This is the second article in a series about neighborhoods and social media. In the first article we explored the types of content that neighborhoods can create to best connect with their community on Facebook. We will now continue by tackling the challenge of how neighborhoods can grow their audience.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Quality content is the most important factor for a successful Facebook page. Providing your fans with valuable content will boost your post’s range. However, great content can only get you so far. People also have to know it exists. That’s where likes, engagement, and reach come in.
In this article you will learn why Facebook likes are important, three simple strategies to attract more Facebook likes, and how you can translate those likes into an engaged audience that will magnify your Facebook presence.
Likes Beget Likes
Why are Facebook likes important? Well there are a few reasons. First, when someone likes your page, they have the potential of seeing your posts in their news feed. In other words – that content that you meticulously crafted, might actually get read.
Secondly, your Facebook like-count acts as social proof. Social proof is the phenomenon where our thoughts and behaviors are shaped by the opinions and actions of others. This means people rely on Facebook likes to tell them what’s creditable and useful. If all these other people like it, it must be good. Right? In this way, the more likes you have, the more new likes you can get.
Here are 3 easy tricks to help you get more likes in no time:
❶ Start With Who You Know
Grow your Facebook page by reaching out to your existing community. Enlist your supporters – people you are already connected to who have demonstrated an interest in your organization – to spread the word about the awesome work you’re doing. This group could include board members, volunteers, family, friends, donors, newsletter subscribers, etc.
Try strategically sending out personalized invites via Facebook or email asking supporters to like your page or group (don’t forget to include the link). Let them know they can easily and quickly help your neighborhood association connect with the community by activating their own social networks. If they feel so inclined, they can also invite their friends to like your page or group to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings.
If you have an online newsletter or listserv, send out a brief email to your subscribers highlighting your Facebook page or group as another way they can learn about the latest events, happenings, and news in their community. If someone has already joined your email list, they probably would enjoy connecting with you on Facebook too.
❷ Engage With Influencers
Build relationships with relevant influential organizations and leaders in your community to get more exposure with your target audience. To engage with relevant influencers, try liking and commenting on their posts, sharing their content, or mentioning them in a post of your own. Use the @mention feature to grab the attention of other page administrators and their followers. These strategies can result in some of their fans liking your page as well. As an added benefit, these pages may also share some of your posts occasionally.
❸ Leverage Your Existing Assets
It’s important to integrate all your communications channels. This will allow you to promote your Facebook page or group everywhere you can.
- Website: People who visit your website are already showing an interest in you. Adding a Facebook icon or a Like Box to your website, makes it easy for them to click one button and then instantly be following you over on Facebook. The best place to place your social media buttons tends to be in the upper right-hand corner.
- Newsletter: Include a link for your Facebook page in every newsletter.
- Email: We all email dozens of times a week, at the very least. So every time you email, why not add the URL of your Facebook Page in your email signature to gain a little more exposure?
- Print Materials: Put your page’s URL on all print materials including brochures, invitations, thank you letters, business cards, flyers, etc.
Increase Your Engagement – Increase Your Reach
Getting someone to click “Like” on your Facebook Page is only the first step towards building a thriving community. In order to show up in an individual’s news feeds they need to be engaging with you. In other words, the more someone talks about you, likes your posts and shares your content, the more often they will see your content.
The following tips will help you turn your likes into continuous engagement.
- Be Visual: When it comes to format, images and visuals inspire the most engagement on Facebook. Take pictures at your events – people love to see pictures of themselves and the people they care about. Use photos of iconic landmarks and institutions in your neighborhood. Recognition generates enthusiasm – especially if it’s a place that inspires emotion.
- Keep It Short: When it comes to Facebook engagement, size matters. Brief, easy to digest posts result in greater consumption, interaction, and overall reach. If you have to click “continue reading” to see all of the post, it’s too long. Instead try to get to the point with short, punchy statements.
- Ask For What You Want: As the saying goes, “Ask and you shall receive.” If you don’t ask people to take action many people simply won’t. Statistics show that when you strategically ask your fans to like, share or comment on posts, you get significantly more interaction. So try integrating some clear, direct calls to action in to your Facebook posts. Ask people to like a post if they agree or share a post to help get the word out about a fantastic event.
- Make It Personal: No one likes talking to a machine or a faceless organization. People want to support other people. Let your audience see there are real humans behind your organization. Have a personality and point of view. The more familiar you can be, the more you will connect with your audience.
- Ask Questions: Questions need answers. This is a great strategy for engaging your audience. Make them feel like they are a part of the organization before they’ve even signed on. Remember when we said “likes beget likes”? Starting a dialogue has a similar effect—the more people share on your page, the more other people will also feel inclined to share.
By: Kelly Fedderson