Converting Friends into Fans

I like the idea of having clients as Friends, it is the way social media is designed to work as a marketing tool.  People like doing business with friends or at least people they are friendly with. Combine that with the limited functionality of the Facebook business page and it is easy to give up on gathering fans altogether (I know I did for a long time).  Business pages on Facebook give you the opportunity to really screw up, which is why so many business people use them.  You can fall back on what you know, being an advertiser, blasting one marketing message after another about your sale, event, grand Pooba Session, ETC.  This labels you as a spammer and makes the masses wish they never became a fan in the first place.

There are many ways to increase the fans of your business page from the friends on your personal/professional profile page, but you must see the benefit in it to actual take the steps necessary.  For me there are two major benefits of having fans, first of all, a large number of fans makes your business look better on Facebook, but everyone has to start somewhere and if you follow some of these ideas your number of fans will grow.  The second benefit of fans, is that your studio is posted on their profile page for everyone to see, including other photographers trolling for fans and friends.  Most photographers won’t take the time to send a friend request to a person who is already a fan of another studio, where if they were just friends, they might.

To increase the number of fans from your friends, start doing most of your posts to your clients on your business page (that are appropriate to post on a business page), then share them on your personal profile by clicking on the “share” button under the box of the post.  This will create a little “shared from Susan Jones Photography (or whatever the little links says!).  This encourages friends to click on the link and visit your business page.  While this doesn’t ensure they will become a fan, it gets visitors to your business page.  Make sure your business page has different images, videos and information than your profile page so there is a reason to visit the business page in the first place.

You can send requests to become fans to your profile friends, which might work if you have your friends categorized well into friends who have done business with you in the past, as opposed to friends that may someday be a client.  People that are friends who haven’t done business with your before or had no or very little interaction will feel that your fan request is a little premature and could categorize you as a spammer.

One technique we sometimes use is Fan Drives.  We select a day to have giveaway drawings to our fans. This week it is $15 iTunes gift card giveaway on Saturday.  We have ads running on Facebook to all seniors to become a fan of our studio for this event.  The response has been good.  So for 4  iTunes cards at Costco $55 and $10 worth of pay-per-click I anticipate adding 200 fans.  The same thing can be done with discounts on sessions, discounts or free products from other vendors, whatever you can get for free or cheaply that your target market will see value in.

Having a robust business page on Facebook does require more work and time, but as more photographers use Facebook for advertising it can help identify your clients to help keep Trollers away and keep your studio’s name on the profile page of every fan.

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~ by jeffsmithbooks on February 24, 2010.

2 Responses to “Converting Friends into Fans”

  1. Great tips! Thanks for posting. I didn’t know about the share tip and already tried it.

    When you do a Fan Drive, you just do a random draw from all the new fans added?

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