To succeed on social media, you need enough fans to support your content. This leads webmasters to decide that the most important number to monitor and increase on Facebook is the number of followers, closely followed by the number of likes and shares each piece of content has. This is unfortunate.
Why is it unfortunate? It works. Higher numbers of fans generally means more social signals. More social signals means more engagement, more exposure and better SEO due to a range of direct and indirect factors. Yet it’s the wrong way to look at things. A Facebook Page with a lower number of fans than yours can still perform better, if their fans are higher quality. Rather than seeking a pure increase in numbers, you need to seek an increase in fan quality.
The lowest possible quality fan is the robofan. This fan is, most of the time, what you get when you go to a site like Fiverr and pay for a bunch of social metrics. They’re accounts created and filled out to the bare minimum level to avoid immediate identification as spam. Their friends are all other robofans networked together to give an illusion of legitimacy.
Why is the robofan so bad? They’re robots. They don’t do much other than like pages and share content they’re pointed towards. This is a bad thing because of their lack of legitimate friends. If a robofan likes your page, that action is broadcast to their network of robofans. It generates no interest. Likewise, if they share a piece of content, it’s just to a bunch of other robofans. None of them follow your link and certainly none of them are going to become paying customers.
Finally, of course, Facebook doesn’t like the robofan. In fact, if Facebook finds a robofan, it will delete the account. This means those follower, like and share numbers all decrease but you don’t get your money back.
To deal with the robofan, don’t buy fans. Robofans won’t follow you on their own. If you bought them in the past, go through and identify as many as you can and ban them from your Page. You don’t want Facebook to demote your Page as being spam, after all.
The Low Quality Fan
One step up from the robofan is the low quality fan. The LQF, as we’ll call him, is a real human being. Unfortunately for you, that’s where their value ends. The LQF is a legitimate account that might be paid to do the same thing a robofan does. They won’t convert to your product; they probably don’t even know what it is. Or, perhaps, they found you on their own. They don’t provide any of the positive press you want, though. They exist just to spam their own links on your walls. They might exist just to troll your customers with insults, fights or bad information. Maybe they’re jilted ex-customers who cannot be satisfied, on a one-fan crusade to take you down. They’re worthless to you, and potentially just as harmful as the robofan.
To deal with the LQF, ban them from your page. They’re a nuisance, they’re a pest, they’re a disruption and they’re not valuable to keep around. Just ban them and move on. If and when they create a new account to keep harassing you, ban them again. Sooner or later they’ll get the hint.
The Standard Fan
The standard fan is your regular average Joe, a Facebook user fitting well within every conceivable demographic. They’re perfectly average in every way that matters. They’re valuable to increase your follower count, and they’re legitimate human beings, so they won’t be removed for spam or harassment. Unfortunately, that’s about the end of their value.
Very rarely will a standard fan engage with your brand. They probably just liked your page for a contest. Due to their low engagement, Facebook gradually stops serving them your content. Eventually, they are nothing more than a basic number on your page; they never see your content and you never see them comment.
Fortunately, the standard fan is available to be upgraded. They’re normal people, after all; if you can catch their attention, you can convert them into an engaged and paying customer.
The High Quality Fan
The HQF is the real deal. The HQF is the person you love on your page. They love your brand. You sold them something and they keep coming back for more. They rave about you to all of their friends. They like your posts and comment on them. They engage in discussion. Your posts show up on their feed all the time, due to the high EdgeRank rating between you two. Furthermore, they have a decent number of friends, all of whom see their posts. Each share from the HQF is a share to another audience, and you always get another couple of shares along the way.
These are the people you need. These are the people who make your Facebook profile thrive. Unfortunately, they’re also fairly rare. You need to do everything you can to attract and keep them.
The superfan is an almost mythical creature few businesses see. These are the highly influential fans, people, CEOs and industry thought leaders, who are genuinely supportive of your business. Sure, you can get a few entrepreneur fans who will happily share your content in exchange for a few shares of their own, but the superfan goes out of their way to promote your brand just because they legitimately like you so much.
Clearly, you want to attract as many superfans and HQFs as possible, while avoiding the LQFs and robofans. To do this, you need to be targeted with your advertising.
- Target the most satisfied customers you have.
- Make sure your brand gathers a reputation of trust.
- Thank your fans for following you.
- Hold conversations with your fans to identify the HQFs.
- Engage your fans and encourage more engagement on their behalf.
The more you can do to bring in new fans, and the better you can target the people who like you already, the better off you’ll be. Just watch out for – and deal with – those pesky LQFs when they show up. Don’t let the few bad apples spoil the whole bunch.