BY JESSICA GAUTIER
I have 340 friends on Facebook. Let me be clear that I’m pretty sure I do not have 340 friends in real life, let alone 340 people who I genuinely like and can remember their first names, but on Facebook, they are my friends and they are privy to all my cat posts, my food pics and my constant bragging about my kids.
I started a home based business a few years back and do you know how many followers I had on my businesses Facebook page. 19. Out of the 340 people that tuned in daily to like my status about how much I loved last nights episode of Dexter, only 19 could be bothered to support my business. In fact at one point, I actually lost 2 followers (thanks mom and dad) before my Facebook page, and subsequently my business, fizzled and flopped.
Now that I am partially responsible for the social media management for a few companies who definitely require more than 19 (ahem, 17) followers to retain my services, I decided I should find out what is new and research what gets, and keeps, Facebook followers. As one of the major (mostly) free marketing tools out there, it seems down right silly not to use it to it’s full potential.
#1: Post Good Stuff!
If your business is Dog Food and every day you post promos about your dog food, numerous times a day, eventually people are going to get annoyed, and bored, and unlike your page. Mix it up a little. Throw in an adorable dog video, interesting links to informative pages about dog health, etc. especially if they directly correlate to your product. Yes, definitely put an occasional promotional post about your product when you have deals or sales etc, but don’t let that fill your wall, or anyone else’s for that matter. Think about companies you follow and what you like to see from them. It probably isn’t daily sales pitches.
#2: Be Interactive.
If someone comments or shares your post, give them a shout out! People love to get attention, especially when their 340 friends might see it and be impressed by it. Tag them in a thank you post or reply to their comment. Interaction is a sure way to keep them active on your page, and get you noticed on their page.
#3: Follow others.
If you visit other businesses pages (though probably not ones in direct competition with yours) and you are active and responsive on theirs, they are more likely to return the favor. It’s like the old saying, you wash my back and I’ll wash yours. Seek out products or services that would pair well with yours or have similar clientele. Again, this will also get you seen on other pages that could send new followers your way.
#4: Use Hashtags.
Not just for Twitter anymore, hashtags have taken over Facebook and by using them, it gives you the same benefit as using them on twitter. Anyone who wants to discuss, say #healthypuppies, will get to see your posts in the conversations and can lead people to your page. Just avoid really obscure hastags like#healthypuppiesonlyeatsamshealthypuppyfood because a) that’s really annoying to try and read without spaces and b) you are probably the only one to ever use that hashtag. Ever.
#5: Stay Active.
No, I am not hinting you should take up jogging (trust me, I will never suggest that to you). I’m suggesting that you stay active on Facebook. No activity causes you to fade into obscurity and isn’t going to help you get noticed. Post often, comment and like others often and get your face….er….page out there.
#6 Stay Positive
Nobody likes Debbie Downer. Not even Debbie Downer herself. Keep your posts positive and informative with titles or pictures that make people happy or at the very least interested. Nobody wants to look at a feed full of depressing facts and bad news. Statistics show that the most click worthy posts are ones with a positive or uplifting feel to them. So be happy. Be nice. You will catch more flies with honey than you will with…..vinegar.
These suggestions, by the way, are all statistically proven by studies done by people other than me, but that I have tested out in my own business doings. Will you have 10000 followers by tomorrow? Probably not. But you will notice a steady increase and eventually will have a solid healthy following that cant get enough of you or your product. Also. It’s not just about getting them there. You want to keep them there. Happy Facebooking my friends.