Growth hacks provide a way to respond to your readers and get them interested in your products or services. By using growth hacks in an intelligent way, you can do several things: increase your readership, improve social interaction and establish your page as the go-to center for your particular niche. Growth hacks require you to pay attention to your customer and devote some time to understanding your key demographics. Learn why people flock to your page, and ensure you write relevant updates to ensure that they keep coming back. Don’t attempt to target everyone. You can improve your relevance and increase your likes by isolating your niche audience. Understand before you begin that growth doesn’t occur in a linear progression. Real growth occurs by adding and losing people along the way, while continuing to add overall to your total user base. Three concepts determine your success — know what your base wants, the general location of the base, and how to speak to your base.
Technique 1: Call To Action
It may seem obvious upon realizing this simple fact, but your base needs to be told what to do. Upates that specifically request an action on the part of their base get a significantly higher response. Don’t just tell your base to do something, tell them how to do it. Rather than asking your base to sign up for your newsletter, use specific language to tell them where it is and how they can access it. Tell them why they should sign up and how joining the newsletter will benefit them. An example post might give an introductory statement to grab attention and then follow with a call to action.
An example call to action that includes incentive and reasoning might go something like this:
“Our website is exploding with new content, and we want to make sure you don’t miss a minute of the excitement! Subscribe to our newsletter today by providing us with your email address and name on our newsletter sign-up form. Start getting promotions, discounts and behind-the-scenes peeks straight to your inbox!”
That simple statement does several things. Your readers now know that your website has something new to explore, that you offer discounts and promotions, and that by signing up for your newsletter they can get discounts and promotions. Not only that, but the newsletter form doesn’t require a lot of information, and you only request an email address and name.
Technique 2: Be Exclusive
You don’t need to tell your base you are excluding them from certain posts, but Facebook offers the ability to target key demographics by showing your posts to users that meet specific criteria for a reason — targeting demographics works.
Targeting provides a way to work with users of differing ages, interests and locations. Don’t waste your time targeting users living in the United States, if your post only pertains to people that live in Bahrain. You’re going to lose the interest of people that don’t live in Bahrain. Use basic social skills and common sense when targeting your posts. Imagine having a conversation with several people at once that all have different backgrounds. You aren’t going to tell the person from Russia that you hate Russian food since it could offend them; instead, you’ll look for a topic that is more neutral and acceptable to the group at large. This is how you need to conceptualize your Facebook updates.
Pretend you are in a conversation and provide information that is relevant to a wide population of users, or use the tools provided by Facebook to exclude those that your post might not pertain to. Sure, it takes more time and you might leave out some people that might be interested in everything you have to say, but it also prevents the possibility of decreasing your base because of alienation.
Technique 3: Share to Win Prizes
Motivate your users, and give your base something to talk about. If you’re doing this for a hobby, you likely don’t have anything to give away. But, even a hobbyist has some goal in mind and wants to develop their page. Evaluate what you have to offer and give your base something to work to win by helping you expand your base.
Provide a caption contest, or better yet, something more creative that you think up on your own to bring in users. Perhaps state that if you get 1000 new fans by a certain deadline, the most liked comment on your page can get a free autographed poster, or a discount on services, or whatever else you have to offer. Perhaps simple public recognition of the user would provide enough motivation for people to participate. Whatever you do, keep in mind three basic goals — provide incentive, increase exposure and give a deadline for completion. Don’t cut corners on this, if you leave out any one of those goals, you aren’t providing your users with incentive to take action. If you are doing this right, you know what your users want, and you should be able to devise a contest to give it to them.
Technique 4: Don’t Be An Expert
The Internet is full of experts. Try something different, don’t tell people you are an expert, show them you are an expert. The term expert doesn’t care a whole lot of credence with people without action. Show your base what you can do. Amaze them with your ability to manifest. Awards and recognition are great, but nothing brings in users like a demonstration. Offer a video that lets your base see you and connect with you, show your base how to do something new, or provide a free digital product for subscribers to download.
Use the “Offer, Event, +” to provide your users with an offer to attend one of your courses, workshops or receive a product at a substantial discount. Provide the discount for a limited time and give a preview of your product or service in advance to get people interested in and aware of your product or service.
Technique 5: Promote Your Page Offline
This is probably the least used and most effective technique you can use to promote your page. There are likely several places around town where you can post flyers or advertise your services. Place your Facebook page URL on your personal or business cards and make sure to include a link to your page in all of your emails. You never know who might get an email with your page linked to the bottom of an email. Seek out other professionals in your field and ask them to endorse your page. You should always offer something in return, perhaps a kind work on your page, or the offer to provide some service to them.
Don’t just sit back and expect your page or post to go viral. Make your posts go viral by talking them up on your personal page and encouraging others to do the same. Of course, you need to be careful asking your friends to comment on your page. If you try and sell your personal contacts your product or service, you may strain some relationships and possibly even violate the Facebook Terms of Service. Remember, the goal isn’t to sell to your product or services to your friends and family, but to increase your base by incorporating your close contact-base with their contacts.
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