What does it take to be successful on Facebook? Is it a magic formula? Did super popular pages buy some of their likes? Or do they possess a special piece of software or method which brings them more followers compared to other pages?
Let me start by putting you at ease: there is no trick, there is no software, or anything else giving some page administrators extra advantages. Facebook is extremely democratic from this point of view: it quickly penalises anyone trying to use shortcuts or black hat tactics to get more likes. Everyone must use the same type of strategy: post interesting, engaging content, keep their followers entertained and communicate with them.
So, what do super popular pages do? What type of strategy helped them reach their first 10,000 likes and beyond? As hard to believe as it seems, it is the basic strategy which any marketer would recommend to small- and medium-sized businesses. But they do it consistently, they do it with passion and determination, and they do it with a constant eye on the key analytics.
Among the strategies they implement, we identified five critical ones:
1. The Facebook Page Is Promoted Consistently
Top companies integrate their social media marketing strategy with their website SEO and their email marketing strategy. Wherever you are on their web page you will find the social media buttons inviting you to visit the company page and to share their content on your Facebook timeline.
Also, the Facebook (and other social media) accounts are included in all email signatures, brochures, newsletters and other printed or digital hand-out materials. The logic behind this strategy is very simple: if you want to bring people on to your Facebook page, tell them where they should go.
2. There Is Constant Activity on the Facebook Pages
Nothing is less appealing than a poorly maintained Facebook page, with long periods of silence between posts. You give the impression that you don’t really care about your followers and you only communicate with them when it suits you. This is not how building a followers’ base works. You need to communicate with them as frequently as they like and to share content that they are interested in.
3. The Content Mix Is Varied and Engaging
A lot of Facebook pages never gain momentum because they do not engage their followers. They do not ask questions and they do not post intriguing messages which stimulate conversations and encourage the sharing of opinions.
Great Facebook posts always have a call to action – be it to watch a video, caption a photo, subscribe for a newsletter. Do not allow your followers to passively look at your posts and then leave your page without asking them to do anything, no matter how simple.
4. Know Your Followers
The Analytics page on Facebook is extremely detailed, especially with regard to demographics. A simple look will tell you how many of your followers are men and how many are women, what age groups are best represented, and where your followers live (by country and city). These are very useful pieces of data – they will help you build a persona for your potential customers and develop content that is interesting, relevant, and meaningful to them.
5. Join the Ad Game
The best things in life may be free, but adequate promotion on Facebook is not. This means that you should have an advertising budget and plan ad campaigns either with the purpose of increasing the number of likes on your page, or to bring more people on your website and convert them into customers.
Careful ad planning is, in fact, the secret of very popular Facebook pages. Their administrators know exactly how much to spend, whom to target with ads and for how long. This is how these pages managed to reach their first 10,000 likes and then move beyond this target level.