Building a Facebook fan base
Why do people like Facebook pages and how can I grow my Facebook fan base?
How can I sync up all my social media to increase productivity, while still keeping my posts unique and relevant to my audience?
How much of the inner workings of my company should I share through social media?
These are some of the questions that I’ve asked myself recently. I’ve been using social media in my businesses for over three years now, it’s an exciting and useful tool, but one that is always evolving and bringing with it new challenges. At Gamelogic we’re just starting to grow our fan base, so this is what I want to talk about in my post today.
Thinking more about why people like Facebook pages has made me think about what a fan base can offer and how it could benefit a company. Building a fan base can give you direct access to people’s news feeds, giving you more exposure and getting you more eyes on your products, services, events, or whatever you’re posting about. But is that exposure valuable if it is just a bunch of friends, family and like junkies? Maybe. I suppose it depends on your reasons for building a fan base.
My biggest fan
I have the most supportive mom in the world. She is the first one to like my posts and loves to comment on everything. We had just shared our second blog post when my brother, sweetly but rather cheekily made a comment about the entry, which I am certain he did not read. In any case it was a positive comment and I figured it wouldn’t do any harm. Seeing this my mom replied, jokingly asking how much I had paid my brother to say such unlikely words. Needless to say, I panicked. Fears of looking fraudulent and ruining our reputation took over, and I immediately removed her comment. After letting my inital panic settle, I followed up with a phone call, apologising for my rash behaviour but also explaining how her comment was visible to our whole fan base, and not such my brother and I. Looking back I do feel silly and I don’t think I would remove it again. I’ve realised that everything doesn’t need to be so serious.
I think that getting support from your friends and family is something that everyone wants and expects, but how far should you go? A simple invitation or request for support can get you a fair number of likes. But spamming and repeated pestering will only get you so far, and too much of it will most likely cause a significant drop in your own friends, on Facebook as well as options for an after work beer. Besides, this will only form the base of your following.
Fans other than your mom
A successful product and brand will automatically lead to a bunch of fans, But how do you build a fan base before you’re a huge success? I have come across a few use full ways of getting likes and fans. One obvious way is to post about your company, your products or your general happenings. Besides from things like product announcements, people also want to know what you’re busy with, what your personal views are and how the cogs of your company turn.
The key is posting frequent but interesting content. The difficulty for some companies though, especially early stage businesses, is having enough interesting info about your company to post frequently. So you can also post related content that’s not directly associated with your products, such as industry news, thought stirring ideas or ground breaking advancements. We want people to like Gamelogic because something about our brand, company or products interests or inspires them. However, being a start-up we are also reliant on providing some additional content to keep people coming back for more.
One option to fall back on is to post unrelated content. Videos of cats seem to be quite popular. Although this may generate some traffic, it won’t add any value to your company. You will likely be seen as a sell out to your peers and your fans won’t be the type of people you were hoping for. Also keep in mind that constantly posting for the sake of it is probably going to irritate people and cause many of your fans to unlike your page.
Another option is to pay for your likes. When selecting the amount that you want to spend on Facebook advertising, you are given an indication of how many likes you should expect for the amount that you spend. I find the idea of paying for likes a little absurd, especially when I feel that more targeted advertising such as Google ads (where I can select key search words to reach potential customers) or LinkedIn advertising (where I can specifically target game developers with Unity skills) is available. Product sales linked to personal interests maybe suited to this type of advertising, but for business to business sales I don’t think it’s as appropriate. Of course you can still target Facebook company pages, but the risk is that those companies will be more concerned with promoting themselves than paying attention to pop-up ads on their page. Then again, likes can have other benefits such as promoting the popularity of your company, but then paying for those likes is a little contradictory.
Don’t be shy to experiment
Two less obvious ways to get likes are running competitions and bringing a few all stars on board. Competitions such as “like our page and stand a chance to win an iPad” can help you get more likes; however, you run the risk of taking the focus off your company. So my advice would be to link your prizes up with your company as much as possible. Giving away your own product (if you have one) would be a winner for me. That way, you’re just further marketing yourself. An iPad for a tooth brush company is less relevant, but then again people will probably want an iPad more than a tooth brush hamper. At the end of the day though, you’re again paying for your likes and building a fan base of iPad lovers.
All stars are influential people with a big reach. They are active in the social media space and traffic seems to find them. A few committed all stars could really push your brand and get you that initial momentum. I would imagine that almost everyone will have a Facebook friend like this, the trick is to get them on board, maybe they would appreciate an iPad!
It’s all up to you
Whether or not a fan base will have a direct impact on your company, lots of fans will promote your brand or product as being popular. So I think that there is definitely value in having a lot of ‘likes’ for your page. You just need to decide what you are willing to do to get those likes, how that will affect your company image, and what type of fan base you are looking for.
How will we do it
For me, building a fan base is not about making sales. It’s about forming a relationship with people that enjoy what you do and who want to be a part of your journey. We want our fans to love our products and love what we do. We want to provide content to interest and inspire our fans, to help them think in new ways and to build new things. And of course, I want my mom to like everything that I do 🙂