This article was written by Ron Jones of Search Engine Watch on November 16, 2009.
Is customer loyalty important to you? Have you ever wondered about which sources provide loyal visitors who will repeatedly return to your site?
Chitika analyzed the browsing habits of 33 million unique visitors during September. They found that Facebook provides the most loyal visitors, with 20 percent of those who originate from the social network in turn visiting the site they landed on four or more times in a week. Other notable social media sites include Digg at 16 percent and Twitter at 11 percent.
This should help you feel better about the time you invest marketing on Facebook. Now let’s look at some ways to promote your Facebook fan page.
How to Promote your Facebook Page
A promotion is a good way to reach out to your customers and make them aware of your new Facebook page. Offer a discount or prize drawing for customers who become fans.
Let your fans know that you would like them to share their feedback on your products or services. Be prepared to receive this feedback, good or bad. This should be a given with any type of social media marketing strategy.
When your customers (or fans) interact with you on Facebook, their friends will see those comments on their news feed. This is one way to leverage the power of Facebook as a viral marketing tool. This should attract more fans and prospective customers.
Engagement and Conversation
Many people are fixated on the goal of acquiring new fans. You can’t ignore this metric because the more fans you have, the more successful your campaign is, right? Well, not exactly.
The real goal is to engage your fans in conversation. If you don’t communicate and converse with your fans, then your fan page will become dormant and fans will disperse to other interesting sites.
You must commit to spending time doing this. Set aside the time to read through comments and other posts from your fan base. Many businesses create a fan page with the mentality that “if you build it, they will come” and don’t invest the time to interact with their fans, a lost opportunity.
Facebook provides some great tools to help you engage with your fans. You have the ability to send videos, photos, messages, or links to each fan.
Each time you send out one of these communications, you show up on their personal newsfeed. This helps to keep you and your products or services top of mind with your fan base. Be careful not to “spam” them. Spread out your communication pushes and make them meaningful and relevant.
A cool feature of Facebook is that it also gives you the ability to segment your audience by region, age, and gender. This helps you send the right messages to the right demographic group. Learn who your audience is and plan your messaging strategy around those groups.
Facebook also provides a helpful reporting tool called Insights. This tool helps you understand the various types of content your fans enjoy interacting with.
Also, because you’re encouraging open and honest conversations, you might find that you occasionally get some objectionable posts. Facebook provides tools to help moderate and even block users. But you should plan on how to handle this ahead of time and communicate to your fans up front so they understand the policy.
Regardless, use these tools sparingly. If fans feel their comments are being edited or you’re watering down the Kool-Aid, then it’s less likely they will engage in future conversations.
Being Found in Real Time Search
One advantage to search marketers is that search engines are working with Facebook and Twitter to integrate updates into their search results. Getting found in real-time searches is another strategy for promoting your fan page. Let’s look at some useful tips that should help you show up in these real-time searches.
- Keywords: This is always the place to start. If you’re doing SEO or PPC, then you probably already have a good handle on your targeted keywords. If not, start withkeyword research. Include your targeted keywords in your content, updates, and especially your titles. Make sure everyone who updates your Facebook page has a keyword list handy so they can use these keywords as much as possible.
- Research and converse about relevant and interesting content: Take time to “listen” to what people are talking about on your fan page and other sites. Then you can post content that will interest your fan base. Ask a question to spark a relevant and timely conversation. Discuss current events and news if these are relevant to you and your targeted keyword set.
- Many followers: More followers means it’s more likely your content will spread virally and be shared. This also helps generate more impressions of your content.
- Call to action: You might be surprised sometimes by the power of a simple invitation. Invite people to “act.” Ask people to share the content with others. Include buttons like “retweet” or “digg” that help them do this easily. Doing this gets you one click away from showing up on another site and being promoted for more viewers to see.