How to Use Facebook to Attract Online Community Members

When you’re building an online community, you want to be where the people are, and at this time, Facebook is the best way to reach out to a vast community.

People appreciate Facebook because they don’t have to leave their own status pages to receive updates and discussion topics. Community managers love it because when friends see community members liking or sharing a Facebook page, they want to be part of the action, too. You’re rocking a double win.

A Facebook page is made up of members who like your brand. The more likes you get, the bigger your community is. Every member represents a like.

Don’t simply start a page, put up your brand’s logo, and drop links to your sales pages. That method would ensure that you have the smallest community possible. Facebook pages should be appealing, engaging, and interactive, not clogged with boring updates.

Moreover, when you offer nothing but sales pages or news updates, you’re not leaving much opportunity for your members to interact. Your content has to be attractive for the entire community. Here are ways to spice up your Facebook page:

  • Choose a profile picture that represents the brand. Whether it’s a logo or enticing photo of your product or service in action, your Facebook profile picture is the first impression that potential community members may have of your page. Make sure that the photo is positive, professional, and inviting.

  • Create open-ended content. Engage with community members by asking questions or creating the type of content that inspires a discussion. Always leave room for a response.

  • Write in a conversational fashion. Dull, antiseptic updates bore and discourage community members. Use a conversational tone and be pleasant, upbeat, and positive.

  • Share images. Members love to see photos from staff events and conferences, as well as images of funny stuff from around the Internet. Sharing photos puts a human element on a brand page. Make sure that the photos are appropriate and relevant to the page.

  • Take advantage of Facebook’s bells and whistles. Facebook has many apps and widgets available at no charge. The Networked Blogs app, for example, allows your blog’s RSS feed to appear on your Facebook status page automatically, and the Twitter app shows your tweets.

    Look at other successful pages to see which apps fit best within your community. Appbistro is a tool enabling you to search the available Facebook apps to find those best suiting your needs.

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  • Share perks with members of the community. Reward your loyal Facebook members with discounts, coupon codes, and prizes. They’ll appreciate the gesture and may share it with their own networks.

  • Have some fun. Host limerick or haiku contests or invite members to caption photos and tell jokes. A congenial atmosphere attracts everyone.

  • Like similar communities. Show your support of other Facebook communities by liking them. Their logos and links will appear in your sidebar, and they may be inspired to do the same, driving members to both communities.

  • Encourage your members to share. Though you don’t want your community members to spam your Facebook page with their links, you can still encourage them to share. This creates an active and engaged community.

  • Update regularly. Post some sort of Facebook content every day to keep your members checking for updates. When you post Facebook updates, they show up in your members Facebook statuses, which encourages them to share your content. When their friends see them sharing your content, or receiving cool perks from your brand’s Facebook page, they may be inclined to join, too.

It’s important to get a like from members, as they can’t participate in your Facebook page unless they click the Thumbs Up or Like button.

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