There is more to Facebook than getting people to 'like' your page!
There is no doubt that you work hard on getting likes on Facebook. However, if you are only striving for the 'like', you are missing the boat–BIG time.
Regardless of whether you have 5 fans or 50,000 fans, if you are not engaging them, there is no point to even spending the energy on marketing with social media.
Facebook can feel overwhelming and sometimes a lot like a self promoting marathon. But, you can make it a successful part of your marketing strategy if you take the time to build real and authentic relationships. You have the ability to make your page be what you want it to be. So, don't follow the masses–create relationships that matter–and watch the connections appear.
So what do you need to do to create a community like atmosphere on Facebook?
The #1 thing you need to keep in mind, is that your job is only beginning after the 'like' button is clicked!
5 Steps to Building A Community on Facebook
1. Know your fans inside and out. Before you can build any type of community on Facebook, you need to understand who you are attracting. Have you narrowed down a profile of your ideal fan? Be sure you know who you want to attract to your page. When you take the time to determine this, then you will understand their pains and their pleasures–making your life a heck of a lot easier.
2. Fill a void. After you understand who you are attracting and their needs, it is your turn to provide them what they are seeking. Keep in mind that building a community atmosphere is about the group and not so much about you. Take the time to create content on your page that is valuable to your audience. When you do this, they will return to your page over and over again.
3. Be respectful. If you are just starting out on Facebook or if you are trying to mimic what other pages are doing, you may be tempted to provide lots of self promotion. However, your fans really are not interested in your offerings–just yet. Although it is your page and your goal is to convert prospects into clients, it does take time. Keep in mind you are building a "Know, Like, & Trust" factor on your page–meaning these steps need to happen prior to any type of business taking place. This takes time. Yes, even though it is technically your page, they don’t want to see endless streams of you selling your service or product. Respect your audience and show them that you care.
4. Engagement is key. Your #1 goal in having a Facebook page is to create engagement. The only way for fans to really get to know you, like you, and trust you, is through interacting with them on a consistent basis. Take the time to have a conversation by asking them questions and responding to their posts. Did you know that most page owners don't respond to their fans posts or questions? Stand out in a crowd by doing things differently. Regardless of whether the fan post is positive or negative, how you handle it will allow you to shine–so don't shy away.
5. Authenticity is a must. Your fans can see right through fake, even online. Instead of doing things like other pages or people, be the real you. Allow your fans to connect with who you are and what you stand for. Be authentic by showing them that there is a real person behind your page. Share your life, your struggles and your successes, so they can build a deeper connection with you.
It really is not hard to create a fan page on Facebook–in fact anyone can do it. However, the key to building real relationships and connections online is by building a community. Keep it real and treat your online relationships exactly like your in-person relationships and you will experience results.
What is working for your Facebook community? Share below, so we can all learn together!