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Eight Ways to Engage Facebook Fans in Less Than 60 Seconds [Day 20 - 28 Days to BFL]

This is Day 20 of 28 Days of Building Fierce Loyalty. On Friday, Gini Dietrich gave us her personal and very specific strategies for building fierce loyalty. Continuing with that trend, today my friend John Haydon, author of  Facebook Marketing for Dummies, shows us EXACTLY what to do on Facebook to build fierce loyalty. I don’t know about you, but I really need this kind of specific guidance. Enjoy!

Eight Ways to Engage Facebook Fans in Less Than 60 Seconds

By: John Haydon| @JohnHaydon

One obvious requirement for marketing on Facebook is consistently posting interesting content on your Facebook Page.

Now don’t be scared by the word “content” – it’s definition includes a lot more than blog posts and videos. And status updates count.

Become A Status Update Ninja

I while ago, I conducted a few experiments with some Facebook Pages and my own Facebook Profile. I wanted to see how people engage with status updates alone (no links, videos, photos) versus shared URLs, videos and photos (with no status update). I found that folks were three or four times more likely to engage with a pithy status update over a shared URL, photo or video.

I wasn’t surprised at the results. Status updates are the language of Facebook friends. It’s what they engage with most of the time.

Eight Simple Ways To Engage Your Facebook Fans

  1. Don’t Be All Work And No Play – It’s ok to ask people what plans they have for the weekend, or if they saw Toy Story 3. Facebook users love sharing the human details of their lives. You’re human too – right?
  2. Ask Simple Questions – Ask your connections how they’ve been personally effected by your business’ cause. For example, the Brain Aneurysm Foundation (an Inbound Zombie client) asked “How has a Brain Aneurysm personally impacted your life?” which received a lot of comments.
  3. Play Tag With Like-Minded Pages - This is a way to create awareness about your Page on another Facebook Page. The best way to avoid coming across as spam is to 100% promote the other Page on your Page. For example, I noticed Mari Smith asking what people to share their goals for the second half of 2010. I simply shared her post on my Page in an effort to send her new fans.
  4. Tell Them You Love Them - Your Page connections (fans) make you who you are. They give you their money, tell others how great you are, and keep coming back. Say thanks once in a while. And mean it when you thank them. They deserve it.
  5. Shine The Spotlight – Facebook users love to look cool. They love to be recognized in front of their peers. Post a status update that expresses appreciation for one of your die-hard supporters. The other fans won’t feel left out.
  6. Comment Back To The Clusters – When your Page gets a lot of updates from fans, like during an event, don’t worry about responding to every single person. Ask yourself where your organizational voice is needed most. For example, focus on the posts that have the highest number of comments.
  7. Get Some Insight - Use your Page insights to quickly find the posts with the highest engagement. Focus your blood and sweat on those fans.
  8. Ask Simple Choice Questions – Try asking your fans simple preference questions. For example, Centerville Pie (another Inbound Zombie client) can ask “Which do you like better – Blueberry Pie or Apple Pie?”

Put On Your Lab Coat

As with anything related to Facebook marketing, result will vary. Stay true to your brand / mission / personality and season to taste. No two Facebook Page communities are alike. See what works for yours -and measure, measure, measure.

 

John Haydon is immune to kryptonite. He also wrote Facebook Marketing for Dummies

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P.S. If you aren’t already signed up and don’t want to miss out on  28 Days to Building Fierce Loyalty, please sign up here.

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  • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

    Great tips here. I’ve been leery of getting too committed to facebook because it’s like a black hole for me. That said, I still get way more engagement there than on Twitter, but my SM-related revenues are still primarily driven by Twitter. Me thinks more testing is needed. Thanks!

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Lisa – Twitter and Facebook are very different platforms. I view Twitter as a way to create and nurture relationships with peers and partners, Facebook as a way to create and nurture relationships with customers.

      • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

        Great insight on that. Thanks, John! :-)

    • http://stirringtheblackegg.com/ M. Keli Vidrine

      It’s fascinating to hear about how engagement and revenue tracking tell you different things, thank you. I love hearing about other folks’ testing- the results aren’t always what I’d think!

  • http://twitter.com/ClaudiaC ClaudiaC

    Gosh, John, this is fabulous! Thank you so very much. I love that your tips are really tweaks  to what is easy to do.

    Since your post mostly refers to Facebook pages, I wondered if you had ideas about using a personal Facebook account vs. a Facebook page. For example, I have a personal Facebook account and Facebook pages for my different series – Alex the Fey thrillers, Denver Cereal, Queen of Cool. Is it better to turn my personal account into a page? (I don’t have a Claudia Hall Christian page.)

    Thanks again for the help! :)

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Claudia – You might want to look into using the subscribe button. More info here: http://www.johnhaydon.com/2011/09/how-facebooks-subscribe-feature-can-deepen-your-nonprofits-relationship-supporters/

      • http://twitter.com/ClaudiaC ClaudiaC

         Thanks! That’s very helpful!

  • http://mattreport.com Matt Medeiros

    This is all great advice, but it relies HEAVILY on having the “correct” audience on your Facebook fan page. If you used the tactics of asking friends and family to help spread the Likes to your page, you must be ready for that “empty hallway” sound when  you ask those questions to an audience that only liked you because they were asked to. 

    As you engage new customers and that audience, over time, you should start to weed out and gather new faithful fans. 

    #7 is really important in regards to this because the numbers aren’t lying to you :)

    #3 is another great way to find like minded fans of other pages etc

    Great stuff here!

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Matt – I don’t know many people that like pages just because they were asked to – not even if they were asked by a friend. There’s usually something useful and relevant about the page / user. The exception to this is when likes are acquired by giving away something like a free iPad.

      • http://mattreport.com Matt Medeiros

        I see it all the time when clients have asked co-workers/employees to promote their new FB page. Especially when younger employees promote for their job. 

        “Check out where I work and Like the page to help me out!”

        Great initial tactic to raise the numbers - especially if you’re looking to hit that first 25 for a username. However, if you’re not procuring new and engaged fans it’s going to be a rocky road.

  • http://twitter.com/AmyDRobertson Amy D Robertson

    These are great tips John, thanks for sharing!  I would like to add to #2 Ask simple questions… I have found that asking questions that can be answered with one word or only a few words are great ways to engage your fans as well as asking Trivia type questions.  People are in a hurry and love to feel smart! :)

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Amy – Great idea! Closed ended questions – true / false, fill in the blank, yes or no – are great ways to kick start engagement. Following that with open ended questions help deepen loyalty.

  • http://twitter.com/DooneyPug Lori Finnigan

    I love the bio – “immune to kryptonite”. That’s important!

    And I like the ideas.  They’re relatively simple and mostly common sense, and you present them in such a way that makes Facebook a little less scary and overwhelming, especially for those days when it feels there’ll never be enough time to do what needs to be done so where do you start.

    Thank you John!

  • Alicia Marinache

    Wonderful tips – currently I feel swamped a bit between FB and Twitter, I’ll need to make a plan on how to manage both in a timely manner. Add to that the fact that everyone seems to use Pinterest right now and I know I don’t have time for yet another board of any type :) Oh, well – life goes on.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Alicia – It’s good to know the difference between these two channels: http://www.johnhaydon.com/2011/11/main-difference-between-facebook-twitter-video/

  • http://www.lydiapuhak.com Lydia Puhak

    Like Sarah said in your intro, people really need this kind of specific guidance. Thanks, John! I’ve been playing in becoming more visible using facebook and other online social media for about two years. I’ve been building in practices that not only build readership but loyalty as I go, mostly through doing what I see other people I admire do, with alot of trial and error. …and that last piece has been key. I’m glad you suggested that we become a status update ninja right up front! This sort of immersion has helped me to get a good feel for what works and what doesn’t.
    I’m intrigued by how you’ve called the question you posed in item #2 above a Simple Question. :o) To me, this sort of question actually engages a deeper, more intimate response. In my experience, this sort of question is best doled out sparingly so it’s met with welcome curiosity. I tend to be a bit deep, as do my readers, and it’s easy for me to post too many deep/simple questions. I’ve come to realize that even those of us who like to engage more deeply don’t take the time to respond to all the Simple Questions we come across on facebook, in fact, a rare few. These questions do make us think and at least provide an “emotional hook” for readers to become drawn in by. My point here is that I’ve learned that the quality of these responses when they do come is quite valuable and a terrific indicator for “audience correctness” (as Matt Medeiros calls it in his comment here).
    Bravo!!

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Simple, but very specific is the key.

  • http://www.artist-at-large.com/ kimba

    I deleted my facebook pages and now only have a personal page on facebook. As an artist I am not a fan of facebook’s TOS (which changes often enough that it can’t be relied on, hence, I have trust issues) and it’s one reason why I’m starting my own niche social network.  Anyway, I use my personal facebook page as a place to post links back to my own site via “today on artist-at-large …” type status updates, as well as posting personal status updates.  I support my site members via linkage on my personal facebook page too. But really, all the while I want to drive my facebook followers to my site, to converse there instead. Doesn’t always work.

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Kimba – You should investing the subscribe button. It might be right down your alley.

      • http://www.artist-at-large.com/ kimba

        Hmmm, which subscribe button are we talking about?

        I have site registrations turned off at the moment because I haven’t quite figured out getting out of beta yet. 

  • Carla K.

    I have a real problem getting traffic to my page. But I do try to interact with those who post comments.  I also interact on pages as my page. But… I’m still trying to be “the place” that people want to be.

    Great Tips Thank You.

    • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

      Carla – I have a gazillion blog posts on that topic. :-)

  • http://stirringtheblackegg.com/ M. Keli Vidrine

     I love how you delve into a very specific, concrete topic! Not just how to engage with people in general, but how to engage with people on Facebook. It’s so funny how there’s a distinctly different “mood” when you log in to Facebook, versus checking Twitter, versus emailing someone, versus talking in person… even if you’re interacting with the same exact people, it can feel very different. I appreciate that you’re talking about what it means to really meet people halfway when they’re in the Facebook frame of mind. Your post really shows how the general rules for engaging with folks need certain tweaks when we’re talking about Facebook, and I like your emphasis on using testing to find out where to make those tweaks.

  • Sherrickmark

    For me….and I say this as someone who has a personal FB and no professional, it all gets down to one simple idea…BE THERE. There are so many accounts that have such potential and either are abandoned or barely used because the owner is in absentia.

    Yeah, once you get big enough, consumer usage can dominate, but you need to get to that point.

  • http://www.CaroAyre.co.uk/ Caro Ayre

    Never mind the eight ways to engage my fans I didn’t even have a page until today, I hadn’t figure out how to create one. Thanks to you I now have a Caro Ayre Author page, will have to  find some fans to engage with so I can start building my community. 

  • http://www.livinghalffull.com/ Peter Mis

    Hello John…fantastic insights on an area which I believe offers a huge opportunity for building Fierce Loyalty. As a blogger looking for like-minded friends, Facebook has been a great resource. I’ve only recently started to take Facebook seriously, simply because I never really understood how it would fit in to an overall blog marketing strategy. I look at Facebook as the front porch of my blog. A place where I can build a level of trust, comfort, goodwill, and awareness of what my blog and I are all about. From there I’ll “invite them in the house”, posting a link to a blog post, usually once a week. I have seen spikes in blog traffic on the days the posts are mentioned on Facebook. I do need to get better on the engagement quality of the daily Facebook updates.

    #4 Tell Them That You Love Them…this goes over very well. People like to know that you value their time and how much you value them for being a member of the community. I get “no, Peter…thank YOU” responses from time to time.

    I greatly appreciate you being a part of this series. Looking forward to the book arriving in a few days from Amazon!

  • rmsorg

    John, really great and actionable tips!  I think acknowledging fans and brand supporters is so important and I love to that for highly active commentators.  They are taking the time to stop by and post comments, likes etc and I love to show them how much they are appreciated!  I will implement some of your quick tips and test, test, test and see what happens.

    Great blog!

    RMSorg
    WallStreetBranding

  • jPeter78

    Facebook and other social have been a challenge for me with the “keeping” up of them.  I do it for a while and then leave it for a while.  Guess it is the hot and cold effect LOL!  I really like the common sense approach that you’ve put forth here and will see how it works for me.

  • annettenack

    Thanks so much John!  I’ve been hesitant with my FB page/community.  Engaging with them sometimes feels like pulling teeth basically because I don’t know what I’m exactly supposed to do other than communicate.  But then again, that’s kinda the point of what you said- communicate but in a more simple way.  Just do it!

    Thanks for your 8 tips, that should keep me busy for quite a while!  

  • Stephanie Devine

    Thank you…these tips are working for me already and I just read the article 3 minutes ago…  :) 

  • http://www.facebook.com/joomlashine Tam Ngo Le

    Really helpful. But about the last idea: Ask Simple Choice Questions, I think it’s only good for a brand with thousand fans. For small business, fan doesn’t focus much on questions :-? What do you think about it John Haydon?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffreystott Jeff Stott

    I just started an internet related business called http://www.rentmyrides.com I have been interested in how I can better engage our customers with social media.  I really like this article because it helps business owners remain authentic.