I often get asked how to grow numbers – fans and ‘likes’ – on your Facebook Page. There are a slew of techniques you should use on an ongoing basis (for example, well-placed social media icons on your website/blog, in your email signature, and on your marketing materials, to name a few), but one that stands out to me the most is growing your numbers through your personal profile first.
Use your personal Facebook profile as a bridge to your Facebook Page.
I hear a lot of people talk about their hesitation to open up their personal accounts to people they don’t know. Listen, if you’re on Facebook to do business, it’s important to understand that your target market does not want to be approached for business first. In fact, I dare say that no one wants to be approached for business first.
People aren’t coming to Facebook to meet their accountant. They’re coming to Facebook to connect, reconnect, and engage with others. They might meet a person who happens to be an accountant and then decide to do business with them, but most likely, potential clients that find business connections have done so because they connected on a personal level first.
This is the crux of social media – the ability to connect and relate to one another first and foremost. Those similarities and interests bring us together and business leads are developed through this organic process.
There are no shortcuts or ways around it. You can’t automate your presence and drive business leads to your site. You either get it or you don’t, but one of the main reason most corporate brands don’t do well using social media is because they don’t have a personality.
My suggestion: clean up your personal profile. Get rid of anything that you think is too much information: pictures of your kids (if you deem this too much information), negative personal details about your life (going through a divorce, you hate your ex-husband’s new girlfriend, etc.) and include bits and pieces of the real you (not the “you” with your skirt over your head drunk in Barcelona), but the essence of who you are: male or female, books and movies you like, and music you listen to – for starters.
Add people as friends to your personal account first. Get to know them, compliment them on their site, and ask them a question about themselves. Then, once a month send out a blanket invitation to all of your friends to invite them to your Page. Don’t pounce on them when they first become your friends. Give it time. Be patient.
When I’m working with a new client, I explain this slow process to the clients so they understand I am not a fairy godmother with a magic wand. This process takes time.
Before Pages existed, I built up my personal profile to include pictures, videos, and descriptions of my interests and activities – my garden, my dog, my kids, my love of beer, my neighborhood. It’s easy to get a sense of who I am when you take a look at my personal profile.
I make it a point to wish people a happy birthday and comment back when people post to my Wall. This is what I mean by engagement. Social media is not the new fangled way to make money, but rather, a new fangled way to meet people.
When Pages became available and after I created my own, I sent out an invitation to my friends list through my Facebook profile and had 400 fans in one day. That happened because I established a relationship with them first – built up some trust before asking for their click.
Asking people to skip over your personal profile and proceed straight to your Page doesn’t work as well. I’ve seen many folks send out return messages after I’ve sent them a friend request telling me that they have too many friends and can’t take on anymore, but to join them over on their Page.
Uh… I don’t think so.
I want to get to know you as a person before I join you over on your Page. I don’t necessarily want to know about your latest business venture but I would like to know basic personal details about you if I’m friending you on Facebook.
And I realize Facebook has a 5,000 friend limit for personal accounts. The notion is that anything over 5000 should naturally migrate over to your Page. And yet, it doesn’t always work that way. The numbers don’t add up as well when people skip over your personal profile before being introduced to the “business you”.
I’m not suggesting opening up the flood gates and letting any ol’ person in – rather, develop a criterion, a standard of who you want to friend. If you’re a brick and mortar business in New Jersey, find your city’s Facebook Page. Assuming they have one, friend those people on that Page. Most likely, they are New Jersey residents and/or have ties to the community. You can’t add them directly to your Page, but you can request their friendship and add them on through your personal profile. Eventually you can migrate them over to your Page.
Use your personal profile to grow your Page. Look at your personal profile as an addendum to your professional Page. Infuse your online presence with your personality and business leads will be generated through these efforts.
Remember, automation cannot do this for you. There are no shortcuts in social media. Take your time. Social media is a 401k plan and not a lottery ticket.
For more ways to grow your numbers on your Facebook Page check out: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/10-ways-to-grow-your-facebook-page-following/.