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Facebook: Engaging with your fans
Having relevant and interesting content is vital, however this alone does not guarantee that your fans will continue to visit your page or interact with your page. You need to give your fans a reason to engage with you.
Successfully getting someone to “like” your page is an achievement but it is simply the first step in a long two-way relationship.
These fans have the potential to become future clients and customers and perhaps most importantly, they hold the key to spreading your brand and its reputation across the web. Although having relevant and interesting content is vital, this alone does not guarantee that your fans will continue to visit or interact with your page - You need to give your fans a reason to engage with you.
Here I will list a few important factors to consider whilst maintaining and promoting your Facebook page:
1) Interact with them
Perhaps the best way to start engaging with your fans is to directly interact with them. For example, when posting a blog, rather than just posting it on the page's wall and hoping for a response – instead you should post the blog and then follow it with a call to action or something likely to provoke a response such as a an open question or opinion.
The questions can be related to your industry or current events, or even a more informal approach such as a personal opinion. Make sure you experiment with different kinds of questions to see what your user base responds best to.
Social media allows people to express themselves freely and to a large crowd, so more often than not, your fans will be more than willing to express their own opinions when the opportunity arises.
In addition, once one of your fans interacts with your page, the viral effect means all of that fans friends will also see the comment/blog and so increase the possibilities of sharing your content and page to the rest of the online community.
Aim to be interactive. Get your user base involved.
@ tags can be a very powerful way to have your post show up on other peoples walls, which gives you more exposure and brings more fans or potential fans back to your page and ready to engage.
It works very much the same as Twitter in that your comment is directed at a particular person and this shows up on their wall which is then viewable by their own circle of friends.
Interacting is integral to the success of a page and can be done as much as you want – but remember that in this case - the more and quicker the response the better!
2) Promotions/Rewards (coupon codes etc.)
Another very effective way of engaging with your fans is to offer occasional (or regular) promotions and/or rewards. This is of course more relevant to those that use Facebook for B2C purposes. A discount code for fans or a prize for a competition such as 'the best caption to a picture' is a great way to give something back to your fans and at the same time give them something to talk about and share with their friends.
3) News updates
A sure way of engaging with your fans on a daily basis is to comment current events and news. Ideally it should be relevant to your industry/market but as long as it provokes interaction and thus promotion of your page – then it serves a good purpose. Remember to always ask for their thoughts/opinions on whatever you write about which is a sure way to boost the number of responses.
Avoid political discussion if possible, as this is an easy way to alienate people.
Much with Twitter 'trends', when a comment or blog is being read, liked and shared by your fans – the more interactions your content has will determine how much exposure it has, due to the viral aspects of Social networking. For example, content that has lots of interactions (comments/likes etc.) will appear at the top of a users Facebook summary page and thus make it more likely to be read, liked and shared once again much like a snow ball effect.
4) Send regular updates
Finally, I would advise you to send out weekly or at the least a monthly update to your fans.
Using the 'Resources' section found within the 'Edit Page' area (when logged in as an admin) you can send updates which will appear as a private message to your fans.
This could be a round-up of your company's month (successes etc.), a direct promotion (e.g. Discount code) or a newsletter-style update with perhaps a call-to-action included at the end (always recommended)
So now that you have these nuggets of information – go forth and multiply! (your Facebook Page Fans) and remember to INTERACT and UPDATE regularly!
Here at Red Wasp we practice what we preach, so its only fair we finish this article with a call to action! Follow us on Facebook HERE! :)