I was skeptical at first when I commented on Mari Smith’s Facebook Fan Page Friday post last Friday morning.
“Please add your fan page URL or @ tag on this post or on my wall. It’s a great way to discover new fan pages, make new friends, and get new fans.”
I had been down that road before on LinkedIn group discussions, chamber of commerce Facebook pages and other social spaces that encouraged a mass “follow fest” – only to find lack of reciprocal participation. Disheartening most definitely. And those past experiences almost stopped me from making the effort on Mari’s page.
Not sure why I decided to do it anyway, but I’m so very glad I did for my Facebook page and two others that I assist with.
The results in fan growth:
- My page – a 12% increase
- Client A’s page – a 38% increase
- Client B’s page – a 22% increase
Why such favorable outcomes when past efforts didn’t provide this level of return? Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the mind set of Mari Smith’s community of fans. She has built a following that believes in reciprocating – and knows the value in it!
Of course, it’s true that number of fans doesn’t always equate to quality engagement and conversions, but I believe this Fan Page Friday exercise was absolutely the right thing to do and well worth the time and energy expended for these reasons:
- My two clients’ pages were just ramping up and had few followers. They needed a “shot in the arm” to build their numbers so their posts are more likely to get some air time and interaction. Maybe not all the new likes are in their target markets, but fan count and engagement definitely adds appeal and builds momentum. It certainly won’t hurt their pages to have a higher fan count – and judging from what I’ve seen so far from the new likes that came from Mari’s community, my clients’ pages will experience more ongoing likes, comments and shares on their posts.
- In my case, virtually all businesses are either potential clients or sources of referrals.
I’m not sure how often Mari offers the opportunity to promote your business on her page, but I highly recommend that you “Like” her page and keep your eyes open for the next time she does. When the door opens again, keep these things in mind as you embrace the chance to expand your reach:
- Over a thousand people commented on Mari’s posts that day – she actually did two identical posts, probably to keep the comment stream more manageable. Therefore it’s quite impossible to show love to every worthy page who participated. Take about a half hour to scan the thread to find and like business Facebook pages that fit one of these scenarios:
- They might be potential clients.
- They might be a good source of referrals.
- They offer services that are complementary to yours.
- They’re local.
- You find them interesting.
- If you manage more than one Facebook page, don’t undertake this exercise for more than two pages at a time. I had to step lively to keep up with three, and I’m so very happy I didn’t participate with all the pages I administrate. Just two would have been ideal.
- When liking a page, do so when logged in as your Facebook page and also as your own personal self. Here’s why…
- Business pages’ fan counts don’t increase when other business pages like them – only when unique people do.
- You want to gain exposure for your business page, so make it easy for other page owners to discover and like your page in return. Logging in as your page to like them and when commenting on their posts makes your page known to them and their followers.
- Write a note on the pages’ timelines that you’ve just followed to make them aware of your like and to introduce yourself, your business and the type of content you share regularly. With likes coming in left and right during an event like Mari Smith’s, it’s challenging to keep up with new followers. Your introduction will ensure you don’t get lost in the shuffle.
- Reciprocate! Make the effort to like the pages that have proactively followed your page, and reply to comments that they made on your timeline. Getting off on the right foot by building goodwill will lay the foundation for continued interaction.
The incremental value gleaned from the several hours I had spent liking, reciprocating likes, and posting introductions and gratitude remains to be seen, but I’m encouraged. For me, it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time…for you, my hope is that you’ll put your senses on alert to purposely take advantage of the next opportunity to grow your network when Mari gives the green light!
Your turn! What success – or lack of – have you had with Facebook page fan posts that facilitate page likes? What growth have you experienced in fan counts and ongoing engagements?
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