Don’t get me wrong: A Facebook ad campaign is an awesome way to get more fans, and you can run a campaign on a tight budget. However, unless you have an endless supply of ad funding, you will need to find ways to attract Facebook fans organically.
So how do you attract fans to your business page without spending money on advertising?
I have managed dozens of Facebook business pages over the years, and I have tried different ways to get people to like a page. Some methods worked great; some were completely ineffective. Through trial and error, I have found seven effective ways to attract fans to your Facebook page without spending a penny on advertising:
#1: Install Facebook Like Box on your website
Install a Facebook Like Box right on your homepage, and your site visitors can like your Facebook page without ever leaving your website! You can customize your Facebook Like Box to show pictures of your current Facebook fans (great for social proof) and how many fans already like your page. You can also have your latest posts pulled into the like box.
#2: Put your Facebook URL on everything
When you set up your Facebook page, be sure to designate a Facebook Username. This is a unique URL that points directly to your Facebook page. Once you have your username, you can plaster it almost everywhere:
- Email signature
- E-zine or e-newsletter
- Business cards
- Appointment cards
- Company stationery (letterhead, invoices)
- Point of purchase signs
- Window decals
- Brochures, flyers and other marketing materials
- Print ads
- Direct mail pieces
- Promotional items or giveaways
- Product packaging
- Shopping bags
#3: Host a Facebook contest or sweepstakes
A common misconception is that you can’t hold a Facebook contest or sweepstakes on Facebook. You can, but you have to play by Facebook’s rules. Your contest must be hosted by a third-party app, and luckily, many third-party apps, such as Shortstack and Tabsite, offer free contest and sweepstakes options.
Before you consider this option, though, make sure to give some thought to a meaningful giveaway. You want to give away something that will bring targeted fans to your page. For example, if you give away a gift card to Starbucks or Amazon, you may be casting your net too wide. Consider giving away one of your products or services instead.
#4: Join Fanpage Friday events
Don’t overlook this tip because participating in Fanpage Friday events is a great way to attract fans to your Facebook page. In fact, my Facebook page has attracted hundreds of high-quality fans by participating in these events.
Every Friday, numerous Facebook pages host events where you can add a link to your Facebook page. In turn, you like the other participants’ pages from your personal profile. If you’re interested in this tactic, check out these tips and a comprehensive list of Facebook pages who host Fanpage Fridays.
#5: Share your page with your Facebook friends
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I think it’s a step often overlooked. You can easily share your Facebook page with your current Facebook friends – right from your Facebook page.
Head up to the top of your Facebook page and select “Build Audience.”
From there, you can invite friends via personal message, or you can select “Share Page.” The latter option allows you to share the page on your own timeline or directly with your friends.
#6: Drive traffic through other forms of social media
If you use other forms of social media, you can direct your fans and followers to your Facebook page. Here are some tactics you can try:
- Direct new Twitter followers to your Facebook page through your autoresponder “thank you” message
- Synch up your Facebook page to your Twitter account so that every time you make a post, it cross posts on Twitter (that way, if a Twitter user clicks on the tweet, he will end up on your Facebook page)
- List your Facebook page on your social media account profiles, such as Google Plus and LinkedIn
- Every time someone connects with you through LinkedIn, send back a “thank you” message and invite him to join you on your Facebook page
- Check out Pinvolve – an app that lets you pin your Facebook images to your Pinterest account. If someone clicks on the image on Pinterest, it will take her to your Facebook page
#7: Ask current fans to share your page
Ask and you shall receive! Another great way to attract more Facebook fans is to ask your current fans to share your page. People who truly like your content will be happy to do so, and there’s nothing better than a happy Facebook fan telling her fans to like your page (more social proof!).
It’s still about quality over quantity
While “quality over quantity” is definitely true for Facebook fans, you do want to constantly attract fans to your page. It’s the best way to increase fan engagement and find a wider audience for your message. And don’t forget: the more fans who interact with your Facebook page, the better your chances of ending up in your Facebook fans’ newsfeeds.
These methods put your Facebook fan attraction on “slow drip” – consistently adding fans day by day, week by week. Try each tactic once and see how it fares. Watch your Facebook Insights to see where your fans are coming from. Over time and with practice, you’ll enjoy a robust Facebook fan page with engaged fans who want to hear your message!
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