In April of 2010, Facebook allowed companies to place the "like" button on any page on their website. Since then, the "like" has become a recognized metric of social media marketing success. Many marketers have become obsessed with increasing the "likes" that their brand receives, and although it is a good first step, it should by no means be the end goal. At the end of the day leads and customers are what you're after, and if someone's only interaction with your brand is clicking the little thumb then you still have a lot of work to do.
Keeping your fans engaged is what's going to help you generate leads and eventually customers. Here are a few ways to capture your fans attention once you get them to "like" your brand and they're on your Facebook page .
1. Stay Current
Just like your blog, if you don't keep your Facebook page fresh with the latest content and updates, your fans are going to have little reason to check back. Make sure that you share your blog posts, eBooks, and other content on Facebook whenever you publish it. Not all the content you share needs to have been created by your brand either. Sharing stories that are relevant to your industry is an easy way to provide value to your fans.
2. Be Authentic
People enjoy connecting with people more than brands. Since Facebook already requires users to provide their real name in order to make an account, it is very easy for employees to provide this person-to-person connection. Instead of hiding behind your brand, step out into the foreground and speak on behalf of your brand. NordstromDave does a great job of this on Twitter and his tactics can be implemented on Facebook as well.
3. Converse with your Audience
Posting content is important for fostering engagement, but don't use your Facebook page as a a megaphone . Make sure that you you respond to all comments both negative and positive. Everyone makes mistakes, and your response to compliments as well as criticisms will shape how you are judged by the public.
4. Foster Community Interaction
It might be your brand's Facebook page, but you don't need to be the center of attention all the time. Frequently, people will visit a brands Facebook page in order to hear from consumers like themselves. It's important to participate in the conversation, but try not to dominate it. If one of your fans asks a questions to the entire community give your input but allow and encourage the rest of your community to respond as well.
You should also encourage fans to post content that they find interesting on your wall. Building a mutual trust is a gradual process that must be achieved before you can turn your fans into customers and eventually evangelists for your brand.
5. Don't forget the CTA
As I said in the beginning of the post, your end goal is to convert your fans into leads. The only way to do this is to include an enticing CTA on your Facebook pa ge. If you forget the CTA then your not getting the full value out of all of your hard work sharing, conversing, and engaging.
You might start with just a simple CTA to get visitors to "like" your page, but after they "like" your brand you might want to try a short sign up form for your newsletter. If this works you could then try a longer form for access to a piece of longer form content such as an eBook or whitepaper.
6. Take it Slow
With all the changes going on with regards to social media, it can be overwhelming to jump in head first. Make sure that you take a step back and come up with a long term social media marketing strategy before you get started. Just like any new venture, I recommend that you start small so that you don't bite off more than you can chew. Once you're comfortable maintaining a moderate Facebook presence, you can expand your efforts to try to take advantage of more marketing opportunities that Facebook and other social media sites provide.