If you have a personal Facebook account, chances are you follow some of your favourite brands. You might like to keep up to date with their latest news or don’t want to miss out on new blogs or latest products or you might just enjoy being part of their community.
Getting your business on Facebook can help you build your own community of loyal customers. It’s also worth noting that a whopping 95% of millennials expect brands to have a Facebook presence. It’s not just the youngsters too, 87% of people aged 30-44 and 70% of those aged between 45 and 60 also think brands should have a Facebook page.
It’s not just that customers want to see you on social media either. Your presence can have a direct impact on sales. 70% of social media users say they visit these sites to get more information about brands, 49% go on to make a purchase based on what they find and 60% use social media to pass information on to others.
So, what happens once you’ve set up your Facebook page? How can you start to build your follower base? I’m going to share seven easy ways you can start to do exactly this, but first let’s take a look at why having Facebook followers is so important.
The importance of Facebook followers
Having a Facebook presence is one thing, but you need followers who are going to see and engage with your content.
The first and most obvious reason for this is because without followers, you’re quite literally talking to yourself. There’s no point putting out great content if there’s nobody there to see it.
Once people start following your brand, they will be able to see your posts which is a great way to keep your audience in the loop about any updates and promotions, engage with them and prove that you’re an expert in your field.
The aim is, of course, to encourage your followers to like and share your content. Not only does it give you a warm and fuzzy feeling when people like your posts, engagement is crucial to the success of your page.
As well as giving you an indication that you’re providing something of interest to your audience, it’s also a highly effective way to expand your reach.
Facebook business pages work differently to personal pages. Rather than sending friend requests, people simply follow your page. Unless you’re paying to promote your business page, people are most likely going to find out about it through their friends’ actions. They may also search for your business directly or visit your Facebook page via your website or a piece of content too.
How to get Facebook followers
If you don’t have a page set up already, you can find out how to create a profile here.
If your business page is set up and ready to go, here are some top tips on how you can start growing your Facebook followers straight away.
1. Understand what your followers want from you
If you’re trying to attract people to your page, it helps to know what they want to see. A lot of this will be trial and error. Once you start posting content, you’re likely to notice a pattern when it comes to which posts get more engagement.
Initially, it can help to look at your competitors’ social media pages. Chances are you’re targeting the same audience so it will provide you with a valuable insight into the type of content that’s getting likes, comments and shares.
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, these stats from Digital Information World can also help to shape your content:
- 63% of people follow brands on social media to find out about sales and promotions
- 60% follow to find out about new products
- 36% of consumers engage with content that offers a discount
- 35% engage with content simply because they like the post
- 30% engage with funny or interesting content
- 29% like to share positive words about the brand
2. Ask friends and family to support your page
A great way to get the ball rolling with your business page is to ask everyone you know to like and share it. This could be friends, family, employees and existing customers.
A great feature on Facebook is the ‘invite friends’ tab. Scroll down and have a look at the right side of your page in the ‘community’ box. Here you can invite everyone you’re connected to on your personal page to like your business page (you can also select particular people from your friends list too).
Other ways to encourage people to like your page include:
- Ask them in person or over the phone
- Encourage employees to like the page
- Include a link to your business page in your email signature and on your website
- Don’t forget to include a link on other digital communications such as newsletters (could you even send an announcement to your database?)
- Ask people to share your page from their profile
- Tell your LinkedIn connections you now have a Facebook page
3. Join groups
A great way to grow your Facebook followers is to become part of a community. You can do this by joining relevant industry groups. Say you run an accountancy firm for example, you can search for appropriate groups and join them.
Here you can participate in discussions and even start conversations of your own. The more you join in, the more people are likely to notice you and head to your page to find out more.
Ensure you’re posting relevant and helpful information however. If you’re posting just for the sake of it, people might find this annoying which devalues your input. Only comment on subjects you’re well informed about and which you can offer something of value and that will help other members.
4. Invest in some advertising
Advertising is a great way to grow your Facebook followers. The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you can run promotions according to what you’re trying to achieve.
Simply scroll down the menu on the left side of your page and click ‘promote.’ You will be presented with a number of options depending on your goal. In this incidence, you’re trying to promote your page.
From here you will be able to create your ad from scratch or use an existing post from your page. If you’re doing this, go for a post that received engagement from your followers and is relevant to your call to action.
You will also be able to choose the audience you want to target, how long you want your ads to run for and what you want your budget to be.
Facebook also has a specific objective for page likes. Your ad will appear in newsfeeds to showcase your page and ask your target audience to like it.
If your targeted followers have one or more friends who already like your page, they will see this, like in the example below. This helps to create a sense of trust because if people they know already like your page, they’ll be more inclined to follow you too.
You can find out how to create page like ads on the Facebook website here.
Why will ads help to grow my Facebook followers?
- Thanks to the targeting feature, you’ll be able to reach people who are likely to be interested in your page
- ‘Like’ ads offer great social proof because people can see their friends and family already like your page
- Ads provide instant exposure to new fans, creating great brand awareness
- Ads help you reach a much larger audience quicker than organic activity
- They can boost engagement. The more people engaging with your content, the more likely it is that new people will see your posts. It also encourages people to like your page in the first place if they can see others are interacting with your brand
For more information about advertising, check out this video on ‘four effective Facebook ad types for SMEs.’
5. Run a competition
Another simple but effective way to gain Facebook followers is to run a promotion or competition. Offer a reward such as a free download, entry into a draw to win a prize or a discount on your products or services and people will want to like or share your page.
A great tip for these competitions is to promote the post so you can get more eyes on it. People are much more likely to pay attention to a new brand showing up in their feed if they think there’s a chance they can win something.
Make sure you’re targeting a relevant audience however, it’s better to have fewer engaged followers than loads of people who might potentially unfollow you once the competition is over. Also, remember to make sure your competiton follows Facebook rules.
6. Partner with an influencer or another business
If you want to know how to get Facebook followers, asking an influencer or another business to give you a shout-out is by far one of the most effective methods.
Influencers have a large following and as the name suggests, they hold a lot of influence over them. If their fans see them using a product, they will often rush out to buy it themselves.
In the example below, Jane’s Patisserie has over 300,000 likes. Maltesers have paid her to do a post using one of their products so that all her followers will see it.
As you can see, the post got lots of engagement with many people saying they’ve saved the recipe and are going to try it.
By teaming up with an influencer, it means that lots of people who may not have otherwise even heard about it will now try the product. Plus, this could also lead to some of them following the brand’s Facebook page for more ideas and product information. Again, make sure you’re following all the correct processes when it comes to publishing branded content on Facebook.
For more information about influencers and how your brand can use them, have a read of ‘should your business or brand be considering influencer marketing?’. There’s also a section about influencer marketing in this social media strategy for small businesses guide.
7. Update your page regularly
Above all, make the effort to update your page regularly. If you’re only posting once a month, it’s highly unlikely that you’re ever going to attract new followers. Also, you don’t want to go to all the effort of getting people to your page for them to see an old post or decide to unfollow you straight away due to inactivity.
Setting up a content calendar at the beginning of every week, fortnight or month will ensure you know exactly what you’re going to post and when.
When fans do interact with you, don’t forget to reply. If you ignore them, they’re unlikely to comment again and you may even unknowingly encourage them to unfollow you.
Hopefully, by now you have some really great ideas to start building your Facebook followers. For some more great advice on getting the most out of your business page, you may find some of these other blogs helpful including:
After completing her degree in Journalism, Monique began her career at a digital marketing agency. It was here she discovered a passion for online marketing with a particular focus on content creation for the web. Six years ago Monique set up her own copywriting business, Copyworks Group, which specialises in creating content for websites, blogs, newsletters and social media pages.Read full profile