If you’re just launching a new Facebook page, for an event or a business, you’re going to have a lot of catching up to do. Other businesses are probably established in your niche. If they aren’t, and you’ve found a new niche to occupy, you need to act fast to assert your dominance. Either way, the result is the same; you need as many fans as possible as quickly as possible.
Before we begin, there’s one thing you should pay attention to above all else; fan quality. Many older Facebook pages have an issue with low quality fans. Bad fans decrease organic reach, dilute your message and make it harder to succeed in general.
If you start early, you can keep an eye on your fans and prune out any bad fans that follow you. This keeps your reach as high as possible just on the basis of your audience quality, plus it helps avoid skewing your Insights.
Invite Email Contacts
You probably have a mailing list. Import it using Facebook’s “build audience” button on your page dashboard. This will allow you to hook in any mail service, or import a CSV file full of email addresses. Anyone whose address matches a Facebook account will receive an invite to like your page.
While you’re at it, invite your friends. Most of your friends probably won’t bother to like the page, either through disinterest or ignorance of the invite, but those who do are a nice early boost.
Partner and Cross Promote
This is difficult for new businesses, but if you can find a few larger companies to partner with, you can use their influence to reach a broad audience right off the bat. A pre-existing relationship with a prominent business boosts your reputation and gets more users to follow your page on principle alone.
Learn Your Audience
As your audience grows, you will gain more and more insight into their demographics and personalities. You will also gain more and more information in Facebook’s Insights panel, which will quickly become indispensible.
Much of the information you learn through Insights will be useful for other means of fast growth.
Tailor Your Language
In particular, Insight data will allow you to identify the types of people following your page. This will in turn allow you to customize the language you use to communicate. On Facebook, you have to avoid advertising language outside of ads. However, that still leaves you with plenty of tonal range. You could post like a valley girl, a stodgy businessman or a schizophrenic.
With those options come hazards. If the majority of your followers are age 50+ middle-class white men, posting like a valley girl is just going to get you removed from their feeds. If your audience is primarily teenage girls, posting like a robotic businessman from the future isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Post Great Images
Your cover photo and your profile picture are highly visible indicators of how seriously you take the platform. Always use both spaces for branded content, particularly content that plays well together. You don’t want two embedded pictures to clash, do you?
While you’re at it, make sure you’re using Facebook’s graph elements to customize the preview image for each post you make. Additionally, upload images for use in your tab apps, if and when you use a tab app.
Post Your Link Everywhere
Do you have a newsletter? Mention your Facebook page in that newsletter and add a link in the footer of your template. Do you have an email account? Add your link to your signature. Do you run a website? Add a Facebook Like box to the sidebar of every page. Anywhere you can possibly mention your Facebook page, drop a link.
Consider Purchased Likes
It’s possible to buy likes from a third party advertiser, but you have to be aware of what you’re getting. Make sure the business you use is reputable and trustworthy, and monitor the quality of the fans that come in. Avoid shady businesses that sell fake likes; only buy the real stuff.
Run Paid Ads
This is an extension of both of the previous tips. Posting your link everywhere can also mean posting it through various advertising platforms, including Facebook PPC and Google AdWords. It’s also another way of buying likes; using the Page Like objective on Facebook ads, for example, directly converts your ad budget into page likes.
Use Facebook Comments
If your website has a blog and you have comments natively through WordPress, through a stand-alone CMS or through a third party service like Disqus, change them up. Rather than rely on one of those services, integrate Facebook comments. That way, whenever someone posts a comment on your blog, they’ll be sharing your post on Facebook as well.
Use Facebook Video
Facebook’s native video service is rivaling YouTube for largest video host on the web. It’s also fairly robust, and Facebook has been making a lot of money through video advertising, so they’re going to be pushing the system in the coming years. Get in early and you can capitalize on the trend.
Respond to Users
When you post a link, don’t just walk away. Facebook is social media, which means that shared link will attract comments. When a user comments, respond! It might just be a simple thanks, it might be a response to a question, it might be a pun to play off a pun. Whatever the case, engage with your fans and they’ll stick around.
Every business and every audience is different. That said, as a general rule you should always post at minimum once every day, even weekends. This gives you a constant presence in the minds of your followers. As you grow, you can increase your post frequency to several times each day.
A simple contest can attract a lot of users, but you need to do it right. None of that “free iPad to our 10,000th follower!” bullshit. Give away something meaningful, something important to your business. Give a discount, a product, an office tour, a free lunch. Give away something that encourages the winner to investigate your business a little more.