You've set up a Facebook page for your small business, but now what? While your business may not rival a large corporation like Starbucks — which has nearly 25 million "likes" — with a little effort, you can still take home a piece of the social media pie.
With more than 750 million active users on Facebook, the social media site is already fertile ground for marketers of all sizes. And, with the average Facebook user growing more involved in community pages, small business owners have an opportunity to grow their fan base faster than ever before.
Here are five quick ways to boost your Facebook fan count.
Let's get visual. — If you want an effective way to build your business, use social media to attract more qualified leads. Lara Galloway, women's business coach and engagement marketer at Mom Biz Coach, has found that pictures and videos really help garner attention on Facebook.
"Let's say you're working in gardening. Have a regular feature on your page where you entice users to post a picture of their favorite spot in the garden," Galloway said.
Ensuring that your clients get active on your Facebook page also drives your staying power on Facebook.
"The more interaction you're getting by having people post on your page, the more important you are in the Facebook world. That drives you up higher in the news feed and makes your posts stay present longer," Galloway said.
Leverage your personal profile. — Since you've set up a Facebook page, make sure that you add it to all of the marketing that you do. Leon Spencer, social media marketing consultant at MediaBlox, encourages small business owners to make sure their Facebook page and their website promote each other.
"Let your customers know that you're on Facebook. If you have a mailing list for newsletters or even for invoices, ask your customers to interact with you on Facebook," Spencer said.
Spencer believes that you can also reach out to your best customers directly and ask them to suggest the Facebook page to their friends.
"Aside from asking for your customers' friends, submit your Facebook page to all of your friends. Talk to them about the page and ask them to join the discussion," Spencer said.
Provide compelling content. — Even though your Facebook page is up and running, you need to get people to like and trust you. According to Debra Zimmer, The Expert Marketing Coach, one way to increase that trust is to provide compelling content.
"Basically they need a reason to 'like' your page. They want to know what's in it for them. When they come to your page, they want to see that you consistently post something of value to them," Zimmer said.
Zimmer suggests one way to post compelling content is with a "tip of the day."
"You can sit down once a month and jot down 30 things that would help your customer transform their life. You then use a tool like Hootsuite to have those tips post for you automatically once a day. And you have created a reason for people to 'like' you. They do it to get those tips," Zimmer said.
Be the "go to" place online. — One way to get fans, keep fans and turn fans into customers is by focusing on your target market. Gennia Holder, social media specialist for Time To Go Virtual.com, said you have to show visitors that you know what they need, have what they need and that your Facebook page is the place to get it.
"Share information, resources, tips, tools, tactics in the form of relevant news articles, blog posts, links to YouTube videos and motivational quotes. Remember to limit your posts to once or twice a day and respond to all comments. They will return to your Facebook page time after time because they know you are giving them the information they need," Holder said.
Start thinking about your customers and how you can meet their needs. What information can you share they will keep them coming back?
"All of the sudden, you become not just a person who is looking to separate them from their money or always asking them to buy your products or services. They begin to see you as someone who cares about their business," Holder said.
Build a chain of communication with your customers. — Facebook isn't all about business, so it's important to make sure that you're entertaining your customers. Zimmer said that you can do so by asking some questions.
For example, Zimmer asks her followers what tip topics they would most like to see from her.
"That starts getting people engaged. And when they comment on your post, it shows up in all their friends' news feeds. With the average Facebook user having 130 friends, that number of people who see your post multiplies quickly," Zimmer said.