Recently, there has been more changing than at a department store happening over at Facebook. The old school blueprint – post sweet stuff, get liked, show up on more news feeds, get more likes – is more out of style than Granny Panties. The brains over at Facebook have put their faith in their EdgeRank News Feed algorithm which, according to them, is here to stay. The algorithm is based on three major factors: affinity, weight, and time decay (Learn about EdgeRank here). It’s complicated – the good news is you don’t have to be a Facebook engineer to capitalize and build your brand’s Facebook community into a crucial and lucrative part of your online marketing strategy.
Here are 5 simple things you can do today to significantly increase your Facebook fan base and crush your competition without paying for ads, buying followers, or training to be a ninja.
1. Call to move your buns (CTMYB)
The good folks over at Momentus Media investigated the influence of certain calls to action and they uncovered some groovy results. Specifically, they measured the interaction effects of Facebook posts that included a call to “comment,” a call to “like,” and posts without any call to action. They found that posts that asked users to “like” something generated 216% more interaction than those that had no call to action. For Facebook administrators this highlights the benefits of encouraging people to interact with your content. Don’t be pushy, but remind people to move their buns and give you a high-five in the form of a “like” if they value your content. This could increase your reach exponentially.
Important: As a result of Facebook’s EdgeRank Algorithm it is imperative that you tell your fans (those people who like your page) to turn on “get notifications” by hovering over the blue “liked” button on your page. This way you can maximize your post reach through Facebook’s News Feed. This is cool, it’s like a secret handshake in baseball.
Here’s the study: http://momentusmedia.com/blog/?p=819
2. Get visual with sexy photos
Get your head out of the gutter. I’m not talking about Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition beach photos with models wearing nothing more than a dish towel. I’m talking about evoking a positive emotional response using visually captivating photos. Hubspot conducted a study revealing that photos on facebook generated 53% more engagement and 104% more comments. These photos could be in the form of memes, infographics, or anything else relevant to your business – or not. Don’t be afraid to find some funny photos and share them with your audience to convey that you’re not a robot. If you are a robot I respectfully apologize.
3. Give a high-five to get a high-five
There is an interesting book written by Robert Cialdini titled Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion that divulges the six principles of persuasion – one of which is reciprocity. Make sure you research other authoritative or influential brands and people and “like” their page. This action psychologically engages the principle of reciprocity by which someone may feel obligated to like you back. Heck, that’s why most people have so many followers on twitter – I guess if you like 10,000 users you get a few tickles in return.
4. Be mysterious – offer exclusive content in exchange for a “Like”
A great strategy to get more likes and increase your brand reach is to offer some type of content (video, music, whitepaper, infographic, discount, coupon) for FREE in exchange for a “like”. From a psychological perspective, people view things as more desirable when they are scarce or behind the proverbial curtain. Tickle their curiosity for forbidden content and get a “like” in return. In the example above, Radical Something, a fresh Cali band, offers mp3 tracks exclusively to fans (those people who have “liked” their page). They even go further – rewarding fans who comment and interact with their posts with a chance to win free swag. This strategy has helped them garner almost 40,000 fans in a little over two years. For an indie band, that’s as impressive as fried fluffernutter.
Here is a guide to setting up exclusive fan-only content here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-create-fan-only-facebook-content/
5. Hold a wacky competition
Ever since cavemen began mud wrestling for their mates people have been enthralled by competition. Add the possibility of free stuff on top of that and that’s a recipe Emeril would be proud to endorse with a giant “BAM.” The splash happy aqua-innovators at Waviators held the above contest for their Facebook fans challenging their creativity and buffoonery. The witty winner received a free pair of their super cool and extra practical sunglasses. Their sunglasses float by the way which is just awesome. The brand was rewarded with increased exposure and they communicated their narrative zeal for limitless water-sport fun.
Like anything, the above strategies are not a guarantee to Facebook fame. That being said, if you implement each of these strategies systematically and consistently I do believe you will see a significant increase in fans, comments, and overall engagement. Good luck and feel free to ask questions or write comments below to enhance the discussion.