What I've Learned from 50,000 Facebook Fans

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This week, my Facebook Fan Page broke the 50,000 fan mark. I’m so amazingly humbled and in awe that I could actually post things on a regular basis that my audience actually wants. It blows my mind on a regular basis. Below are the rules I try to follow when interacting with my audience. They’ve obviously worked, since my fan numbers continue to grow. Hopefully they’ll help you, as well.

1) Much like wearing spandex, having an audience is a privilege, not a right. You have a page, followers, and an actual audience because they CHOOSE to be there. You have absolutely no right to them, and they can CHOOSE to leave anytime they want. Want to keep them? Cater to them. Post information that’s relevant to them. Recognize them. Thank them for commenting. Engage them in conversation.

2) A Fan page isn’t spelled “M-E-G-A-P-H-O-N-E. Your job is to interact, not just to broadcast. Want to broadcast? Go buy some radio ads. Want to engage your audience? Want to have them talk to you and feel like they’re a part of your company or your brand? Engage with them. Don’t simply talk at them. Fans are looking for a reason to connect with you, and they’re showing you that by clicking “Like.” Your job is to give them a reason to stay.

3) Mix it up! Status updates by themselves get boring. But then, so do photos, videos, and multimedia as a whole. (Unless they’re multimedia involving Cindy Crawford. For some reason, that never gets old.) But other stuff does. So your job is to mix it up. A video here, a photo here, a tag of one of your fans here. Keep it interesting. Be like the TSA, in that you’re constantly mixing up your technique to keep the enemy off-guard. But unlike the TSA, do it correctly.

4) I’ve said this before: Contests don’t drive new visitors, they just drive people who want to win free shit. Focus on rewarding the current audience you have. They’re already there, they’ve already proven they like you. Show your gratitude.

5) Keep in mind why people liked you in the first place. If people liked you because you were funny and gave good reviews of playstation games, and you slowly start moving towards rants on how Sarah Palin is just misunderstood, you’re going to lose your audience. Your audience “likes” you for a reason. Stay true to that.

50k reasons to post quality!

6) Be as transparent as any of the contestants on “The Bachelor.” You have to appreciate and respect transparency. What does that mean? For your company, it means you need to make it abundantly clear who’s posting what – If your PR agency is posting and doing it as your CEO, cut that shit out RIGHT NOW. You’ll get nailed, and you’ll look like an idiot, and you’ll lose all your fans, and you won’t be happy. Honesty has to rule the day.

7) SEO works for Facebook, too. I have spectacular SEO people at First Page Sage. Not only do they help shankman.com, but they’re great and understanding how content works. They’ve helped me fine-tune my messages to attract wider audiences. I recommend checking them out if you’re looking.

8) Remember the two-way street rule from above – The more people you help/offer good advice to, the more will recommend you. 50,000 people “like” me because other people have recommended they do. That’s huge.

9) Do random acts of good. I occasionally give away free stuff to my current members, or share discounts people have sent to me. Kindness is contagious. Try it.

10) At the end of the day, the number one rules applies: It’s not about you. It’s about them. Make it about them.

Any other comments or thoughts on how to keep your audience happy and engaged? Would love to hear them below.

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