Now I know everyone goes ape shit over Twitter being the greatest thing since slice bread and has great appeal as a social marketing tool, but in all honesty Facebook holds far more weight. From the perspective of a website owner Facebook has much more social value.
About eight months ago I decided to set up a fan page for my hip hop blog (HipHopMusicDotCom.com), I didn't do much with it until I noticed I was getting fans most of which were most likely referred by my friends who I initially invited when I first launched the page.
It wasn't until September 24th that I really started to see the benefits of using Facebook fan pages. Since that date I've been averaging 1,000 new fans per month and averaging 1,000 + visitors per day which has increased my overall traffic by 14 percent. At this rate I'll be averaging 2,000,000 page views per month by December.
So Here's How You Get It Done
First thing to do obviously is to set up a fan page for your website, now I've created multiple fan pages for the same site in addition to building pages to promote specific products but that's not what we are trying to accomplish in this guide. That's more advanced and I have a separate guide for that coming up. In this guide I'm going to get you up and running with one site first. So after you set up your fan page, give it a name which would most likely be the same as your website. Before you start driving traffic to it or invite anyone fill up your fan page with some content first. You would think something like that would be a no brainier but seeing as I've been invited to so many fan pages that didn't have any content, I take it that this must be a common mistake.
First thing you need to do is to add a logo as the fan pages profile pic, add some external links, post some articles in the notes section, and make a few status updates. It's also great if you add videos, if you don't have videos of your own just go to YouTube and find some videos related to your site's content and post them. This is good since the videos play right within Facebook, the fans love this. So now that you've got a active Fan page it's time to start promoting your fan page.
The first step is to create a fan box for your website, there a few different customization options you can choose for your website. You'll find that this simple step will be one of the biggest factors regarding your fan page getting new fans on a daily basis from the already existing traffic on your website. You might be asking what's the point of having visitors that already frequent your website everyday as a fan? Well it's simple it's no different from having them on a email list (the money is in the follow up). The only difference is that following up is more instantaneous, think of your Facebook fan page as a “social follow up marketing platform”. 2.6 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day, those are unbelievable numbers. This is where web users hang out and this is where the traffic is so even though your readers come to your site every day why not have them come to your site ten times a day. With every post you make on your fan page it shows up on all your fan's news feed therefore keeping your brand in front of your target audience.
Another thing you should do in regards to your website is to add a Facebook share button or “Like” button. They are a bunch of services out there that do this including Facebook.
That's all you need to do as far as your sites concerned, now lets move on to Facebook, by now you should have invited a few friends and gained a couple fans from your website depending on your site's traffic. If you don't already have existing traffic on your website don't worry, the next couple of steps will help you get traffic without already having any traffic on your site. The next thing I did with my fan page is to create a simple competition, it wasn't so much a competition as it was a call to action with a deadline.
And It goes a little something like this.
“Thanks to all the Facebook fans for joining our fan page, we just started this and we want to do it real big, and we need your help, our goal is 1,000 members in 1 month”
That one little status update has lead to new fans who have never heard of my site before. Needless to say I broke that record, I actually ended up getting 1,300 fans the first month.
Write Creative Content
Some really easy ways to create reactive content that will evoke responses from your fans is to ask questions.
Eg: “When was the greatest era for Hip Hop Music, the 80s, 90s, or now?”
This lead to an overwhelming amount of responses, this is still one of the most discussed status updates to this date. Another way to create compelling content is to create lists.
Eg: “The top 5 greatest lyricists of all time?”
I do lists all the time because there easy to come up with and the fans never get tired of them. The trick to creating lists on Fan pages is to not give them choices but let them come up with the list themselves, this way more people will respond and it will keep the discussion going longer. The aim here is to keep the discussion going, why? Propagation. You see with every response a user gives on your Fan page shows up in their activity feed and on their profile so their friends will all see this as well. So the more feedback your fan page receives leads to more propagation through out Facebook which leads to more fans which leads to more visitors to your site.
Sync Your Facebook Fan Page with Twitter
This is a really cool feature Facebook recently added to fan pages that gives you the ability to automatically update your Twitter account via Facebook.
Promote Your Fan Pages In Groups
A great way to get more fans is to promote your Fan page on Facebook groups related your topic. The cool thing about groups is that the group is more democratic than a fan page. When you post something in a group it's visible to all the group members. This is not the same when you post on other peoples fan pages because your posts don't show up in the main feed of the fan pages so no one really sees it, don't waste your time on posting on other fan pages.
Get More Fans with Prize Giveaways.
Another way that is guaranteed to increase your fan count is by giving away prizes. With my particular audience here are some prize competition campaigns I've done
“Two tickets to the Jay-Z concert on 9/11 Free to whoever invites the most fans by the end of the day.”
“The new Jay-Z album is a instant classic, we are are giving away a free copy to anyone who refers the most fans today.”
These work every time , that second one lead to 100 fans in a day. I have a Facebook App set up to track who refers the most members.
Update: The App I was using is no longer available, but there is a new App that's even better. It's actually a full blown service called WildFireApp.com which allows you to run promotions on Facebook, Twitter and for your Newletter, this service is hot so be sure to check it out, it's not free unfortunately but it's very effective and much better than what I was using before..Unfortunately it's very expensive.
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I didn't use this for my Hip Hop site but I'm currently implementing it into other fan pages that don't have existing traffic….If your looking for instant gratification, instead of waiting months to get fans. Facebook ads are very cheap and you can get a great deal for very little. You can turn a $300 campaign into 5,000 fans and you could then double that with the tips you've learned in this guide and you'd never have to run another campaign again. When you create a fan page ad just don't make it look like an ad. Here's a rule of thumb to go with, the description you gave to your fan page and the image you used when you created it should be the same for your ad campaign which Facebook can automatically do for you.
Study Your Stats
Once you have a couple hundred or thousand fans, start checking your stats more frequently to see what's creating the most feedback and interactions as well as demographics and more. This will give you insight on what type of content you should be creating for your fan page. I must admit I'm quite impressed with Facebook fan page stats interface no other social network provides this at least not for free.
And that pretty much sums up Facebook fan page marketing, I have a few other posts coming up about marketing on Facebook, this is just the beginning.
Thank you for reading, Chozen…