Since 2002, Chad H. Pollitt has played an integral role in designing, developing, deploying, executing and tracking robust web marketing strategies for over 100 client companies and organizations and is an internet marketing expert. †He holds a BS in Entrepreneurship from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and an Internet Marketing Masters Certification from the University of San Franciscoís prestigious School of Business and Management.

Isn’t building a loyal Army of fans the goal of every Social Media Campaign?† Yes and no. . .† Ultimately, the goal is to grow sales, lead generation, solicit donations, etc., but social media conversion is still in its infancy.† It’s not like an ecommerce site or a company’s website that uses calls-to-action (CTAs) and unique value propositions (UVPs) to generate leads or convert visitors. †New Facebook apps like Digital Hill’s TabSite is leading the way in social media conversion technology by allowing fan pages to use CTAs and UVPs to funnel visitors to a desired action.

Since †direct customer acquisition and lead generation is still in its infancy in social media, one very simple and important metric to consider is number of fans.† Whether you’re a brand, offering a product or service, non-profit, political campaign, etc., if you use social media as one of your marketing channels you’re attempting to build the biggest fan base possible while encouraging, creating and controlling the virtual conversation through engagement on the social media platform.† Facebook, in most cases, is the best way to create an online community for your fans to socialize and communicate about your product, service, etc.† Nothing brings people together faster than uniting them around a cause or a new product or service that will add value to their life.

Below are 13 ways you can rally the troops and build a loyal Army of Facebook Fans:

1.† Focus On What Matters

People only go to the internet for two reasons.† To solve a problem or be entertained.† Most businesses are in the business of solving problem.† If people “Like” your brand they are doing it to align their personal brand with yours, vouch for your product or service, solve their problems or potential problems, or be entertained.† Regardless of why they’re your fan make sure you focus on what matters to them.

2. Create Networks

Lobby Facebook for your own company or brand network that your employees can join. As far as I can tell, Facebook only requires an email address to associate with that network. The more employees a company has in the network, the more influence and reach that network will have.

3.† Building Rituals

It is very important to establish routines in order to develop your fan’s expectations for future engagement.† Rituals should help build a sense of online community by offering regular give-a-ways, coupons, blog posts, etc.

4. Connect Your Blog

If “Content is King” and “Backlinks are Queen” then Blogs are Gods. I recommend to all of my clients to let their Blog power their Social Media campaigns. Through the use of the TabSite or NetworkedBlogs’ Facebook app it’s never been easier to connect your blog to your Facebook Business Page.

5. Offer Unique Value

Why should someone “Like” your Facebook Business page? If you offer your prospective fans something of perceived value they’re much more likely to become a fan. Through numerous Facebook apps you can give away coupons, whitepapers, ebooks, etc. Here’s one of my favorites:

6.† Define the conversation

Since you control the platform, you control the conversation.† Not only can you make the initial engagement, but you can jump in your community members conversations as well.† If a post can be construed as negative you’ll have the ability to delete it.† You can show wall posts only after you’ve approved them.† Keep in mind though, not all negative conversations are bad.† When the iPod first came out it received horrible reviews for being easily scratched.† Apple turned that around by selling millions of cases!

7. Promote Your Brand and Company Through Engagement

Organizations can engage their fans or prospective fans through quizzes, contests, virtual gifts, games and many more. Large brands such as Honda and Outback Steakhouse are two good examples of deployment success. Engagement can be done utilizing dozens of free Facebook apps or through custom development (shameless plug, call me). Below is one of the more popular free apps:

8.† Develop Loyal Lieutenants

Why not reward some of your most vocal fans and supporters with a bigger role in your fan page content creation?† Offer to post their blog article or video to Facebook.† They will not only appreciate the engagement and new status as a fan, but will become a bigger cheerleader of your brand.† †

9. Create Custom Tabs

Every organization is unique in their own way and not all “ready-made apps” can effectively communicate this message. Restaurants may want to lay out their menu, Real Estate Agencies may want to present pictures and contact information for all of their Realtors and manufacturers may want a custom “About Us” page. The above can easily be achieved through the development of a custom tab utilizing Facebook TabSite. This should help get you started:

10. Leverage the Wall Feed: Go Viral!

Wall feeds are the first thing your fans see when they log in. If you compel them to “Like” or engage with your post, all of their friends will be notified and may follow suite (hence, going viral). Compelling content should only require a little extra effort when planning out your post or maybe even some humor.

11. Get Your Vanity URL

Once your Facebook Business page acquires 25 fans you can create a unique Facebook URL (ex. This will allow you to market your Facebook Business page offline. For the last six weeks Honda has been running television ads sending people to their branded Facebook page via a vanity URL.

Creating a vanity URL that is keyword heavy is worth considering too. If you’re a Chicago plumber you may want to consider Google may find your content relevant enough to put your Facebook Business page on the first page for the search “Chicago Plumber.” Even if your company website is on the first page of Google, having your Facebook Business page on the first page of Google will increase the likelihood of your company getting a click-through while simultaneously taking away a link from one of your competitors.

12. Facebook Advertising (PPC or PPV)

Facebook allows you to advertise a website, business page, group or event. I always recommend the Pay Per Click option over the Pay Per View. Facebook advertising also allows you to market to a specific geography, gender, age, keywords, education level and more. Compared to Google Adwords, Facebook Advertising is much more targeted.

13. Track Analytics Using Facebook Insights

With Facebook Insights you can get detailed data on your fan page visitors.  You’ll know what demographics are visiting your page.  If you couple this with Google Analytics on your website you will have two very powerful tools that enable you to monitor your campaigns.