It started as a trickle and has turned into a torrent as people and companies target you with multiple media such as Twitter and emails with requests for you to ‘like’ their company Fan page on Facebook. The Facebook ‘like’ scramble is this centuries version of the frantic email subscriber acquisition tactics of the 1990’s.
Business started to seriously take to Facebook marketing in early 2010 as the number of Facebook pages more than doubled with the 1.5 million ‘page’s in December 2009 increasing to over 3 million by February 2010, according to Insidefacebook.com
So how do you encourage your brand’s Facebook fans to become more engaged with you rather than just plain ‘begging’ to be ‘liked’?
1. High Quality Images
Facebook now allows high resolution images up to 2048 x 2048. Companies such as premium designer labels Oscar de la Renta have found that professional high definition photos are extremely engaging. Beautifully crafted photo quality photos make fashionistas drool and keep coming back for their brand fix. Also the little incentive of receiving a free sample of a new fragrance for liking their page produced a rapid growth of 30,000 fans up from the 130,000 fans to over 160,000 in less than 1 week.
2. Use Facebook’s New Questions Feature
Facebook recently added a “Questions” option which you will see just under your top images banner next to your status tab. I have been trialling this to see what interaction it would create with my Facebook fans. The question will appear in your fans news feeds and will entice them to come and visit you. I was not expecting too much but I have been pleasantly surprised with quite a few taking the time to place a an answer to my polls. I think that a “Question” that is relevant and adjacent to a blog update posted to my Facebook wall seems to drive more engagement than a free standing question.
3. Content that is Compelling and Topical
I write a blog post 5 days a week and then post it to my Facebook page. The reality is that you need to place your online properties content where your readers are and 650 million people just happen to be hanging out on Facebook and 10 million new users are turning up every month. So treating your website or blog (they are starting to be one and the same these days) as your homebase and continue to publish and promote that content on your other online properties that you don’t own but rent (such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter) is a highly leveraged marketing tactic that will drive engagement. Great content on any medium is essential.
4. Integrate the Facebook Page into your Blog
If you have high traffic web properties, take the opportunity to place modules or plugins that put the option in front of vistors so that they can “Like” your Facebook page even when they are not on Facebook. This option could be weaved into other digital media such as emails and online stores websites
5. Provide Exclusive Content To Acquire More Fans “Likes”
Saks Fifth Avenue the New York based specialty retailer along with a lot of other brands are following the now often trodden path of providing exclusive content if you “like” their Facebook page. The challenge is to provide content that doesn’t “underwhelm” and so leaves a disappointing taste.
At the end of the day the chase for more Facebook “likes” is not dissimilar to obtaining more email subscribers that is now so “90’s” but we are now on a social web that is dominated by the Facebook 600 pound gorilla.
So ignore Facebook “like” acquisition at your marketing peril. So what will be the next ‘hot’ strategy?… obtaining more Google +1’s?