“How do I get more fans on my Facebook page?” is probably one of the questions I hear from travel professionals most often. Of course the easy answer is “with Facebook ads”, but not every agent is ready to take that leap yet, and even if they are using paid advertising, everyone appreciates some free options as well.
There are countless ways to grow your Facebook fan page, but I have three favorites that are easy to implement and can start working for you right away.
Invite Your Email Subscribers
Facebook has a feature that most travel professionals I work with have no idea even exists! It’s hidden away and not labeled in the best way, so it’s easy to overlook.
Did you know that Facebook offers a way for you to invite your email contacts or subscribers to like your page right from within Facebook? It’s super easy to do and can be very effective!
If you use Constant Contact, MailChimp, VerticalResponse, AIM, iCloud or outlook.com, Facebook can access your contact list with just a few clicks. If you use another option for your email, you’ll just need to upload a CSV file of your contacts to use this feature. You are limited to 5,000 people on your list so if you have a larger list, you may want to break it up into separate CSV files.
To access this feature, go to your Facebook page and click on the “Notifications” tab at the top of the page.
On the left hand side of the notifications page, look for a box called “Get More Likes” and click on the “Suggest Page” link. (see what I mean by it being hidden away!)
From here you will be able to connect with your email provider, your autoresponder service, or upload a CSV file of your list. Once Facebook pulls your contacts, you’ll have the opportunity to review them and select which ones you would like to invite.
Facebook will then search their user database and see if it can find a match for the email address. If it does, your contact will get an invitation to like the page the next time they log on to Facebook. The invitation isn’t sent by email, it is displayed to them on Facebook and looks something like this:
One tip you can use to make this strategy even more effective is to invite people to connect with you on social media in your newsletter and include a link to your Facebook page. Tell them why they should like your page. Do you share special offers from suppliers there first? Do you offer any perks for Facebook fans? Or you can even just let them know that you share travel tips and inspiration for when they need a real or a mental vacation! You’ll have some people take action and like the page right then, but others will wait. When they see a notice on Facebook though, it’s now a second suggestion and that may mean they are more likely to click like!
Be More Active on Facebook
It always surprises me how shocked people are when I suggest that they start posting several times per day on their Facebook page. The usual concern is that agents say they don’t want to bother or annoy their fans by posting too much.
The truth is that even if you were to post every hour on the hour, all of your fans aren’t going to see every post from you! We’ve all seen that our organic reach (the number of fans who see a given post) has dramatically decreased over the last year or so. When you combine that with the fact that your fans don’t spend all day on Facebook so they only see things you’ve posted recently when they are on, you’ll understand why posting often isn’t likely to be bothersome at all. YOU are probably the only person who will see all of the updates.
I’m not suggesting that you post every hour. Three to five times per day seems to be about right for most travel professionals. Posting more often means you are giving people more opportunities to like, comment, and share your content. When they do, their friends will see it as well and you are likely to get new fans that way without even trying! My agency Facebook page typically gets 4 or 5 updates per day and most weeks we add between 20 and 30 fans per week without doing anything else.
Use the Facebook Page Plugin
Put your website to work for you in building your Facebook page! I see a lot of travel professionals including a little Facebook icon in their header or sidebar with a link to their Facebook page, but here’s the thing… when a potential client is on your website, you want them to stay there, not hop over to Facebook! Once they leave your website they are less likely to contact you to start planning a vacation because now they are watching videos of puppies playing with ice cubes or looking at photos their friend from college posted of her kids on the first day of school.
That’s why I love the Facebook Page Plugin! It ads a box onto your website that allows your potential clients to like your Facebook page without ever leaving your website. They click like right from within the box. Another great feature is that if they are logged in to Facebook on that computer or device and any of their friends like your page, they will see their friends profile photo and a note that “Suzy Smith and 16 other friends like this page.” If none of their friends have liked your page it will just say “2,500 people like this page” and display profile photos of random fans.
If your website was designed in WordPress, adding the Page Plugin couldn’t be simpler. Just search for “Facebook Page Plugin” in the plugin directory. There are several options to choose from but all are very easy to set up and activate. Here is a link to one of my favorites.
If your website is built on something other than WordPress, there are options for you, too. You can click here to visit Facebook’s developer page to find more information on how to add the plugin to your website.
Facebook can offer you a great opportunity to build relationships with new potential clients and further connect with existing clients. Continually growing your “fan base” on Facebook is a big part of any good social media strategy. I’d love to hear how these 3 strategies work for you in adding new fans to your Facebook page! Pop over to my page and leave me a comment to let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you!
Lori Hardegree is a social visibility expert with TheVisibilitySolution.com and is the creator of the Visibility Marketing System, a proven step-by-step program to show you exactly how to stop being the best kept secret in the travel industry and start attracting new clients easily and consistently. Click here to download a free copy of her “99 Ways to Attract New Clients” checklist and receive weekly marketing and visibility strategies right to your inbox!