Finding and Engaging Your Brand Evangels on Facebook
One of the hardest things to do when building a social media strategy is deciding how you’re going to engage influencers and brand evangels in your industry. I’ve put together a technique for easily finding people that are already publicizing your brand to their friends on Facebook. I’ll first outline the how to do it, and then why it works. Finally, I’ll explain when it can be useful.
Understanding the How and Why
The beauty of Facebook is that it gives you a way to advertise to users based on what they have in their profile. I know I said before that social network advertising is a waste, and it is if you’re trying to push conversions. However, for community building within Facebook, advertising can help build fans to a Facebook page and can be a great way to find and engage people that already love your brand.
You’ll want to first setup Facebook advertising on your account. Once you do that, your Facebook Homepage sidebar will look like this.
The “Ads and Pages” is what interests us.
Create a page about your product, brand, or service, since you’ll need somewhere to send users (check out the fan page for Left the Box). Once you have your page setup to how you like it, go back to the “Ads and Pages” section of Facebook.
This time we’ll be setting up an ad to drive traffic to our fan page. We won’t just drive anyone to our page, instead with Facebook’s interface and the option to only advertise to specific users with targeted keywords in their profile, we can advertise to only our biggest fans. For example, consider if Sony wanted to find only those that love Sony products. They’d simply create an ad that targets only users with the keyword Sony in their profile.
The flaw with this method is that you’re not ranking the members based on how important they are, or how influential they are. The hope is that of those that love you, a few will be influencers. Since all are brand evangels though, (why else would they advertise your brand name in their Facebook profile?) you’re able to target those most likely to join and share your community site.
When It Can Be Useful
The best time to use this strategy is when you’re trying to build a community, whether it be on Facebook, your blog, or any other social media site. Laying the foundation with consumers that love your brand and are willing to talk about you is the best way to help your community go viral.
What other ways have you seen used to create an initial following on Facebook? What have you leveraged to increase and engage people on social media sites?