(Or Even For Free): Part 1

Facebook ‘Likes’ are nearly worth their weight in gold these days. As a musician, I use them to build brand awareness and create a fan base. But during my day job as creative director for a multi-million dollar nutricutical company, I used the same tactics to create networking and a kind of ‘viral awareness’ for our products and brand. The tactics I use to build my fan-base will almost surely work for you and your venture. Provided you have something of value to offer, you can make the ‘Like’ button your best friend on Facebook. ‘I like it’ only sums up your customer’s absolute endorsement of your particular product or More facebook likes ! And if they spread that word to their friends, and their friends spread it to their friends…well, you get the picture.

So what follows is a list of the very best ways to get and capitalize on Facebook ‘Likes’. But first we need to have some things in place. Ideally, you need to be offering something that people want, and you’d have a Facebook fan page dedicated to this pursuit. You then need to avoid the mistake of trying to convince people outside your target audience that they need to like you. That is to say, if you make the world’s best beef jerky, there’s just no sense spending too much time trying to convince vegans to like your FB page. Instead, focus on people who you know will likely dig your product or service, because I guarantee you, if you can find one person online who likes what you have to offer…there are at least a million more out of the seven billion humans on the planet who will like you too. It’s just a matter of numbers.

  1. Write articles just like the one you’re reading here! That’s right, if you arrived at this article, you were likely already searching for something I offer, which is a particular knowledge of how to best maximize your Facebook marketing. If you can spend about an hour writing an article that shows people what makes a really good beef jerky recipe, or why your jewelry is the next great accessory or why you’re running for office, then you have already introduced people to your product or service without spending a dime. Offer them solid content in an article like this and then ask them to stop by your Facebook page and perhaps tell their friends about it too. No hard sales tactics, no pressure, just great content in the space of 300-500 words (and that’s not much, you’ve already read more than that if you’ve gotten this far) and a quick invite to become a fan on Facebook.
  2. Offer something free. Now regardless of whether you write an article (though you really should, and then contact me…I’ll read it!), you’d be wise to offer something free exclusive to your Facebook fan page. I personally offer a free download of my music along with videos and contests to win even more things if you share with your friends. It’s all kept light and fun, because I wouldn’t want to be pressured into being a fan, so why would I do that to you? And once you log on and click ‘Like’, we’re good to go. So if your beef jerky is really that good, offer one of your recipes only on your FB page to those who stop by. You may take a little thought to find out what free content you offer, but the sky is really the limit. If you have a great idea about how to maximize tax deductions, offer that in a free report. Got great jewelry?…attach a free video on how your fans can make jewelry of their own.
  3. Join other Facebook and online groups who have similar interests to yours, and do it to contribute, not just to harvest ‘likes’. Since my music is influenced by 80s music, I participate in about five different ‘I Love 80s Music’ groups online. I don’t jump right on and say ‘come like me, come like me!’ I enjoy the music! I post great links to other great 80s music and make friends online. As I do that, people naturally migrate over to my fan page out of curiosity or to say hello. I guarantee you there are other people as passionate about beef jerky as you (in fact, Google tells me there are about 13 million people and pages out there), so why not meet them online and just hang out. Over time, a percentage of them will become fans and perhaps even your best and most vocal spokespeople.
  4. Which leads to another great point. As you find your own community online, tell people about it! If you find other jewelry-makers who create extraordinary work, then let your friends know. And tell the people you are endorsing that you let people know. Sometimes we think that if we support other jewelry makers, or jerky makers, or realtors or artists that no one will buy our own services. Nothing could be further from the truth! As we said above, there are seven billion of us all looking for all sorts of things to eat and wear and talk about. If you really like something you see online (and don’t broadcast ‘fake’ endorsements of products you really don’t support. That kills your own credibility with your audience and doesn’t really serve those you hope to call online friends.), letting people know is going to come back to you in ways you can’t even imagine. You’ll be creating a community, and that will be one of the best online investments you ever make.
  5. Trade ‘likes’. This probably seems obvious, but I see very few people do it. My music has some distinctive influences, and I’ve got online musician friends who share those influences. Beyond that, I’ve got people who make music videos, who make t-shirts, who make websites…I tell my audience about these people and encourage them to ‘like’ my talented friends, and I request the same in return. In fact, I’ll offer you the same here: stop by my Facebook fan page (below), click ‘Like’ (and enjoy the free stuff) and I’ll absolutely check your page out and return the favor. If I like it enough, I’ll whole-heartedly endorse you to my audience! See? How hard was that?!

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