1. Make sure that you are have the Facebook connection on all your communications. This is a lesson from retailers, their Facebook page is mentioned everywhere on their communication vehicles – their website, their advertising, their brochures, their flyers, their email newsletters, their direct mail pieces, etc… DO NOT just say “Find us on Facebook”. That’s the easy thing to do but it will get the least amount of click-throughs. What you need to say is “Be the first to know about our events and giveaways by liking us on Facebook” or “Get a discount by Liking us on Facebook”.
NOTE: Once you get 25 likes, you can have your own Facebook URL like facebook.com/notredame Go to facebook.com/username – you must be an admin of the page to get a URL.
2. Offer an incentive of some kind to get Facebook Fans. They are giving up their personal information to you by liking your page so what are you going to do to them? Do you “like” many pages yourself? Why do you like pages? Usually because you are interested in what they have to say? But you have to remember there are a lot of people asking for their attention. Offering an incentive helps. If you don’t have an incentive, then offer them something you do have. Maybe it’s information. People can learn about events and news earlier than other people if the “like” your page.
3. Communicate like a person. There is nothing worse than “liking” a page and seeing it just push press releases and news items into my Facebook lifestream. It’s a good way to get your page hidden or unliked. But if you talk like a person, which is how everyone else talks on Facebook, then I might keep you around.
4. Ask questions, encourage feedback. Asking questions is a great way to communicate. First, if someone sees a question then their brain is going to answer it. Don’t you think that’s true? Even if you said “no”, you still answered my question. And just because people aren’t talking to you or answering your questions, doesn’t mean they aren’t reading it. Very few people comment online, even though they read what you are saying.
5. Put up stuff when it is relevant or interesting to your audience. There’s an easy way to test this. Put up lots of content. Watch what people do. I push marketing stuff up to my Facebook profile a lot and don’t get many comments. I push up something about my real life and get lots of comments. Hmmm. If I want people’s attention about my marketing stuff, maybe I need it to look at how my marketing can be integrated more to my real life stuff.
6. Have contests. Here’s the thing about contests. Make them extremely simple to participate. No filming of videos or taking photos. Commenting is a fine way for participation. Make what you win worth the time. $5 gift cards from Starbucks aren’t a big seller.
7. Be interesting. Off the wall humor and interesting links encourage people to pass things along. See three and five. Boring people do not attract people.
8. Don’t give up. This is not a magic website (to quote Edgar, a social media friend). Just because you are on Facebook doesn’t mean you are instantly popular and that you “get it”. It’s quite the opposite because you are jumping on a bandwagon with lots of other marketers. Early success on Facebook was because of early adopters. Your success on Facebook totally depends on how you engage your audience.
9. Remember you are an entity not a person and not everyone see Facebook as a way to communicate with programs, departments, and colleges. Don’t expect everyone in your department to friend you. But you can encourage it if you offer things here that they can’t get anywhere else.
10. Get your current fans to attract other fans. How? By simply asking or offering an incentive the fans that get the most people to join.
11. Make sure your Facebook is up to date with all your events, photos (tagging people helps attract people), information, videos, etc… You can use FBML (Facebook Markup Language on this page) to make it look more like a website than a standard page.
NOTE: the info tab on your Facebook page is scanned by the search engines. Make sure it has your keywords and your relevant information.
12. Use applications to attract people with quizzes and other interesting ways of engaging people. But be careful of applications that are bad, note the stars for the app and how many people are using it.
What are ways that you attract people on Facebook?
BTW, you should check to see if your dept, staff, program, etc… already has a Facebook page. We’ve found pages for our professors that didn’t even know they were there.