How to create a real fan following on Facebook
WRITTEN BY: KELLY NOBLE, DIRECTOR AT STELLAR MEDIA MARKETING - [email protected]
The days of aiming to get 10,000 Facebook fans to sell more is over. Nowadays savvy companies are starting to realise it is better to have 500 dedicated and loyal fans than the 10,000 fans you paid for that really couldn’t care less about your brand, your service or your products. Numbers mean nothing if those people don’t really have an interest about what you are offering.
So what are the natural ways you can create a loyal following?
1. Go Mobile
According to findings made by comScore, 30 percent of smartphone users accessed social networks via mobile browsers and the trend is growing. The findings also showed that Facebook mobile browser usage was up 112 percent. You can see how important it is to start looking to mobile to help build your following. Here are two ways you can do this right now:
- Use QR Codes (also known as quick response codes) on your print material to encourage people to access your Facebook business page and “like” it. There are plenty of free resources to help you create a basic QR Code or you pay a little to have one fully customised QR Codewith your branding.
- Have fans text (SMS) to “like” your Facebook business page. It’s as simple as texting “Like YOURUSERNAME” to 32665 (FBOOK). This will automatically have the mobile user “like” your page.
2. Customise Your Welcome
Test by various Facebook business page owners have shown that the success rate of converting a visitor to a fan is over 50 percent when you welcome them with a custom page. Having a basic business page is no longer enough to stand out. With the new Facebook iFrame updates, page admins are now allowed to create customised landing pages within Facebook with basic coding and design rather then complicated FBML code. It is always good practice to have visitors land on a custom welcome taband update your Facebook page logo to stand out while you are at it.
3. Cover the Basics
When you first launch your Facebook business page there are some basic things you should do to get the word out:
- Include a link to your Facebook business page in your email signature.
- Include a link to the page in your next newsletter or e-blast.
- Have your Facebook business page URL on your business card.
- Ask your followers who already “Like” your page to share it with their friends.
- Add a Facebook Fan Box or a Linked Facebook Icon on your website.
Now that you know some of the key ways to grow the following of your Facebook business page, I will leave you with one last tip:
You know that you can automatically shorten your Facebook url by using www.fb.com/username rather than www.facebook.com/username. This will help you keep things simple when it comes to sharing your link in print and other sources.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”