How to get more fans on your Facebook page in 5 steps

Five-step process: How to get more fans on your Facebook page

facebook, facebook pageIt’s something we get asked a lot here at SMO Pros: “What’s the best way to get more fans on your Facebook page?” Gaining more fans for your Facebook page can seem complicated, but with a little effort and a good plan, it’s easier than you might think.

Step 1: Reconsider your content.

Examine the content that you are posting. Make it more engaging. Are your posts primarily text, or do you mix it up with images, videos, relevant links and other diverse content? When posting to Facebook, it’s important to think visually as well as informationally. By this, we mean that you should not only provide great information for your target audience, but also make the presentation visually appealing. After all, the Internet is a very visual media, and engagement levels are significantly higher for posts with images than those without. According to KissMetrics, “Photos get 53% more Likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs.” So when posting to Facebook, don’t just say it, show it.

Step 2: Use all your outlets.

If your Facebook business page is a bit of a ghost town, but your Twitter account is booming, then cross-promote. Same goes for Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn – wherever you are getting the most traction, use that audience to promote your other social accounts. Most people aren’t going to follow your business on every social network. In fact, many will only follow you on their favored network, even if they have accounts elsewhere. However, if you can show some value in following your company on multiple platforms, people are more likely to respond. So mix up your posts. Don’t just duplicate your posts on every social network. Send different messages to different social media. Try using images and videos differently. Run different contests or promotions on different sites. Give people a reason to follow you on multiple media and increase your opportunities to connect.

Step3: Demonstrate your expertise.

Post content that shows you are an expert in your field while also demonstrating what your brand is capable of. Make your Facebook page a repository of insider knowledge and valuable tips, a place that people want to return to again and again for more insights.

Step 4: Post when people are paying attention.

To get better engagement and more likes on your page, you need to make sure people are seeing all those great posts. Facebook doesn’t show every post to everyone who follows you. And posts that come at odd hours of the day can get buried in your audience’s news feed – even with some updates to the Facebook system that re-post content with users’ news feed. So as a general rule of thumb, try to post when people are checking their Facebook accounts, which tends to be first thing in the morning for people just logging on at their jobs (8:00 – 9:30 a.m.) and just after lunch, when the mid-day doldrums lure them away from work and into social media (1:00 – 4:00 p.m.) According to FastCompany, those afternoon hours “result in the highest average click through” for Facebook posts.

Step 5: Buy friends.

If all else fails, or if the growth of your page following is sluggish, you can buy friends from Facebook. We offer this option with some hesitancy, since there has been a lot written about the dubious relevance of page fans purchased through Facebook’s system. But if you want to ramp up your page numbers quickly, it’s an option.

Basically, the way it works is that you go to your Facebook page and click the “Promote Page” button. It looks like this:

When you click “promote,” Facebook will give you options for creating a custom audience, which you can do by entering the geographic area you want to target, the demographics of the people you want to reach and the interests of those people (other topics or pages they follow within Facebook). Then you can set a budget for your promotion, as well as a timeframe, and launch. The promo will then appear in the news feed of your target audience as a “Suggested Page,” giving those people the option to click the post and like your page.

We’ve done a few of these promotions and worked with our clients on some as well. In our opinion, they work okay, but not perfectly. You get some legitimate followers, and you get some weirdos as well. It’s not the most finely tuned tool, but it works for bringing up your overall numbers. One tip: Make sure to target the area in which you do business as narrowly as possible. If you leave your promotion open to everyone across the globe, you will certainly get a lot of irrelevant page fans from other countries that are unlikely to ever turn into real customers.

Okay, happy Facebooking, everyone. :) 😉

Online Marketing for Local Businesses – 5 Ways to Optimize Your Local Presence

5 ways to optimize online marketing for local businesses

Online Marketing, social media optimization, SMOMarketing your business at a national or global level is different than marketing locally. Local optimization is required if your target audience is in your immediate area. For instance, if you are a neighborhood dentist, your focus needs to be on building a loyal patient roster from the surrounding community. Accomplishing this objective requires a different strategy than that employed by a national dental chain with offices all over the country.

A local business needs to focus on both SEO (search engine optimization) and SMO (social media optimization), with a particular focus on local issues, local needs and local content. Here are five tips for finding your local clientele and bringing business through your door.

1. Register your business with Google and other local directories

If you are a new business or you simply haven’t done this yet, it is imperative that you get your business officially recognized by Google. Go to http://www.google.com/mybusiness and follow the steps. Google will then send you a postcard in the mail with a special pin number for your registered business address. This is to verify your address and that you are a legitimate business. Once you’ve responded and verified the business, Google will add you to Google Maps, an absolute necessity for local businesses. In addition to Google, you should also register on Yahoo LocalBing Local, and YELP, at a bare minimum. Basically the more local search directories you can register with, the better!

2. Ensure your address and phone number are listed on every page of your website.

This can be easily accomplished if you place this information in the header, footer or sidebar of your website. It is important that you use text and not a graphic for this information. Search engine web crawlers can read and index text for their search results; they see images almost like a blank space. So always make sure that your contact info – and any important content – exists as text on the page, not within a graphic or image. When properly formatted, the text of your address and phone number will show up as clickable for mobile device users. For example, clicking your phone number gives them the option to call you, and clicking the address pulls up a map app with turn-by-turn directions. If you want to add an extra level of location directive, embed a map on your contact page so people can look up directions directly form your site.

3. Don’t neglect Facebook

Whether you love or hate Facebook, it remains a massive digital network with almost 1.4 billion active monthly users. Facebook allows you to create a special page for your business, which you can set up as a local business page (it’s one of the category option you select during setup). Again, it is vital to have your address and phone number listed on this page. You should also list the hours you are open. Once your page hits 25 “Likes”, you will be able to change the default web address your assigned (usually something like Facebook.com/pages/1234567890) into a custom URL that is more marketable – preferably your business name (e.g. Facebook.com/JoesCoffeeShop). From there you can explore the wide world of Facebook Ads, which is a relatively inexpensive way to target your local region since you can drill down to very specific demographics with a very specific area. You can also “boost,” or pay to promote, the updates on your business page, targeting a specific geographic area.

4. Form a direct connection between social media and your website

Once you’ve set up all your social media accounts (we recommend business pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, at a minimum), it’s critical to establish direct links in ALL of your marketing. Link to your Facebook, your Twitter, your LinkedIn and any other social accounts you set up for the business – if it’s social media related, link to it! Put the links in your emails within your signature. Make sure all your links are in your mailing list, place them on your business cards, signage, etc. It isn’t always necessary to spell out the entire link either. In fact, this is why QR codes were invented. Some sites, like Facebook, also give you the ability to abbreviate your link, like FB.com/JoesCoffeeShop instead of having to spell out Facebook. Make sure you have social media sharing enabled on your website, or some other way for people to connect directly from each page of the site to your social media accounts. Why is all this interlinking so valuable to online marketing for local business? Because all those accounts form a network that promotes you as a local business. If you’ve set them up properly, with your address and phone number, and your  neighborhood mentioned in your intro text, then you’ve widened your net to capture prospects from your area. Bottom line, think of your social media accounts like mini business websites that all refer people to your main site.

5. Support other local businesses and local causes

Part of local optimization is not only promoting yourself, but also finding other local businesses, as well as local causes, and supporting them. This kind of goes along the lines of, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” It also allows you to blog about local issues, post about local topics on social media and generally encourage people to see you as a result on your local scene. On Facebook, “Like” other local businesses as your business page (there is a special option in the drop down when liking a page). Follow other area businesses on Twitter. Add people to your LinkedIn circle who own other local establishments. Follow, like, a promote good local charities and non-political local initiatives that would be popular with your target market. Visit these companies’ websites and social media pages and “Like” their posts, “retweet” them, comment on them – whatever it takes to engage them and build some rapport. As a bonus, you might also make some new friends and allies who can help you succeed in your endeavors.

Want more insights on online marketing for local businesses? Request a consultation to learn how our professional local optimization services can help your business reach the next level.