Here’s a typical scenario: You’ve created a Facebook Page for your business, reached out to all your networks, asking them to Like your Page -- and maybe even gained a few thousand fans -- but now there’s a lull in new Likes.
So what do you do when it’s been months since your Page’s Like count has budged, or your Page Likes are increasing but just not at the rate you wish they would?
Here are four tips to help you reinvigorate your Page:
1. Host a Contest
I like to compare running a Facebook contest or promotion to going on a crash diet for ten days and dropping twenty pounds. The results are fast and can be really dramatic. The company SalesBlend, for example, hosted a month-long sweepstakes for their client Yosemite Scenic Wonders and the results demonstrate the impact a Facebook contest can have. The sweepstakes app generated 2,502 new Likes (a 300 percent increase), 750 new email subscribers and a 158 percent increase in the number of people talking about the Page. You can read more about SalesBlend’s contest here.
A Facebook contest or promotion can help a struggling Facebook Page Like count -- if it’s done right. Like a crash diet, you can have amazing results by preparing well in advance and following the guidelines. Or you can take shortcuts and have a mediocre outcome. If you’re someone who wants awe-inspiring results with your Facebook contest, you’ll have to do three things: prepare by researching and selecting a third-party app provider, decide on a prize that you know will get your target audience excited, and effectively promote your contest, testing both non-paid and paid options.
2. Put Some Skin in the Game
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “skin in the game.” In business, the phrase refers to business owners making personal investments back into their companies. When it comes to online advertising, many small businesses aren’t investing as much as they should. In March 2013 the Boston Consulting Group reported that U.S. small businesses (companies with 100 or fewer employees) are spending only about three percent of their advertising budgets on web ads.
But to get to the next level with your Facebook Page, it helps to invest more than just time. You also need to spend some money. The most obvious -- and often the most effective -- option for promoting a Page is Facebook advertising.
Yes, it can be tough to justify paying Facebook for ... anything, but the truth is that sometimes you have to pay a little to get ahead. And the great thing about Facebook ads is, compared with other online advertising options, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to see a difference in your Page's engagement metrics and Like count.
For example, over the timespan of five days, your business can spend US$ 100 on a Facebook Page post ad that reaches over 38,000 new users who match the criteria of your business’s ideal type of customer or fan. Another thing to remember about Facebook ads is that you can narrowly target your audience, choosing to show your ads to people who have liked your competitors, or to reach a specific demographic you want to reach.
3. Leverage Traditional Media
If small businesses are only spending three percent of their advertising budgets on web ads, where’s the other ninety-seven percent of the budget going? The answer is most likely to traditional media outlets and materials like radio advertisements, mailers, in-store displays, flyers and more.
Traditional advertising at any level, whether it’s a 20’ x 60’ billboard on Main Street or a newspaper ad promoting your annual blowout sale, can be leveraged to help boost your Facebook Page’s Likes. To do this, include your Page’s URL and strong calls to action in your advertisement’s copy. For example, using the phrase “Become our fan on Facebook for exclusive deals!” in the ad copy of your next newspaper placement makes people aware that your company has a Facebook Page, and gives them a reason to check it out and then press the Like button. The more you make the effort to integrate your traditional and nontraditional advertising, the more your Facebook Page will benefit.
4. Cover All Your Bases
Have you ever heard the saying “Inches make champions”? The words are credited to legendary football coach Vince Lombardi and they apply to this final tip. Basically, there are many little things your business can do to encourage more Facebook Likes, all of which can add up to make a big difference.
For instance, let’s say you want to convert your email newsletter list subscribers into Facebook fans. In your next email campaign, try referencing one of your recent Facebook posts and design your email newsletter footer to include a hyperlinked Facebook icon that redirects to your Page.
For businesses that get heavy website or blog traffic, install Facebook plugins, add links that connect to your Page and include a Facebook social icon into the header or footer design of your sites.
When your Facebook Page has plateaued in Likes, it’s time to try something different. I think Albert Einstein said it best, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Who knew Einstein could have been such a brilliant Facebook marketer?
Title image courtesy of Maksim Kabakou (Shutterstock)
Editor's Note: To read more of Jim's tips, see his 5 Ways to Bring Your Content Marketing to Facebook