(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 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 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.
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.