This post was first published on the Banyan Branch blog.
With more than 750 million users, every brand wants a piece of the Facebook pie. According to a recentpoll conducted by Mashable, the primary goal of social media is to increase Facebook “Likes.” 35% of the respondents said their main goal of 2011 is trying to find new Facebook fans. There is good reason for companies to focus on Facebook marketing. According to CMB, 51% of Facebook users are more likely to purchase from a brand they “Like” on Facebook. 60% said they are more likely to recommend a brand if they are a Facebook fan.
Some campaigns focus purely on gaining new Facebook fans. But what happens after the promotion? If your brand doesn’t offer opportunities for your fans to interact with your page, often they will leave. This means you must consistently provide value for your audience. It’s important to offer fresh, exclusive and relevant content – or you will lose your fans.
Reasons Fans Give for Unfollowing Brands
Source: ExactTarget 2011
So how do you keep your fans engaged and coming back for more? Here are three easy strategies to gain and engage fans on your Facebook page.
In order to keep your Facebook fans coming back, you have to make sure you constantly have fresh, valuable content. It’s a good idea to create a publishing schedule to plan what you will post. You can establish a routine with weekly events like Monday giveaways or “Trivia Tuesday.” Zappos does a “Fan of the Week” campaign that not only encourages fans to come back, but also thanks their fans.
Also with a publishing schedule, you can plan for upcoming events, seasons, holidays and other milestones. Be sure to add any holidays, conferences or events on your calendar that fit your brand and your audience. For example, if your target audience is mostly families with children, you can do a back-to-school promotion.
When you plan your publishing schedule, be sure to mix up the type of content you share. Not everything needs to be a wall post or status update. You could ask your fans questions using the Facebook ‘Ask Question’ feature, post new photos or videos, or provide new games or activities. Cranium has a custom tab where they provide fun videos and games for fans. Don’t forget to make it sharable! The more fun, interesting or helpful the content, the more likely it is that your fans will share your content.
Contests & Giveaways
Everybody likes getting free stuff, right? Of course! Holding contests on your Facebook page is a popular way to get your fans engaged. When Clairol used Facebook to promote their new product ‘Nice n Easy Color Blend Foam,’ they gave away 100,000 packets over 4 days. The promotion gained Clairol 235,000 new Facebook fans.
One of the best strategies in a contest is to make it more personal for the fans. Asking fans to submit content they have created themselves makes a contest more social and engaging. Corona Light had a successful campaign last year when they invited Facebook fans to upload their photo to a 40-foot tall digital billboard at Times Square. Corona posted images of the billboard on Facebook for participants to share with their friends. Fans will share their entry with their friends, especially if there is a voting element.
When people visit your Facebook page, they should get a branded experience. Non-fans should see a custom landing page that encourages the user to “Like” the page. It is even more effective if the landing page tells potential fans exactly what they will get out of liking the page. Once they have liked the page, fans will see a different page with exclusive content. Numerous studies have shown one of the top reasons people like a page is to gain access to exclusive content and deals.
After you get the fans, custom tabs are a great way to keep them involved and engaged. Custom tabs can have applications, games, activities, quizzes or exclusive content for fans. Take a look at your publishing schedule and plan out a few custom tabs to go along with your marketing campaigns. Remember that fans want to feel like they are getting VIP access to your brand by being a fan, so give them something they can’t find elsewhere.
Engaging your audience on Facebook isn’t some magic recipe. It is about consistently offering value to your audience and interacting in a human way. Fans want access to exclusive deals, promotions, information, content and advice. Give them a reason to keep coming back, and they will!
What are some of your favorite brands on Facebook? What do they do that you find most engaging?