Larry BraunerI have already written List Building Using Ning Social Networks and List Building Using Twitter. I will want to revisit Ning and Twitter in the future. However, in this article I discuss the use of Facebook for building your list.

As explained in List Building Paradigm Shift, list building in today’s social media world is the process of acquiring and nurturing a rich and heterogeneous following across diverse platforms which include Rolodex, autoresponders, social networking sites and RSS feeds.

On Facebook, friends, page fans and NetworkedBlogs followers, all belong to your list, and all receive communications from you in one form or another.

If Facebook would enable you to have an unlimited number of friends, you could probably get along without fans and NetworkedBlogs followers. However, Facebook models itself after the real world and therefore limits you to 5,000 friends, presumably the exact size of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Rolodex.

Facebook does enable you to have any number of fans and followers. List building  on Facebook consists of acquiring and nurturing friends, fans and NetworkedBlogs followers belonging to your target audience.

Acquiring Friends

I covered a technique for targeting and connecting with friends on Facebook in Targeting and Connecting on the Top Business Networking Sites.

You find members of groups, fans of Facebook pages, and blog followers on NetworkedBlogs, all of which you consider relevant to your target audience, and you invite those members people — in a congenial manner, of course — to connect with you.

The more friends you have, the more your content is displayed to their visitors helping you get even more friends and followers.

Acquiring Fans

These are a few of the many ways to acquire fans for your Facebook page:

  • Place a Fan Box widget on your website or blog, so that your visitors can become fans with one click.
  • Post a message on your website or blog requesting that your visitors become fans.
  • Ask your Facebook friends to become fans. There is a “Suggest to Friends” link on your Facebook page.
  • Place advertisements, but take care to adhere to the Facebook guidelines for advertising fan pages.
  • Post outstanding content on your Facebook page that will spread virally on Facebook and attract new fans.

Acquiring NetworkedBlogs Followers

NetworkedBlogs is a Facebook application to promote your blog and acquire Facebook followers and blog subscribers.

Here are some ways in which I acquire NetworkedBlogs followers for my Online Social Networking blog:

  • I have a NetworkedBlogs widget on my blog’s sidebar.
  • I ask people on my blog, Facebook and other social networking sites to follow me.
  • I try to write useful articles so that friends of my Facebook friends and followers will start following me.

A Special Request

Please subscribe to my blog and follow it on NetworkedBlogs. I’ll do my best to write useful articles that you’ll enjoy, and to reply to your comments promptly and helpfully. :-)

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed or by e-mail. Visit my About, Services, Media Buzz and Connect pages to learn about Building Your Audience and Brand on the Web. See also my Disclosure Policy regarding affiliations and compensation.

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23 Responses to “List Building Using Facebook”

  1. I.C. Jackson on September 3rd, 2009 12:37 am

    This is an excellent Facebook strategy! I have been an avid user for a while, but I still learned something new from this post.

    I will definitely be using this approach as I build my newest blogs :-)

  2. Roschell on September 3rd, 2009 4:09 am

    As always…really good information. I enjoy visiting your blog

  3. Ronald Redito on September 3rd, 2009 7:53 am

    Great! I’m now implementing these techniques to increase my followers.

  4. Jennifer Kettlewell on September 3rd, 2009 9:23 am

    Your comment that building a list in today’s online world is more like “acquiring and nurturing a rich and heterogeneous following across diverse platforms,” is right on.

    This is an excellent article with a lot of insight. I find that I struggle with using many of the widgets as I find them cluttering to a blog. To me it seems to be a fine balance of connecting the dots for readers of where else they can find you and connect with you and keeping a blog that is clean and flows well.

    Thank you for your thoughts on list building with Facebook!

  5. Steve on September 3rd, 2009 9:38 am

    Larry, thanks for the great information on list building. As always, your blog is so helpful for those us in this brave new (?) Web 2.0 world.

  6. Deana on September 3rd, 2009 1:01 pm

    Larry: Thank you so much for the advice and tips. There’s always something to learn in social media and you’ve spelled it out in an easy-to-understand way.

  7. Teasastips on September 3rd, 2009 7:24 pm

    Thanks Larry, again you have shown over and above why your content is everlasting. This is helpful as I have just developed a fan page on Facebook and it has already began earning money for me. Thank you for the added relevant ways to connect with my fan base.

  8. Debbie Morgan on September 4th, 2009 12:54 am

    Good advice, Larry. It’s very important not to be spammy and offer free information that they can use. Thanks, Larry.

  9. mytheory on September 4th, 2009 10:31 am

    This is the first time I’m visiting and reading an article from this site. I’m interested for your coming articles.

    This article give me the inspiration to grow my blog traffic using Facebook. Before I read this article, I didn’t want to link my blog to my Facebook account.

    Thanx Larry.

  10. Larry Brauner on September 4th, 2009 10:40 am

    I thank you all for your feedback and input.

    While the details in the article are important, I believe that the concepts and their impact on social marketing are even more important.

  11. @mattstratton on September 4th, 2009 11:15 am

    Wow, this is a VERY comprehensive approach to taking Facebook to “the next level”. It’s been a fine line to determine how to promote my blog via Facebook at the expense of annoying my family at the same time :)

    Networked Blogs has been interesting for me - I’ve got a fair number of follower through that, but I have had a bit of a tough time determining the quality of those followers. It’s a lot easier for me when I simply “share” links to content in my main Facebook feed, as I can see the conversions based upon analytics.

    Oh, and I’m following you now on Networked Blogs :)

  12. Larry Brauner on September 4th, 2009 12:59 pm

    Admittedly, some things such as Twitter traffic are hard to track. When I worked for IDT Corporation in telecom, many of our sales were untrackable, and we were forced to make the best assumptions we could.

    I would not let the inability to track something precisely deter me from trying it.

    Building a following should be one of your primary objectives. Fan pages and NetworkedBlogs are Facebook tools for accomplishing that.

    Hopefully some time soon, I’ll write about how I track autoresponder and RSS subscriptions to my blog.

  13. Will McCulloch on September 7th, 2009 2:51 pm

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for this - promoting more through Facebook is definitely pretty high on my “things-to-do” priority list … and this is a great guide.

    Best wishes from Hamburg,

    Will

    P.S. If you would like to add “Online Social Networking” at whatawebsite.org/categories/s/social-networking/, that would be great. Your site is definitely high on my “What A Website” list - and has helped me enormously during the first few months of blogging. Thanks.

  14. Mike on September 16th, 2009 12:46 am

    Larry,

    Great article that really helped me form a framework. I look forward to reviewing the rest of the content on your site.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  15. Vance Sova on September 16th, 2009 7:21 pm

    Hi Larry,

    I’m so glad I discovered your blog.

    This post on List Building Using Facebook is what I needed to read.

    I opened an account with Facebook just a couple of months ago and knew very little about how Facebook could be useful for list building.

    In spite of hearing about it I really had no clue what practical steps to take.

    Your post is full of suggestions and useful links.

    I will bookmark this page and will visit your blog often to learn more.

    Thank you for providing such useful and helpful information.

    Vance

  16. Michelle on September 22nd, 2009 7:22 pm

    This is really useful info, especially for those just starting out with the social networking sites.

    Thank you!

  17. Social Media Marketing Tips - New Traffic Builder on October 2nd, 2009 11:17 pm

    […] List Building Using Facebook | Online Social Networking […]

  18. Communications Guy on December 16th, 2009 3:12 pm

    Nice. Too many people are missing out on Facebook. It’s the biggest source of traffic just waiting to be tapped. I’ve been telling several of my small business clients to get a Facebook following going.

  19. Larry Brauner on December 16th, 2009 5:20 pm

    It is becoming more evident all the time that Facebook is the social networking site of choice and an almost necessary component of every web presence.

  20. Leonard Martin on December 16th, 2009 7:15 pm

    I still haven’t figured out why people prefer Facebook to MySpace…that is assuming they do, any help with this?

  21. Larry Brauner on December 16th, 2009 7:40 pm

    My guess, Leonard, is that MySpace has not been effective enough controlling spam, and that the MySpace interface permits lots of loud and slow to download content.

  22. Jeff Moriarty on December 28th, 2009 2:13 pm

    Another way I have been able to aquire a ton of Facebook fans was to send out a specific email to my email list asking them to sign up to become our fan. I listed all the advantages…this increased our fan base by 3x. I continue to have a Facebook badge on the emails I send out and I get a steady increase in fans from signups through the email. Just thought that is another good idea.

  23. Direct Email Marketing on August 5th, 2010 5:38 am

    Great informative article with a good and detailed described strategy. Already added your blog to my Favorites. Will definitely use your tips for increasing my followers.

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