With regards to marketing and social media, having millions of fans on Facebook is being hailed as the ultimate goal.  There are a lot of discussions lately about the ROI (Return on Investment) for investing time and money in your Facebook presence.  Also there are other discussions about the “Value” of a Facebook fan, in terms of money.

These are all very good discussions, and it got us thinking, just WHY do people click the “Like” button, and become your fan on Facebook?  Here are some of the reasons:

1. They are Close Friends or Relations

These are probably your first fans in your side box.  These are your dedicated fans who love you no matter what.  They might or might not support your business, and they probably might not be “paying” customers, but they are a great start.

2. They are Employees

This one is a give-in.  If your employees are not a fan on Facebook, something is truly wrong, and you need an in-house meeting immediately.

3. They are your Customers, and they really do “Like” you

These will be your next fans, once you tell them that your page exists, and you ask them to support you on Facebook.  If you are a new business, please ignore this reason.

4. They are Peers, Colleagues, other Professionals

Once the word is out, and you add your Facebook business page to your website and other social media, your peers, colleagues and other professionals who like what your company does or what your company writes about, will be the next ones to click.

5. They are Competitors

Once you have hit the auspicious 25 fans, and you get your own unique Facebook domain name, your competitors will probably be very interested what you are up to, and will most likely become a fan just to find out!

6. They are Potential Customers

So you have built up some fans, and you have your unique domain name, and this is where you can really attract some potential customers.  At this stage, having a Custom Tab is a great idea with information about your company, and also building in a Contact Us form might help as well.  These people become fans because they are thinking about using your products or services, and it’s best to make your Facebook presence as attractive as possible to entice them to buy from you.

7. They are Random People who are harassed by you to join

These people are unlikely to become your customers, but they don’t mind becoming a fan because it doesn’t harm their own Facebook profile.  Also once they become a fan, it stops you from continually asking them. (N.B. we do not recommend harassing people to “like” you, but it does happen).

8. They are Random People who are given an incentive to like you

These are similar to the people in number 7.  If they have to be bribed to like you the chance of them becoming a genuine customer is virtually nil.  Still if your goal is just to generate “Brand Awareness” with random people who may or may not be your target audience, this might be ok.  And of course, if you are just looking for that first million, this trick will probably work.

In Summary

Building fans in Facebook, is like building customers in your real business.  It is a long term process to gather real and interactive fans.  Not everybody is Lady Gaga, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, or Coca Cola!

There are arguments that you should build 1,000s of fans as fast as possible, because it has a huge value as the “Like” filters through to a larger network of your fan’s friends.  But we are not sure.  We have always been more focussed on quality, rather than quantity –  and this has worked well for us so far.

Just as it is a danger for your business to grow too fast, there is a similar danger for your social media to grow too fast, like Facebook fans.  This is where a Social Media strategy comes in handy, so you can outline targets for your social media engagement.  Because getting millions of fans for fans sake, is pointless unless you have a plan for engaging and managing them.

What do you think?

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Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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