I’m often asked (and I’m sure every other social media consultant is asked this question too) how to get more fans on facebook. I devoted some posts some time ago to how you can use the ‘marching’ methods amongst others and provided my reasons as to why I wouldn’t recommend the ‘marching’ method fully. However, today I am going to give you a relatively easy and free method that I am wholeheartedly recommending – how creating compelling content that is shared by your existing fans can really grow your fan base and encourage interaction.
My Garrendenny Lane (online shop) facebook page was fairly static at 1550 fans for some time and I had organising a facebook competition on my ‘to-do’ list but hadn’t got around to it.
I generally post an update once a day, sometimes it will be a link to a blog post or to one of our products and sometimes it is a photograph that I come across and think my fans would like to see.
I look at the ‘people talking about it’ numbers to indicate how well the page is performing, what percentage of fans are likely to see the updates and how a business is interacting with its fans/potential customers. Seeing a page that has 8,000 likers and 2 people talking about it is a disaster in my eyes and certainly doesn’t say anything positive about the business. The number of people talking about your page indicates the numbers who have liked, commented on and shared your page hence it shows the level of interaction too. The higher the percentage of people talking about your page relative to your number of fans, the more fans will see your updates in your news feed.
The Garrendenny Lane page generally had anything between 35-85 people talking about it, occasionally going up to 150. I could get up to 15 likes on an update, perhaps up to 5 or 6 comments and one or two shares. I just couldn’t get more people to share my pictures. I saw pictures that I had put up on my page being shared from other pages, pages that achieved up to 300 shares on one picture (yes, the very same picture that I had uploaded). Admittedly they had a huge fanbase but what I was doing wrong? In a word, nothing – sometimes people just don’t think about sharing a picture if you are continually giving them information, whereas the page that had huge success with pictures was putting up stunning photographs on a daily basis. Their fans were accustomed to oooh and aaaah and share.
Then, I shared a picture of a simple but very effective little playhouse in under the stairs and the comments and shares just took off. 87 people shared it, it received 42 comments and 359 people liked it with a total of 7,000 people seeing it as a result of the shares. Remember I only had 1550 fans. 1,087 views were by organic means and 6,674 views were viral (as a result of the shares).
As a result of the shares and increased interaction, my fan numbers increased by about 60 over the course of the week. I’m not saying that all of the new fans were as a result of this picture but as numbers had been static for some time, I’d argue the majority of them were.
The number of ‘people talking about it’ stayed at the 450 mark for over a week and then slowly reduced to 115.
I just checked the source of the ‘playhouse’ and their page has just over 4,000 likes with an incredible 54,000 people talking about it!!
I have just posted another picture (of a wooden creel becoming a bookcase) that is proving popular with shares, likes and comments so do have a look and see if my ‘talking about it’ number is increasing as a result. At the time of writing, 764 people have seen it (which is almost 50% of my fan base which is good considering some experts calculate that your updates are seen by only 16% of your fans), 536 of those being organic and 236 being viral.
The more people that share, like and comment means that your page gets much more exposure which results in more fans. If you interact with those comments, it demonstrates that you provide good customer service. If you are providing interesting content, it shows your personality and that of your business.
Having said all that, it is not as easy as it sounds. I recently put up a couple of images on the Write on Track facebook page with no success whatsoever, partly because they weren’t clever enough to be worthy of sharing and partly because people aren’t accustomed to sharing photos from our page, it mostly being used for sharing links to interesting articles.
My advice to you though, is to keep trying it occasionally. Sharing an interesting or funny photograph with your fans (that is related to your subject area if possible and ensure it isn’t inappropriate for your business) will show your personality and will lead to more fans as well as engagement. Create something that is funny and original and share it with your likers.
Have you any ‘tried and tested’ methods of increasing your facebook fans? We’d love to hear them.
Many thanks to Sue of Quirki Stuff who asked us how she could display a ‘Before and After’ photograph of one of their painted items of furniture on facebook.
First of all, if you wish to incorporate 2 or 3 before and after photographs into a collage or display a wide photograph in order to give it more presence on Facebook, you need to be aware of the dimensions that Facebook allows for these photos. Highlighted and ‘Milestone’ photographs have dimensions of 843 x 403. If the photo is not this size, it will be ‘stretched’ to fit so may not appear as you had hoped.
To create a collage, a handy free tool is Pic Monkey. Simply opt for the ‘create a collage’ option and decide which layout you would like.
You can choose to upload photos from your computer and all the photos you wish to use will stack in the box on the left side. You can then move them to the collage one at a time or all at once. It is easy to change them from one box to another too. You will notice in the photographs below that the cabinet cannot be seen in its entirety, hence the boxes need to be enlarged.
Place the cursor on the outer edges of the collage and pull them outwards to enlarge the photograph. You can see the total size of the photograph at the bottom and as you can see, it is larger than the required 843 x 403 for Facebook requirements.
By manipulating the outer edges of the collage again, it is possible to reduce the total size of the image to 843 x 403, the desired dimensions. This can be a bit finicky so don’t worry if it isn’t exact, it just means that Facebook will either stretch or hide a tiny bit of the photo.
Then, simply name the photograph and save it to the desired location on your computer.
Next, you need to upload the photograph to facebook. Do check out our previous post on how to upload a photograph to facebook if you don’t know how to do this.
As you can see in the screenshot above, the collage had been cut to 403 x 403 so part of it is obscured. By clicking on the little star (highlight button) on the top right to the photograph, this changes it to 843 x 403 and gives it more prominence across the page – perfect for showing off a ‘before/after’ transformation.
Marie and I offer training session in groups and as one to ones so if you feel that you really need to get to grips with facebook or any of the other social meda and would like some help, do get in touch.
Next up – how to create a long, tall, skinny photograph for Pinterest.
In our second ‘Facebook for Beginners’ series of posts, we are going to look at how to upload a photograph onto your facebook business page.
Instead of writing a status update, click on ‘Photo/Video’ and a drop box will open up. For now, in order to upload a photo from your computer, click the ‘upload photo/video’ button. (We’ll cover the photo album in another post).
Write in the text that you would like to put with the photograph, click ‘choose file’ and choose a photograph from your computer.
Once you see the name of the photograph, you can click ‘post’ and the photo will be published.
The measurements for ‘ordinary photos’ in terms of the space that Facebook allows is 403 x 403. If your photos are larger than this, they may not be positioned as you would like. If you wish to reposition the photograph so that a particular product or person is visible and central in the photograph, simply click the ‘pencil’ button on the top right (it will show when you hover the cursor over it), click on ‘reposition photo’ and move the photo around until you are happy with its position and then click ‘save’.
More tips on facebook photos coming up in the next blog post. If you have any questions, do leave them in the comment box.
Teaching facebook, twitter and pinterest to some new clients recently, I’ve decided to create some ‘beginner’ blog posts which they can refer to for a reminder. I’d love to know if you find these useful too.
This one will cover the basics in how to write a facebook update and how to encourage comments, likes and shares.
Simply type in the text into the status box and then paste (Ctrl and V) in the url that you copied from the address bar. As you can see below, the linked page will come up underneath.
Once the link page is visible, you can delete the url from the descriptor (as it can look a bit messy and untidy). You can also choose which image you would like displayed with the text by scrolling through the thumbnail choices.
We recommend posting to Facebook once or twice a day. You can schedule your updates if you know you are going to be away by clicking on the clock icon in the bottom left and then choosing the date and time. Then click ‘schedule’.
To encourage likes, do choose a nice photograph from the thumbnails on offer in the link. As you can see above, I could have picked from one of 17 photographs and chose to use the dominant photograph in the blog post.
To encourage comments, do ask a question such as ‘Looking for ideas for decorating girls’ bedrooms?’ or ‘Do you like our attempt at creating a moodboard?’
To encourage others to share your post, you could ask others to ‘share if they like it’ and you may see other pages doing this. However, I would recommend that you use this very sparingly. If people really like it, they will share it and while asking them occasionally will product results, I think I would become annoyed by a page administrator who overdid the requests. (More on sharing in an upcoming post)
Next up will be a post showing you how to upload a photograph to your facebook page including editing it using free tools. Have you any questions regarding your own facebook page that you would like us to answer? Do ask in the comments below.
Time’s ticking on the switchover to the new look Facebook for business timeline. If you have not yet converted your page, it will automatically convert on March 30th.
In Mari Smith’s latest post, she covers the main things you need to know to make the switchover and even if you’ve already switched, you’ll still find some great tips.
If so, you will have heard that today Facebook launched its new look timeline for business pages. Are you wondering how you can make the switch over to the new Facebook timeline for your brand?
If you have already changed over to the new timeline for your personal profile on Facebook, some of the changes will already look familiar to you. You have until March 30th to switch over – so there is plenty of time for you to plan how you want your new page to look (and see what other brands are doing with theirs).
Here are some things for you to start thinking about in preparation for the change over.
1. Which image will you use for your cover photo? Choose the most striking/visually appealing image you have – a large banner type images will work best.
2. Choose a new profile image – another great picture which tells your brand story and sets you apart from the competition.
3. Prioritize the apps, likes and images you wish to appear directly beneath your cover photo (these will appear as thumbnails).
4. Update your Information/About section – make sure all your details are correct and you have included the url to your company’s website and any other contact details you want viewers to have.
Although you have until the end of March to make your changes, expect to see most brands jumping straight in over the next few days. And if you like to see yourself as an early adopter and/or are eager to get started on your new look, here is a link to a step by step guide from Facebook on how to switch over the new timeline for business pages.
Facebook have also published a handy checklist (see below) to help you make a smoother transition.
Don’t forget to let us know how you get on with your new page changes. We want to see how wonderful your new timeline looks!
(Word of warning – this is a long post so do pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea before you go any further!)
My previous post on growing facebook fan numbers explored some general tips. In this post I am going to look at the effectiveness of using some of the new ‘silent tagging’ and ‘marching’ methods that you may have spotted over on Facebook already. I have used them for my established Facebook page for Garrendenny Lane and my new facebook page called Wallpaper Review and will share my conclusions with you.
What are Silent Tagging and Marching?
Marching is joining in with one of the Send in the Troops pages on facebook, there seems to be a general SITT page and Send in the Troops pages for different areas such as Southern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and more. The idea is that you register your interest to ‘march’ in the hour preceding the march by using your personal profile to provide details of your business page. So for example, using my personal page Lorna Sixsmith, I would write in the comment box @GarrendennyLaneInteriors and by placing the @ in front of the name of my business page, a link is provided automatically.
(Each page has designated marches on different days at set times. 9pm seems to be a popular time).
The ‘Sarge’ then nominates 30 business pages and the idea is that everyone following along visits each page, likes each page and leave a comment on each page such as ‘marching along with SITT from @GarrendennyLaneInteriors’ so the person owning that page might return the like to your page. If you are already a fan of that page, you show your presence by comment ‘AAF’ which means ‘already a fan’.
It is really luck as to whether your page is called or not. If it is, you should not apply to be ‘marched on’ for 2 weeks although you are expected to log in and like others pages. I have found that I have got approximately 40 new fans the two times that I was ‘marched on’.
It is exhausting by the way, especially if you have rather slow rural broadband like I have. At one stage, I had facebook open on 3 browsers trying to catch up!
Silent Tagging is similar but a lot easier! You need to like the Silent Tagging Fan Page and just keep an eye on it as there doesn’t seem to be any set times for these. Periodically it is announced that a ‘Stroll’ will happen which is very similar to the marching (I haven’t taken part in any of these but they seem to work exactly the same).
This page seems to have tagging sessions regularly. A tagging session is announced, you have to tag the Silent Tagging page on your own business page first, then leave a comment with your personal page, by adding a link to your business page. The idea is that everyone in the list likes everyone else’s page although judging by some comments, this doesn’t necessarily happen. Numbers of comments can vary from 20 to over 200 depending on the time of day. You are allowed to add up to 2 business pages in one list.
I decided to try and target those who would be interested in my product hence when I linked to my Wallpaper Review page, I added ‘do like if you like wallpaper’, to try and get those who were genuinely interested in my page.
You don’t have to visit each page and write a comment on it with this ‘game’. You simply place your mouse over the link and a little box will pop up, you click the ‘like’ in the box which means you have liked the page and then click like under the comment. As you can see above, I have only received 3 likes on this occasion (earlier this afternoon) which suggests I probably got 3 news fans.
This page also does a game called Bingo, I haven’t participated in it and have no idea how it works but again, the idea is the same – to get you more fans.
Fan Chain Mail
This is organised by a page called Like 2 Like and to be honest, this one is my preferred method. They seem to happen quite often during the day, similar to the silent tagging above in that you have to tag from your own page, then comment using your personal page and tagging your business page, adding the number of current fans so they can see how well you are doing. They ask that you like the 10 pages above and below your place in the list although you can like more if you wish. Therefore you should be getting 20 new likes (unless some of them like you already) and I’ve found that I usually get between 10-15 each time I’ve used this method.
Are you still with me?? Well done, now that I have explained how they work, I’ll go on to share my thoughts on them.
Why would I use these?
Well, it is an effective way of growing your facebook numbers. My Garrendenny Lane page has increased in number by about 250 and my Wallpaper Review page by about 100 (after 2 marches and 4 silent tags/chain mails using Garrendenny Lane and about 5 or 6 silent tags/chain mails for Wallpaper Review).
Do people unlike you afterwards?
I have seen people complaining that it happens but to be honest, I haven’t noticed it happening significantly on my pages. I did unlike one page after a march, simply because her updates filled my newsfeed the next morning which shows that updating too often is not necessarily a good thing.
But are you liking pages you are interested in?
Well, there seems to be a lot of ‘slimming wrap’ and jewellery pages out there! I have to admit that I wouldn’t necessarily have liked these pages ordinarily. But having said that, their updates are not tending to show up in my newsfeed.
Doesn’t your business and profile page become rather cluttered with people commenting on them?
Yes, but I tend to go to my business page about half an hour after the ‘march’ is finished, and click on this little button to the top right of the update and then click hide. Then if people visit your page, it still looks as professional as ever. You can do the same on your personal page.
Do these extra numbers mean more interaction and ultimately more sales?
That is the question, the most important question and to be honest, I am doubtful. As I said above, I am not noticing many updates from new pages I’ve liked in my news feeds. Facebook is making a lot of changes this week and one of them seems to be that you can choose what pages/friends updates you want featured in your top news by clicking on the little diagonal blue corner to the top left of an update you like, hence, there may be less chance of these ‘new likes’ showing up.
Amanda from Spiderworking recently wrote a post entitled The Real Numbers game in which she argues that sharing good content and building relationships is what leads to successful Facebook pages (and other social media platforms). It is interaction that will encourage people to become your clients.
I have noticed that the number of interactions on my updates seem to have decreased lately. Now, it may be coincidence but I wonder if the surge in fans has caused Facebook to somehow decide that something strange is going on and not feature my page in ‘top news’ for some of my fans.
Well, it is a much cheaper way of getting fans than paying for advertising or paying for numbers of fans but to get results, you need to engage with some of the pages you have liked (by writing a genuinely interested comment on their page) and then they will engage with you on your page. The thing is I’m not remotely interested in slimming wraps or restaurants in America for example so for them, there is no value in having me as a fan. Having said that, I have engaged with a couple of complimentary businesses and have even become friends with one of them!
You will get more fans but it is difficult to reach those people who are genuinely interested in your product or service.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this (if you have managed to read all the way to the bottom!) and if you have any questions, do ask.