Image from David Shankbone via creativecommons.org
Its been a great practical experiment to implement and run the Facebook page for the college I work for.
We started the page in April of this year and with aggressive Facebook marketing and word of mouth, it has grown to 1200+ fans (I know they are not called fans anymore, but saying likers doesn’t sound right).
Now that we’ve reached a reasonable number of fans, what to do now? It’s not enough to say ‘we have X number of fans. We’ve arrived and now can relax’. What are we going to do? How are we going to engage our fans?
Your fans, followers, whatever you call them; they want to interact with you. They want to be engaged. Following an organization on Facebook (or Twitter or whatever) and not being engaged or having interaction with the organization is like being invited to a party by a friend and then being completely ignored. The fact that you have a Facebook, Twitter or whatever space on a social network is the invitation. You have to be to engage them.
Here are some ways that we reached out to our friends on Facebook.
Anyone who has done usability testing know how difficult recruiting participants can be. We turned our attention to our Facebook friends. Here is a perfect opportunity for them to be engaged, provide their feedback and have their voices heard. We also threw in a small incentive to sweeten the deal. Within two days of putting the call out on our wall, we have 20 names of people willing to help us out.
Recruiting for any initative is a time consuming process. But again Facebook saved the day. We were scheduling some photo shoots for new website photos and needed local people to participate. Within a few days of the call on our Facebook page, we had around 10 people volunteering to help us out.
Here is one thing to know: your social network friends/followers follow you for a reason. They like you. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Just don’t become “that friend” who is always asking for help. Make sure to stagger the requests and at times reward your friends for their help.