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4 ways to build community on your Facebook fan page

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986548379_2a0d99d1aeFacebook fan pages. They’re a dime a dozen these days. Literally, with 30 million businesses now officially on Facebook. But, of those 30 million, how many are really using the tool strategically to achieve business goals and objectives? Wait, hold that thought. Better yet, head over to Justin Goldsborough’s blog for a few examples.

What if you’re an organization and you started a fan page in the last few months (probably a pretty big group) but you just haven’t seen results yet. A lack of followers. Few comments. Limited engagement. What can you do?

I have a few suggestions:

* Build community from within your four walls. The first place I tell all my clients to start when building community online: Their own staff. Send an email to staff encouraging them to join the community. Make it easy (one click) and give them concrete reasons–and tell them exactly what they can expect. Post a link to the company intranet. Or, include a blurb in the next employee e-newsletter. Whatever the tactic, make sure you’re encouraging your most important audience to become your base. And, after you’ve shared the link once, be sure to share wins and stories consistently as new posts, insights and comments are shared on your page.

* Look to your partners for help. Have you approached your partner organizations? Vendors? Other supporting companies? Approach the PR, marketing or digital leader within these organizations and find out if they’d be open to helping. Maybe it’s a simple note to their audiences. Or, maybe it’s just sharing a link on your fan page. Whatever the case, cross-pollination with your partner organizations can go a long ways toward building your own community.

* Integrate your fan page into your existing marketing/communications approaches. Get creative. Instead of just adding the simple “Follow us on Facebook” (which, in certain situations, is just fine), why not take it a step further and give them a reason to follow you? Post all your photos on Facebook? Why not build that into the language? Or, maybe you focus on two-way discussions for feedback? Why not build that into your blurb. Or, maybe it’s a contest of sorts. Oh, and make sure it’s easy to find and click to your fan page from your Web site. Remember, for most, this is still the front door to your organization and the easiest place for most to find you online.

* Start an ad campaign. The good news: You don’t have to spend millions of dollars to do this. The better news: Since Facebook compiles all sorts of useful data on its users, you can tailor your campaigns to niche audiences. Even better: You only pay per click or per impression. It’s one of the most overlooked components of any Facebook fan page launch strategy. And, it can be darn effective. The beautiful part is even if your initial campaign doesn’t work, 1) You probably didn’t spend a ton of money on it, and B) You can learn, adjust and try again.

Just a few useful tips I’ve suggested to clients recently. What others would you add?

Note: Photo courtesy of LaughingSquid via FlickR Creative Commons.

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4 ways to build community on your Facebook fan page

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