15, 2011 · 24 comments

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Inkling Media Facebook Page QR Code Offline Tactics for Growing Your Facebook Fan BaseYesterday I wrote about some general ways in which you can grow your online fan base. While I’m focusing primarily on Facebook, these methods can also be used for growing an audience on other social platforms and blogs.

But what about some more specific ways of doing this? Just having a Facebook page isn’t enough. There are two key steps we need to keep in mind:

  1. You must let your existing customers know that you are on Facebook
  2. Give them a quick and easy way to connect with you online

With that in mind, here are some ideas that I’m working on with some of my clients that might work for you:

One of my clients is a regional chain of nearly two dozen specialty restaurants. We are now working to get buy-in to their Social Media program from all 600+ of their employees. Certainly we want all of the employees to “like” the business page, and also share the page with their friends and family. That right there will help grow the page. But what about the customers?

We’re going to challenge the employees, particularly those who work most closely with the public, to help spread the words. When you eat at a restaurant, you’re somewhat of a captive audience. The waitstaff has your attention. So here are a few ideas:

  • Tabletop displays mentioning Facebook page, complete with QR Code to make “liking” the page easy.
  • QR Codes strategically placed on the menu. (Those who are familiar with QR Codes are likely to scan them, while those who aren’t might actually ask about them, giving the waiter a great opportunity).
  • Tying the Facebook page to incentives, such as the company “fan club”, which includes opportunities for great coupons and free food.
  • Having an off-line contest for employees to encourage them to recruit fans to the fan page

That’s just the initial “tip of the iceberg” stage, but these sort of things can work for most any business.

Another client is a local veterinary clinic. They are attaching a challenge sheet to all of their invoices, asking customers to “like” their Facebook page. Eventually this sort of thing, including a QR Code, may be printed on the actual invoices.

Like the restaurant, they’ll have a counter top display, complete with QR Code. As they complete transactions with customers, they can say something along the lines of, “Did you know we’re on Facebook? We’d appreciate it if you’d ‘like’ our page, as it’s one of the primary ways we communicate with our clients.” Clients with smart phones can scan the code and “like” the page immediately. Engage your clients while they are right there with you. If you merely tell them about your Facebook page, they may forget by the time they get home.

Finally, don’t overlook the aftercare you offer your clients. This particular veterinarian does follow up calls with clients the following day to check on how the patient is doing. People love their pets. They greatly appreciate the care given to them from the veterinarian. Those day-after calls are often characterized by customers expressing their gratitude. Take advantage of this: when a customer thanks you for your help, respond with something along the lines of, “Thank you for your comments! Did you know we have a Facebook page? Would you mind sharing your comments there just to let others know?”

There’s nothing wrong with encouraging your satisfied customers to let others know about how you have helped them. Those who are already fans may post their comments on your page, and those who aren’t fans may take the moment to “like” your page and then post a comment. You won’t get 100% of them to respond, but you’re sure to get at least a few of them. Try it and see if works for you!

We live in an instant society. If you can engage your customers “in the moment”, you have a far better chance of getting them to engage with you. Find creative ways to encourage them to become a part of your online community.

Oh, and that QR Code at the top of this page? Go ahead…scan it…I dare ya!

What other methods have you tried in order to grow your Facebook fan base?

 

 Offline Tactics for Growing Your Facebook Fan Base
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10 comments
David Warren
David Warren

Ken, I just posted a picture of our new staff QR Code buttons at www.facebook.com/davesace. In the few hours we've had them, they've been a BIG conversation starter!

Great ideas, Ken (and everyone else) -- thanks for sharing!

Dave
Dave

Ken, your blog really got me thinking. Even though I've never used a QR Code (hardly knew what they were until I read your post), I decided to ask my facebook fans whether they have ever or would even use them. I was really surprised how many said they would and do! Now I'm ready to add them to my business cards, print ads, business forms and more. I'm even thinking about having some buttons made for our staff uniforms. Besides directing tech savvy customers to our www.facebook.com/davesace page I'm positive it would be a great conversation starter too! Thanks for keeping the great ides coming!

Barb Youchah
Barb Youchah

I love QR codes and have been brainstorming for creative ways to use them at my hotel. Currently they are on my business cards and have made for a great conversation starter at networking events. I tossed one on my email signature and my blog. The next thing I am going to use them for are thank you cards I send out and have the link go to Trip Advisor so our guests can leave their feedback. I use Google's link shortener goo.gl to create them (they give some simple analytics too) and print them on clear address labels.

beckywoodh
beckywoodh

How about the code taking me to foursquare so I can get a discount? I like saving money :)

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

That's awesome, Dave. I'm really anxious to see what this does for you in terms of growth of your fan page!

Ken Mueller
Ken Mueller

Thanks, Dave. I love the button idea. As you work through various uses of QR Codes I'd love to hear more about it and how well they work.

Ken Mueller
Ken Mueller

I love the Thank you card/Trip Advisor idea, and even mentioned it to a client yesterday, as well as in a class I was teaching for small business owners. I'd love to hear more about these and how well they work.

Ken Mueller
Ken Mueller

That works too! Anything that is creative and draws people in!

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