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7 Proven Ways to Grow a Facebook Fan Base

grow fansPerhaps one of the toughest things for any Facebook page owner — especially new ones — is growing a fan base.

4-5 years ago on Facebook building a page happened faster as there were less pages competing for our attention.

Today however business must have a clear plan in place to grow a sustainable fan base that is both growing and engaged.

But how does someone do this?

Evolution of a young plantHow to Grow a Fan Base on Facebook

I ran across an old inforgraphic on the KissMetrics site called “The Importance of a Fan Base” recently that really caught my attention.

While many of the stats on the graphic are dated — it was originally made in December of 2011 –the concept of the information on growing a fan base is still valid today.

By now I think we all understand that businesses are gaining loyal customers via social media — so no need to beat that dead horse.

But how do you grow a loyal customer base?

KissMetrics gives us 7 ways to do this and it can be applied to any social network — not just Facebook.

fan-base

7 Ways to Grow a Fan Base

missile on target1. Define Your Target Market

Every business must know exactly who their ideal customer is BEFORE going into business — and especially before getting started on Facebook.

Not all 1.2 billion Facebook users are your ideal customer.

For example I’ve mentioned in various blog posts that I have an inflatable business I run on the weekends renting out bounce houses in my local area.

My target market is hyper local and predominantly those with kids.

If I drill down further on Facebook I tend to target females as they are the ones in households that tend to plan parties and make purchasing decisions.

With this knowledge in hand I can now run ads promoting my page and target females within a 10 mile radius between the ages of 25-45.

To show that I have correctly identified my target market check out the demographics of my page with currently 390 fans:

know your target facebook market

86% of my fans (335) are women and 60% of the overall fan base is females aged 25-44.

Realistically I know my page will likely never grow over the 1000 fan mark as there are only about 7400 Facebook users in a 10 mile radius of me.

potential fans of space walk gatesville

If I drill down further to my target audience of women ages 25-45 I have an even smaller potential fan base of just 1580:

targeted fan base on facebook

For your business you must do the same type of targeting.

Targeting is important on Facebook because gaining fans that aren’t potential clients and aren’t going to engage with your page will kill your business on Facebook.

I’d rather have 100 targeted and engaged fans than 10,000 people that Liked my page but will never buy.

2. Get The Tone Right

tone

Now that you have defined your target market you need to start talking to them — via posts to your page.

In addition to just talking to them you must talk like them, think like them and act like them.

Using my bounce house business again as an example if my main target audience is moms aged 25-45 in my local area I need to post things that appeal to them — it would be stupid for me to post about things not happening locally or things that predominantly appeal to men or those without kids.

By crafting my page posts to appeal to my target market I will build trust with them as they will see me as “one of them”.

3. Identify Which Types of Engagement are Effective

boost facebook engagementEvery Facebook page is unique and post types that work on one page may not work on another.

That’s why it’s so important to test what works on your page and what doesn’t.

I do this often on every page I admin to see what did well and what didn’t. If I see a post was really successful I’ll post something similar again.

Likewise if a post bombs I won’t revisit that type of post again.

Some post types I would highly recommend are:

  • Questions – People love to answer yes/no or similar 1 word answer questions (just keep it relevant)
  • Photos – Pictures will likely always win on Facebook as the site lends itself to be very visual
  • Fill-in-the Blanks – These types of post allow for a quick answer and people love to give their input on a light hearted post
  • Contests – Facebook contests will typically do well if you have a targeted fan base. Just don’t do them too often and be sure the prize is relevant to your page.

4. Look at it as a Long Term Investment

long term visionDitch the “If You Build It They Will Come” mentality — that only works in Kevin Costner movies!

Marketing on social media takes times and you must be willing to be patient.

Back to my bounce house page I have spent roughly $150-200 on Facebook ads to grow the page to about 400 Likes — that are super targeted mind you.

In my case about 90% of my business so far has come from Facebook. To put that in perspective since starting the business the last week in October 2013 to today ( January 29,2014) my gross revenue is $2700.

All that from about $150 in ads to build the page and boosts posts — and this is the off-season of bounce house rentals due to the cold weather.

This initial $150 investment on my page will pay off huge dividends over the next 12 months. If I only rent out 1 bounce house per week that’s $5200 in revenue! I’ll take those returns any day!

And realistically I will average 2-3 bounce houses per week and throughout the Spring and Summer will average 1-2 slide rents (at least $200 per rental). So my $150 in initial ads to grow my fan base could equate to easily $10-15k in revenue!

So continue to build your page and grow those relationships with your fans — they may not buy today but you should be hopeful they will down the road.

5. Keep it Real, Relevant, and Relaxed

keep it realI love this thought of the ” 3 R’s”…

While growing your fan base you must keep things real, relevant and relaxed.

Don’t get frustrated that sales aren’t immediately coming in and thus you start blasting sales posts every hour on the hour.

You’ll run off your fans in a heartbeat — and they won’t come back!

In the beginning you may only need to post once per day, or perhaps once every few days. Don’t overwhelm your fan base by over-running their news feed right out of the gate.

Let them start to get to know, like and trust you — then ¬†you can ramp up the posts a bit.

While consistency is important, quality is the goal here while growing your fan base.

6. Create a Schedule of Updates

facebook posting scheduleThe worst thing a page can do — especially at the beginning — is posting sporadically.

2 posts on Monday, 4 on Tuesday, zero on Wednesay, 7 on Thursday, 1 on Friday and none on the weekends…

Doing this will destroy your page — although many of you are doing this.

Setup a schedule of what time of day you are going to post and how many times per day you’re going to post and stick with it.

On my bounce house page I am experimenting with posting twice per day — once in the morning and once in the evening — and posting either images or text updates.

I’m doing this using the “Queue” feature in my Post Planner app so that I know for a fact I’m not posting too much and that posts are planned out in advance:

queue schedule in Post planner

I’m also reposting the same 15 images in my queue rotation using the Re-Queue feature in Post Planner. While mixing in text only status updates to get interaction and engagement on the page.

The Queue feature basically allows me to plan a post and add it to my Queue — which then makes that post take up the next open spot in my Queue.

To Queue a post you must be a Guru member of Post Planner.

My times are setup as shown above and now I simply enter my post and hit the “Queue” button:

queue post in post planner

Once the post is in your plan you’ll notice a muted circular arrow next to the post. Once you click that arrow it turns bright green and now your post is Re-Queued:

re queue posts in post planner

What this means is that whenever there is an available spot open in my Queue this post will automatically be re-added to my planned posts!

This especially works great for re-posting evergreen blog posts — like we do on Post Planner.

The Queue function has taken the headache out of me having to remember to plan posts and the re-queue makes so that I will always have content going to page. Overtime I will change out the posts that are re-queueing so that it’s not the same content ever 10 days or so.

What I want you to grasp is that having a posting schedule is imperative for any successful page. Decide what and when you’re going to post and then plan it out and stick to it.

7. Monitor and Measure

monitor facebook insightsYou’ve figured out your target audience, you’re keeping the right tone in your posts, you’re posting the right kind of posts to get engagement, you’re investing in the page long term, following the 3 R’s and sticking to a schedule — But now what?

Now you need to sit down at least once per month and evaluate the Insights of your Facebook page and see what worked and what didn’t work.

Not doing this is sure to cause your page to fail.

I can’t tell you what results are good or bad for your page — as each page is different.

But if you look at your past posts and have ZERO engagement obviously that didn’t work and you need to adjust.

The key here is being aware of your results at least once per month.

Grow Your Fan Base!

Now that you know these 7 tips on how to grow a fan base apply them to your Facebook page — as well as to your efforts on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and etc. Although measuring results on those sites is much more difficult.