If you have a business page on Facebook, you know how frustrating it can be to wait for your number of fans to grow, especially if your competitors have hundreds of fans compared to your dozen or so.
Getting Facebook fans takes more than just building a fan page, suggesting it to a few friends, and hoping for the best. It takes time, and it takes work. Start by letting your current Facebook friends know about your page (through a post on your main profile) and then send invitations to those who might be especially interested. Encourage your early fans to invite anyone they know who might be interested.
Use Facebook's advertisement program to seek out interested fans. Through their ad program, you can designate who will be seeing your ads with incredible accuracy. You can choose location, age, gender, and other details that will help place your ads in front of people who will be actively interested in what your business offers. Create various editions of the ad (different pictures, copy, ect.) so that it can be tested for effectiveness. You'll be able to see which ads are working best through their analytics program.
Post pictures of your work or sold products on your Facebook page. If you do personalized work, tag your customers in the picture of what you made for them. The picture will be posted to their profile, showing their friends what they purchased from you. Those friends may also be interested in your work and can join as fans.
Put Facebook on your website. Create a Facebook Fan Box to place on your website. This can go right into your sidebar, showing your most recent status message, your current number of fans, and profile photos of your current fans. You can also integrate Facebook into your site, giving visitors a chance to "like" web pages, comment on blog posts right through their Facebook profile, or share your content on their Facebook profile.
Stay active. Post regular updates on your Facebook page to keep fans interested. Engage them through asking questions and encouraging conversation. Fans are more likely to recommend Facebook pages that they enjoy being a part of. Additionally, as your fans interact with your business page, it will show up on their profile, helping to spread the word about your page.
Finally, create a landing page for your Facebook page. You can do this through FBML on a new tab page (using Static FBML), and then set this as the page that visitors that are not yet fans see first (through settings). This doesn't have to be anything fancy, but it should have information about what your business does, what people can expect from your fan site, and encouragement to click the "like" button to join the page. You can also choose to hide your wall from anyone who isn't a fan, providing further incentive to join.
It will still take time to build a significant group of Facebook fans for your business page, but these tips can help you to reach your fan goals much sooner than it may have taken otherwise. Interested in building up your Twitter followers, too? Make sure you watch for next week's post, featuring the techniques you can use for creating a larger following for your business on Twitter, part two of our four part Social Media for Small Business Owners series.