“We’re finding Facebook to be less and less of interest to us because of the way they changed their algorithms for how our posts work…we found out that without paying for their marketing program, it doesn’t work for us.”
Like many small business owners, Chris Iousa is wondering if it’s time to call it quits on Facebook.
Chris has put in the work to grow his Facebook following to over a thousand fans. He regularly posts updates about brunch specials, new craft beers, and open mic nights at his café.
But recently, his posts have been reaching fewer fans than ever before.
Is Facebook still worth his time?
Despite the decrease in organic reach, Facebook is one of the best ways to make a great first impression on potential customers.
When someone new searches for Chris’s café online, his Facebook Page serves as a visible online community, fully equipped with photos, business information, and a look at how the café communicates with its customer base.
But what about reaching existing customers?
When sites like Facebook make changes that limit your ability to reach your audience, you want to make sure you have another way to reach them directly.
That’s why it’s important to move your relationships beyond social media and encourage fans and followers to join your email list.
Email marketing gives you the power to reach your contacts on your own terms. You can determine which contacts to target with a message and track your results to see which contacts are engaging with your content.
So, how do you get people to take the next step and join your email list?
Here are nine simple strategies to try out:
1. Put a sign-up form on your Facebook Page
By adding the Join My Mailing List App, you can collect email addresses easily and they will automatically be added to your list within your Constant Contact account.
It only takes a minute to connect it to your Business Page, and you can customize the form with your logo and a quick introduction to let your audience know what they’ll receive.
2. Make it the theme of your cover photo
Your cover photo is right at the top of your Page, and will often be the first thing people will see. You can use this space to create an image that calls out your email newsletter.
Start with one of these 15 ideas for your cover photo, and then add some text to let fans know they can stay in touch through email as well.
Check out this example from marketing expert, Jon Loomer, who offers a free guide in exchange for an email address. His cover photo provides a URL where fans can get the guide and also includes an arrow to a direct link.
3. Use the Facebook Call to Action Button
Last year, Facebook announced the call-to-action feature. This button appears right next to the “Like” button on your cover photo and is another great way to encourage email sign-ups.
Add the “Sign Up” button and link to your online sign-up form so your Facebook visitors can join your mailing list easily.
Here’s how Rebecca Coleman uses the call-to-action button to promote her “Blogging Mastery Tips” newsletter:
4. Run a contest
Give Facebook fans an incentive to share their email address by running a contest on Facebook.
Start by choosing a product, service, or opportunity you can give away — this could be anything from a coupon, gift basket, or free ticket to an upcoming event.
Then, make it easy for your fans to enter. You can simply collect names and email addresses to choose a winner at random, or ask your fans to provide an entry relevant to your business.
For example, a pet shop could run a photo contest and ask for photo entries for the “cutest pup.” You can even ask your audience to help you choose a winner by posting the photos and asking fans to cast their vote.
Here’s a look at how Door County Coffee & Tea ran a Facebook contest over the holidays:
5. Offer exclusive content
If your business doesn’t have a product to give away, think about what exclusive content you can offer instead.
Anything from a downloadable guide on cloud computing to a link to a top secret recipe could be just the incentive your audience needs to give you their contact information.
Here’s a great example from Donna Moritz of Socially Sorted. She offers a guide on visual content in exchange for contact information.
6. Host an event
Whether you hold an event at your business or host an online webinar, an event is a great way to connect with your audience.
Make sure you’re collecting email addresses during the registration process.
Here’s how Cynthia Sanchez from Oh So Pinteresting promotes a webinar though her Facebook Page.
7. Share your newsletters
What better way to convince your Facebook fans to sign up for your list than to show them what your mailings actually look like?
With Constant Contact’s Social Share, you can share your email newsletters on your social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Be sure to customize the caption and provide a link to your sign-up page to encourage your fans to subscribe to receive all your future messages.
Brandon Stewart promotes his monthly newsletter, where Facebook fans can share it with their own audience.
8. Promote text to join
A large portion of your Facebook’s user base will be accessing your Page through a mobile device. While they’re on their smartphones already, let them know how they can join your list by sending a quick text.
Here’s how Lewisburg’s Downtown Partnership collected over 100 new email sign-ups in just two days.
9. Run a Facebook ad
You don’t have to pay to promote everything you share on Facebook, but if you’re selective and promote posts that will drive action for your business you can see some great results. Try promoting an email and including an easy way for fans to sign up — make sure you’re taking advantage of the Facebook ad targeting features so you know you’re reaching the right audience.
Here’s how The ALS Association promoted an email invitation to their fundraiser.
Stop spinning your wheels on Facebook
If you’re wondering how Facebook can have a bigger impact on your business, make sure you’re giving your fans additional ways to connect with you through email.
Pick two of these tips and try them out for your business today!
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