Don’t get too hung up on numbers at the beginning. It takes persistence and patience to grow an audience, but if you continue to post useful and interesting content you will attract more readers.
- use search and people browser to find other people, pages and groups. If appropriate, leave links in other pages and groups with a polite note like ‘I thought you might be interested in my page’ – it’s important to only do this where people are really likely to be interested or you may be accused of being a spammer. A less obtrusive way, if you’re running a page, is to ‘like’ other pages and share other people’s links.
- promote on paper as well: as many posters as you can afford for noticeboards and cut-out slips for meetings. You can get free runs of promotional items from Vistaprint, or perhaps approach a local printing firm for a small sponsored run once you run out of ink
- encourage contributors, especially at the beginning by thanking them for commenting and responding to what they say. Reposts of questions (without people’s full names) for people who may feel too shy to post is also a great way of building up the conversation (see the Horsham page)
- when you can, create a memorable address. When you have a certain number of members, Facebook should give you the option to choose a URL in the page or group’s Settings. Otherwise, link from a page on your blog. A URL with lots of numbers is likely to be mistyped.
- collect email addresses and send periodic updates to everyone in your group about new content to remind them to keep visiting
- curate the best parts of your group or page into news stories or blog posts. Quotes give a flavour of the conversation and help newcomers to catch up on the conversations
- ask if you can talk about the group or page to real-life groups in your area. When people know who you are and can see what you’re talking about, they’re much more likely to get involved.
Do you have any more tips or examples of what has worked for you? If so, please leave a comment.