Turn Facebook Friends into Fans

It takes some effort to turn Facebook friends into fans, but it can be done.
If you’ve been on Facebook for a while, you probably started with a (personal) profile and tried to friend as many people as possible. Then you realized that you need a business page because 1) business pages are public and are indexed by search engines, and 2) Facebook doesn’t allow business promotions on profile pages. If you haven't created a page yet, see these instructions.
Now that you have a business page, you're probably wondering how to get your friends to become fans. Here are seven steps to help you with the process.
1. After creating your business page on Facebook (a.k.a. fan page), add content to your wall and photos of your art. It should look active and used—even without a large number of fans—before you start telling people about it.
2. Send private messages to your 10 best friends on Facebook and ask them if they will please “Like” your page. (This turns them into fans.) Encourage them to write a note on your wall. This should make the page look a little livelier.
3. Post a note to your personal profile wall inviting all of your friends to become fans. Do this at least once a week for the first month and then monthly thereafter.
4. As soon as you have 25 fans, you can go to http://facebook.com/username and snag a good URL for your Facebook page. You want something that is easier to remember than the string of letters and numbers that Facebook automatically generates. For example, Lorena Fernandez’s fan page is http://www.facebook.com/LorenaFernandezArt.
5. Add your fan page URL, including the http://, to your short bio that appears in the left column of your personal profile. It won’t show up as a blue hyperlink, but it’s still live.
Facebook - suggest fans
6. Suggest your page to your friends on Facebook. (See image above.) From your fan page, 1) click on Suggest Page to Friends in the left sidebar. If you have your friends broken down into Lists, you can 2) select a list and then click on 3) Select All. Facebook automatically eliminates any friend who is already a fan. (How cool is that?)
7. Get out of the habit of asking people to friend you on Facebook. Instead, encourage them to become fans. Add your fan page link to your website, your blog sidebar, and your signature block.
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40 thoughts on “Turn Facebook Friends into Fans”

  1. How amazing. Your newsletter arrived in my in box just after I had posted a note on my personal FB page to point people to an interview on my FB fan page! I didn’t know that I could get my own domain with only 25 fans though… it used to be a much larger number. So, that’s now in place too! Thanks for the info.

  2. Thank you for the ideas, Alison. Employing resources from HyperArts, I used FBML to create a custom landing page for people are are not yet fans of my Facebook page. This landing page includes a process video and a slideshow of my photographs: http://www.facebook.com/johnnordell I still have not yet figured out how to start the video or slideshow with just one click. Do you know how? Or anyone out there? Thanks – John

    1. Nice, John. I have no idea! I leave FBML to my assistant. HTML is as far as I can go. I wish I could be of more help.

  3. Word of caution: I was waiting for someone else to post, but no one mentioned it, so…I took down my Facebook fan page not too long ago (before these posts)…I didn’t like having it…It confused myself actually by having two Facebook presences…I wasn’t comfortable asking friends to go to my fan page, since most of my friends had some trouble with just the personal page friending & for me I didn’t feel like pushing them again…The business aspect, well, I am too small potatoes for Facebook to get upset about me posting a photo of a painting on my personal site…Most other small potato artists & craftspeople are fine with occasional mentions of their work, they just don’t push- which is fine for me too…My fan page sort of lay dormant for a year & I finally deleted it because even I didn’t feel like going there…It’s a neat thing, but if you have websites, blogs, photo albums, twitter, MySpace already, it’s just one more thing you have to ignore…(if you are still a spartan online, then maybe it is right)…

  4. Hi Alyson,
    Thanks so much for this. Some really good ideas here. I did not know you could change your user name on Facebook, it looks much more professional. I also just finished asking my friends to like my page…so simple but why didn’t i do that before? That’s what friends are for, right?
    thanks again!

  5. Hi Alyson,
    Great timely information.
    I did not know that I also could change the name for my personal facebook page. Unfortunately I did that first and realized that the name would have been better suited for my fan page. I found a solution. 🙂
    Thank you again for all your great help. -Jacqueline

  6. Alyson this was so timely! I’ve got a personal page that I use for hilarious (I think) comments on lots of things. Definitely NOT for professional use. So I opened a FB fan page about a week ago. Today I prodded friends and now have 25 fans. I then followed your link and got the URL lined up and it’s all good. Now I just need to figure out how to link my blog to my fb fan page and then I think I’m done. Well, except for posting wonderful paintings!
    Thank you!

    1. Lisa: That’s fantastic. So many people are worried about moving people to the fan page, but they’ll join if you do a little work.

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  9. Not crazy about not being able to invite your FANS (of your band) to a live gig…you can only invite your friends…(update feature is a waste) What’s the point of having a fan page for your band if you can’t invite them to your gigs??? Doesn’t make sense to me to only be able to invite your FRIENDS…Also, is there a quick way to turn your FANS into FRIENDS so that when you plan an event everyone gets notified? Thanks in advance…

  10. I’m setting up a Facebook fan page. Is there a way to type copyright as the c in the circle? As far as I can see it’s the default typestyle only and as far as I know that character is not standard. Thanks for all your info on setting up a fan page. Kathy Kuczek

  11. Christina Hansen Spanish Language Translator

    THANK YOU so much! I just did what you suggested as far as creating a user name / short & usable weblink for my business page on fb. YAY! Thank you.
    Here’s what I struggle with:
    Getting my friends to like my business page. Some do. Some don’t. And I find that when I place a teaser on my personal page with a link to the business page … people tend to respond on my personal page instead of the business page … even when I ask otherwise. I get more responses on my personal page than I do on my business page. What gives? And why do some friends like my business but do not like my business page?

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Christina: You’re welcome.
      Your question is what this entire post is about. Have you done everything here?

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  13. These are great suggestions and I’ve done a few – however now the new look of Facebook pages has changed the game regarding keeping your Fan Page link up front (nevermind that your biz info is also now hidden). I’ve always liked to keep a link to my website as up front as possible so people don’t have to hunt too hard for it. Do you have a suggestion on how to recapture the functionality? Obviously it’s not in FBs best interests to have people surfing away from their site. Right now that little “info” button is all we’ve got though, right? On our fan page and on our personal profiles?

  14. Hi Alyson,
    Thank you for your tips.
    I tried to change my username : it is only possible to change the personal username not the one of the business page. Is that right?
    The step n°7 is so helpful : why didn’t I think of this before? Thanks you’re here… But : I don’t know if I’m dumb but it’s not possible to “recommand the business page ” to a non friend. And it’s not possible to send a “become a fan to someone” who is not your friend?
    The answer of Sari is also interesting because I am also questioning myself about the utility of Facebook. But I will continue because I don’t think I use all the possibilities.

  15. http://www.cambridgesatchelsales.co.uk

    I have recently started a site, the info you provide on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work.

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