Since social media took off, one of the top questions has been: "How do we get more fans/follows/likes" for our business? Probably the number one easy answer is to run ads (this is what Facebook and Twitter encourage you to do), but I want to focus on organic fan acquisition.
How do you get more fans/follows/likes to your page?
Build personal requests into your business processes.
Unless you have an aspirational brand, chances are that most of your fans are customers, or are planning to become customers. But what percent of your customers are fans?
For most businesses, only a very small segment of their customers have actually liked them on Facebook. Even their repeat-loyal-super-satisfied customers haven't liked them yet.
The number one most obvious and easy way to get more likes for your page is to get all of your current customers to fan/follow/like you.
Ask Them Personally and Individually
When I send out a mass email to our list or even to session attendees I typically don't get a very good response. People assume that "someone else will do it" and don't feel any personal accountability.
The best way to get anybody to do anything is to make the request personal and individual (or at least to appear that way). Step back for a moment and review every touch point that you have with your customers. Consider how you can include a personalized request to connect on a social network. In-person requests work best. When do your customers interact with a human at your organization? How can you organically include a request to connect into this dialogue?
Alternately, consider when they might be at a computer and potentially on a social network, and make the request at that time.
Build Social Media Fan/Follow/Like Requests Into Your Business Process
The real key to the success of personal requests is to build social media into your business processes. Most businesses just slap social media icons onto storefronts, websites, and emails. This typically isn't very effective.
Instead, evaluate your business processes and look at how you can integrate social. For example, I was working with an online retailer that had a particularly interesting product. We looked at how to integrate specific requests for social media sharing into the purchase process.
I also worked with a furniture store, and we created a process where sales people requested new customers to share a picture of their new furniture when it was set up in their home. They created cards with the Facebook page that sales reps could share to make it easier for customers to remember. This led to a large increase in the number of fans, plus this encouraged customers to share images.
Provide a Reason
Finally, it is absolutely vital to provide a reason when you ask someone to do something. In the book "Influence" by Robert Cialdini (one of the best books I have ever read) they reference a study that found that providing a simple reason - "Can I jump in-front of you in line?" vs. "Can I jump in-front of you in line because I am in a rush?" - made a dramatic difference in responses.
Providing a reason makes people more likely to do something.
Don't just say "Like us on Facebook" or "Follow us on Twitter" but provide a reason. This will make it much more likely that people will take you up on your request.
Facebook Like image on home page via Shutterstock.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Krista Neher is the author of the bestselling Social Media Field Guide, an international speaker, and currently CEO of Boot Camp Digital, which is a leading provider of social media marketing training and consulting solutions. Krista is a social media pioneer, creating one of the first successful corporate Twitter strategies and corporate blogs - long before "social media" was even a recognized term. After spending nearly six years at Procter and Gamble working on some of the biggest and most successful product launches, Krista went on to become the vice president of marketing at an Internet start-up.
Krista started Boot Camp Digital in 2008 and has created training programs for hundreds of advertising agencies, marketing departments and small and medium business owners in social media marketing. Krista also works with a variety of educational institutions on their social media programs and is currently working on a textbook on social media marketing.
March 19, 2014