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Competing with the Felines of Facebook: How to Initially Get Fans on Social Media

October 23rd, 2013 by

Felines of FacebookSmall business owners recognize the role social media can play in their business’ development plan, but most fall short of fully capitalizing on its potential. They have seen how many companies have used Facebook to reach new customers. When they, themselves, try to promote anything on social media, though, it is only an exercise in frustration. Despite the hours that are poured into creating a piece that is unique, engaging and informative, a ridiculous video of someone’s cat is what people are watching – and it’s not even a cute cat!

This post is dedicated to those small business owners, who work tirelessly on their venture yet are outdone by felines on Facebook. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to start a small business using social media, specifically Facebook. It has two assumptions. First, there are no cats on your staff. (If you do have any felines on the payroll, just take their picture – and hire a good accountant, as we are not familiar with feline payroll tax law). Second, there is no capital available for a social media campaign. This process is designed to be completed without spending a dime.

Step 1: Creating the Cat

Since you don’t have any cats on your staff, you have to create something that will be just as popular. It is difficult to outdo the cuteness of cats, so your best bet is to create something that is highly informative, useful or unique.

This must be the best piece of its kind on the web. Researching and creating this piece should take you at least a few days, perhaps even a few weeks. The time invested, though, will be well spent.

Here are some unique ideas that could become more popular than the latest cat video:

An original infographic that describes a fast-food worker’s day

A map detailing where the legends of the Wild West lived and traveled

A list of 45 resources for theology students

This last example shows that creativity, design skills and in-depth research are not needed to “create the cat.” This is simply a list of resources on the web that are most used by theology students. Rather than searching for each source individually, though, they can simply bookmark this page. Anyone can make a list like this for their industry.

Step 2: Find Cat Lovers

The piece you create will only appeal to a specific audience, your “cat lovers.” Look for 200 organizations – not people – on Facebook that might want to share your piece of content with their fans.

Once you have a list of 200 organizations on Facebook, share this piece of content with each one. Either post it on their wall or send the administrator a private message asking them to post it. It is important to do this as quickly as possible, before you actually have any fans, so your initial fans’ newsfeeds are not spammed with your posts. (This is not spamming, as long as the piece is genuinely relevant to the organization.)

Step 3: Contact Friends and Family

As soon as you finish contacting those 200 organizations, send an invitation to all your Facebook friends. Hopefully 5 to 20 will like your page, thus creating the allusion that your business’s page is slightly popular. Anyone who visits the page from your work in Step 2 will be more apt to like it if there are a few fans already.

Step 4: Begin Building Relationships

People who like your business’s page are “cat lovers.” Send them a private message saying “thank you.” (This should include nothing except “thank you.”) Fostering these relationships in your industry will give you the core mass needed to begin competing with the felines on Facebook.

After following these steps, you should have a foundation of fans, anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred. You are now ready to begin growing your business’s Facebook presence. If you foster those relationships, soon you should be seeing your business’s pieces alongside the cat videos of Facebook, which is the definition of success on social media.

Scott B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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