When it comes to gaining web popularity, businesses have a much tougher time of it than individuals. However, once they do succeed in establishing a large fan base, they are much better at keeping those fans around. In other words, they may not be viral sensations, but they do have internet staying power when they use smart online marketing strategies. Many companies like to give their fan numbers a little push by buying huge lots of them from companies who sell them, but that is not the only way to get fans. As much as we would all like to use a simple shortcut like that every time we need a boost, not every business has that kind of budget. Sometimes, it takes an old-fashioned approach, even if it is on a new medium. That means, doing some classic market research in order to increase fans by listening.
The first step is determining who your customer base is or who it should be. Your physical store front will probably attract a much different crowd than your online store, so when recruiting Facebook fans, you will want to keep this in mind. Who does your Facebook page cater to and who is it supposed to attract? How old are these people? What are their interests? What use do they have for your product and your page? It is important to get a good idea of who you are dealing with, so you can start targeting those people with more specific questions.
Interview Real People
Once you have your demographic defined, it’s time to go talk to them. That will involve posting questions on the Facebook walls of people who fit your demographic, physically going up to people on the street, or hitting the forums up for answers. Find out what makes people become a fan of a page. Where are they normally introduced to business pages when they’re on the internet? In the past, what has actually made them click Like? Hopefully, after a while, you will start seeing some patterns that you can apply to your own marketing strategy.
Take Polls of Users
After your preliminary interviews, you can move on to bigger audiences. By creating a poll that users fill out online, you can get a lot of data fast and have it automatically compiled into easily readable spreadsheets and graphs. Having an abundance of data is crucial when it comes to finding out what really works. Too small of a group could skew the data, but larger groups tend to confirm majority opinions. Be sure to make your poll easy to read and fill out, using yes or no answers or simple rating systems. You can use the results to come up with some strategies that you will then test out.
Get Facebook Fans Input
When you are ready to experiment with some strategies users seem to think work best, be sure to get feedback. There is no sense launching a full scale campaign before finding out if it even works on a small scale. Test out one strategy at a time and ask your current fans what they think. Do they like it better? Did they find it interesting? How many shared it? How many would have Liked it were they not already fans? This can tell you if you are headed in the right direction. Then, once you launch that big campaign, it will be more likely to work, which makes investing all that time and money into it a little less risky.
Request Mentor Advice
When we are leaders ourselves, sometimes it can be difficult to ask for help. Some people tend to shy away from those they see succeeding, especially when they themselves are not. But when all else fails, there is no shame in asking a mentor for advice. If someone you know runs a successful business and has a lot of Facebook fans, ask them how they achieved that. What strategies have they used? How fast was their growth? After taking a look at your page, what would they recommend? Be sure to mention how much you admire them as a mentor and thank them for their wisdom. After all, they may be giving out top secret industry marketing tips.
Be Honest with Yourself To Increase Facebook Fans
This may seem like an odd idea, but after asking for the opinions of all those strangers, there’s just one person left to question. That person is you. Imagine if you were not a business owner. When you are browsing the internet for personal entertainment, what makes you stop? Which pictures, videos, comments, and businesses inspire a Like from you? Are you fans of any pages yourself? If so, which ones? Why did you choose those pages? If not, why not? What about those business pages is stopping you from becoming a fan? More importantly than the questions you ask yourself in this situation though is how honest you are with your answers. Be sure to try to understand your own personal motivations and answer each question as honestly and thoughtfully as possible. You might be surprised to find that you had the answer to your interview, poll, and feedback questions all along. So the question is, if you came across your page on the internet, would you become a fan?
This market research approach to increasing Facebook fans may be slower, but it is more likely to bring you quality results. Buying Facebook fans is more of a start-up strategy. Once you have enough of those purchased fans to look good, you will need to start accumulating actual fans that will help your business get exposed and get paid. That means trying marketing campaigns designed to attract fans, but if you don’t know who you are marketing to or what they want, then those campaigns are a waste of your time. If you really want to increase Facebook fans, start with some simple questions and an open mind, and then take the time to really listen to what people have to say.
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