Building Your Fan Base

In order for your Facebook Page to be an effective marketing tool, you need to cultivate a strong following of people who participate and interact with you and with one another on your Page. While Facebook Pages are visible to the general public on the web, only fans of your Page - and members of Facebook - can Like, Comment or Share what you’ve posted.

There are many ways to build a following for your Facebook Page. Here are some specific ways to increase fan numbers on your Facebook Page:

Personal Contacts. Use non-Facebook communications tools to reach your actual contacts with an invitation to Like your Facebook Page. This is the most direct way to get those who are already interested in what you do to connect with your Page. Keep in mind that if they are not a Facebook member, they will have a barrier of entry until they become one. Until your Page has 5000 Likes, you can import email lists from a variety of email programs or a spreadsheet, and Facebook will email the invitations for you.

Suggest the Page. On your Facebook Page, you will see lists of your Facebook friends with a prompt suggest that they “like” your Page. This message is received – without any personal message from you – in their Facebook notifications inbox and may or may not be noticed by them.

Facebook Social Ads. Use Facebook’s do-it-yourself advertising tool to target ads that promote your Page to friends of your current following or others based on demographic and psychographic information.

Web-based Promotions. Don't limit your outreach for building your Facebook fan base to Facebook alone. Embed a Facebook Page widget onto your blog or website that displays pictures of people who have already Liked your Page along with a button so your site visitors can easily Like it, too.

Offline References. Putting a Facebook logo or icon on your print collateral and packaging with a simple statement to “Find us on Facebook” can drive new Page Likes. Adding your direct Facebook URL can also help:

There is nothing wrong with occasionally posting a status update on your Page and politely asking your current following to share your content or to invite their Facebook friends to Like your Page. Make it easy for them to do this by posting compelling and useful information in your updates and not just broadcasting promotional messages.

The fastest and easiest way to promote your Page to gain more Likes is to market within Facebook to existing Facebook users. Promoting your Facebook Page within other social networks may seem counter-intuitive but chances are even Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn users have Facebook accounts and some may even prefer to use Facebook to the other networks. You never know where the best and most active followers will come from, so make sure to cast your net widely but focus in on those most likely to be interested in connecting with you over the long term.