How to increase your Facebook Fans – Part 2

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Have you just set up a Facebook page and are wondering how to grow your fan base? Or perhaps your fan numbers just don’t seem to be growing and you’re wondering how to increase numbers.

(Word of warning – this is a long post so do pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea before you go any further!)

My previous post on growing facebook fan numbers explored some general tips.  In this post I am going to look at the effectiveness of using some of the new ‘silent tagging’ and ‘marching’ methods that you may have spotted over on Facebook already.  I have used them for my established Facebook page for Garrendenny Lane and my new facebook page called Wallpaper Review and will share my conclusions with you.

What are Silent Tagging and Marching?

Marching

Marching is joining in with one of the Send in the Troops pages on facebook, there seems to be a general SITT page and Send in the Troops pages for different areas such as Southern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and more.  The idea is that you register your interest to ‘march’ in the hour preceding the march by using your personal profile to provide details of your business page. So for example, using my personal page Lorna Sixsmith, I would write in the comment box @GarrendennyLaneInteriors and by placing the @ in front of the name of my business page, a link is provided automatically.

(Each page has designated marches on different days at set times. 9pm seems to be a popular time).

The ‘Sarge’ then nominates 30 business pages and the idea is that everyone following along visits each page, likes each page and leave a comment on each page such as ‘marching along with SITT from @GarrendennyLaneInteriors’ so the person owning that page might return the like to your page.  If you are already a fan of that page, you show your presence by comment ‘AAF’ which means ‘already a fan’.

It is really luck as to whether your page is called or not. If it is, you should not apply to be ‘marched on’ for 2 weeks although you are expected to log in and like others pages.  I have found that I have got approximately 40 new fans the two times that I was ‘marched on’.

It is exhausting by the way, especially if you have rather slow rural broadband like I have. At one stage, I had facebook open on 3 browsers trying to catch up!

Silent Tagging

Silent Tagging is similar but a lot easier! You need to like the Silent Tagging Fan Page and just keep an eye on it as there doesn’t seem to be any set times for these.  Periodically it is announced that a ‘Stroll’ will happen which is very similar to the marching (I haven’t taken part in any of these but they seem to work exactly the same).

This page seems to have tagging sessions regularly. A tagging session is announced, you have to tag the Silent Tagging page on your own business page first, then leave a comment with your personal page, by adding a link to your business page. The idea is that everyone in the list  likes everyone else’s page although judging by some comments, this doesn’t necessarily happen. Numbers of comments can vary from 20 to over 200 depending on the time of day. You are allowed to add up to 2 business pages in one list.

I decided to try and target those who would be interested in my product hence when I linked to my Wallpaper Review page, I added ‘do like if you like wallpaper’, to try and get those who were genuinely interested in my page.

You don’t have to visit each page and write a comment on it with this ‘game’. You simply place your mouse over the link and a little box will pop up, you click the ‘like’ in the box which means you have liked the page and then click like under the comment. As you can see above, I have only received 3 likes on this occasion (earlier this afternoon) which suggests I probably got 3 news fans.

This page also does a game called Bingo, I haven’t participated in it and have no idea how it works but again, the idea is the same – to get you more fans.

Fan Chain Mail

This is organised by a page called Like 2 Like and to be honest, this one is my preferred method. They seem to happen quite often during the day, similar to the silent tagging above in that you have to tag from your own page, then comment using your personal page and tagging your business page, adding the number of current fans so they can see how well you are doing. They ask that you like the 10 pages above and below your place in the list although you can like more if you wish. Therefore you should be getting 20 new likes (unless some of them like you already) and I’ve found that I usually get between 10-15 each time I’ve used this method.

Are you still with me?? Well done, now that I have explained how they work, I’ll go on to share my thoughts on them.

Why would I use these?

Well, it is an effective way of growing your facebook numbers. My Garrendenny Lane page has increased in number by about 250 and my Wallpaper Review page by about 100 (after 2 marches and 4 silent tags/chain mails using Garrendenny Lane and about 5 or 6 silent tags/chain mails for Wallpaper Review).

Do people unlike you afterwards?

I have seen people complaining that it happens but to be honest, I haven’t noticed it happening significantly on my pages. I did  unlike one page after a march, simply because her updates filled my newsfeed the next morning which shows that updating too often is not necessarily a good thing.

But are you liking pages you are interested in?

Well, there seems to be a lot of ‘slimming wrap’ and jewellery pages out there! I have to admit that I wouldn’t necessarily have liked these pages ordinarily. But having said that, their updates are not tending to show up in my newsfeed.

Doesn’t your business and profile page become rather cluttered with people commenting on them?

Yes, but I tend to go to my business page about half an hour after the ‘march’ is finished, and click on this little button to the top right of the update and then click hide. Then if people visit your page, it still looks as professional as ever. You can do the same on your personal page.

Do these extra numbers mean more interaction and ultimately more sales?

That is the question, the most important question and to be honest, I am doubtful. As I said above, I am not noticing many updates from new pages I’ve liked in my news feeds. Facebook is making a lot of changes this week and one of them seems to be that you can choose what pages/friends updates you want featured in your top news by clicking on the little diagonal blue corner to the top left of an update you like, hence, there may be less chance of these ‘new likes’ showing up.

Amanda from Spiderworking recently wrote a post entitled The Real Numbers game in which she argues that sharing good content and building relationships is what leads to successful Facebook pages (and other social media platforms). It is interaction that will encourage people to become your clients.

I have noticed that the number of interactions on my updates seem to have decreased lately. Now, it may be coincidence but I wonder if the surge in fans has caused Facebook to somehow decide that something strange is going on and not feature my page in ‘top news’ for some of my fans.

My Conclusions

Well, it is a much cheaper way of getting fans than paying for advertising or paying for numbers of fans but to get results, you need to engage with some of the pages you have liked (by writing a genuinely interested comment on their page) and then they will engage with you on your page. The thing is I’m not remotely interested in slimming wraps or restaurants in America for example so for them, there is no value in having me as a fan. Having said that, I have engaged with a couple of complimentary businesses and have even become friends with one of them!

You will get more fans but it is difficult to reach those people who are genuinely interested in your product or service.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this (if you have managed to read all the way to the bottom!) and if you have any questions, do ask.

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Posted in Facebook, Tips
  • http://www.thesecretgardener.com Brian Paterson

    As you know Lorna, I joined you having seen The Silent Tagging Fan Page in your facebook newsfeed. Being the inquisitive soul that I am I jumped in feet first and found myself liking lots of pages without any return. When the next tagging session was announced I ensured I read the rules first and on this occasion I did gain a number of new likes however on looking at the insights for my page I would say I have lost nearly half of the number of gains within the following week.

    Of the pages I liked a large number were American photographers, cupcakes makers and other small crafters. The majority of them were pages I would not have selected to ‘like’ ordinarily and like you I ended up hiding the pages feed.

    I am quite happy to have a smaller number of likes who really engage on the page, rather than have larger numbers of likes and less engagement so for that reason I shall be avoiding any tagging or marches and will happily plod along here at The Secret Garden.

    • http://ouradoptivejourney.wordpress.com Lorna

      Hi Brian, I kept on eye on whether my likes were decreasing again the day after doing a march or a tag and I discovered they stayed constant but I have noticed the interactions have decreased in terms of ratio to likes so I am totally in agreement with you – I would prefer to have quality likes, likes from those who are interested in my page so yes, I’ll be stopping the research now! I found it interesting though, and goodness, there are a lot of photographers and crafters isn’t there?! Many thanks for commenting and hope you have a lovely weekend, Lorna

  • Noeleen Leahy (@noeleenleahy)

    Lorna,

    I never knew anything about this silent tagging etc until I read your post. I found it all very interesting. I have forwarded your post on to a few friends who have their own business. I must admit I hope they don’t get bombarded with unnecessary traffic to their pages should they decide to try it out.

    This activity might be good for musicians etc and would definitely appeal to the younger generation on FB. I can see this being useful for school TY Mini Companies as well who set up their own FB pages. In a lot of the competitions today, the judges are interested in how the students promote their ‘business’ and social media has played an increasing role in recent years.
    I must introduce silent tagging to my students! :)

    • http://ouradoptivejourney.wordpress.com Lorna

      Hi Noeleen
      Once you find one of them, there seems to be so many more of the same kind of thing. I’m glad to hear that some people might find it useful as the descriptions of how to do it turned out to be so long! It is certainly a good way to increase the numbers of fans, the disadvantage is you end up liking so many pages that you would not be ordinarily interested in. Whether the numbers (achieved by this means) convert to business though, is the big question and I’m not convinced that they will but I would love to hear some opinions from your friends and students if they try it out. If you have any more questions, do come back to me,
      Regards, Lorna

  • http://www.WiseWords.ie Móna Wise

    Excellent post Lorna. You have explained the different methods so wewll. I think that the interactions with the fans and readers is the best way to go – for me anyway. I did try the silent tagging but ended up having to hide a lot of the sites I ‘liked’ and think that those that liked my page might be doing the same. I also found sending a personal message to a select number of FB friends and asking them to share my page with friends helped – A LOT…

    • http://ouradoptivejourney.wordpress.com Lorna

      Hi Mona, Yes, I looked at some of those methods in my first post and agree with you, especially if you do have a lot of friends on facebook. Once they know about your page, they do tend to flock over and ‘like’ it

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