According to research by Pew Internet (December 2016), 78% of adults online use Facebook. That figure dwarfs other social networks such as LinkedIn (22%), Pinterest (21%), Twitter (18%), and Instagram (17%).

When it comes to social on the Internet, Facebook is the town square.

What does that mean for your business? How important is it to have Facebook fans, and how many should you have?

I’m going to assume that you already have your business on Facebook. If you don’t, get on it right away. Like it or not, Facebook is the mall, and you need to be on that mall to get some of the “foot traffic” it attracts. Whether you’re a business selling products/services, or a non-profit organization, you need to manage your message on Facebook, otherwise others will do it for you, or ignore you (even worse).

I help a select few of my clients manage their presence on Facebook. One client has a tremendous presence on Facebook with nearly 50,000 fans, a figure that places his business in the top five among all businesses in his category and size in his market. That market is Detroit, not a small market at all (even with the population drain over the last 20 years). His presence on Facebook and the fans we’ve earned for his brand, are valuable to his success. I understand this, most importantly HE understands this, and now you should understand it too.

There are at least four important reasons to have a lot of Facebook fans:

#1. More fans equals more eyeballs on your status updates

With more fans, your posts will be seen by more people on Facebook. The more fans you have, the more likely you are to have something go viral. It’s important to realize that when you post something to your Facebook page, not ALL of your fans will see it. Content settings within Facebook based on the interaction of each fan, dictates who will be more likely to see an update. Typically, 15-20% of your fans will see an update, but when people start SHARING a popular update, that’s when the power of numbers works for you. With one client, we were able to get a post seen by over 450,000 Facebook users even though his page had only 35,000 followers at the time. That’s the exponential power of sharing and LIKING. A well produced update on Facebook can gain a ton of exposure for your brand on the social media network.

#2. It’s an indication of popularity

Obviously, the more Fans you have, the more popular your page is. It’s also an indication that you probably get more traffic to your website or ecommerce store than competitors who have fewer fans. This popularity factor is important because it’s human nature for people to want to like something that others have already liked. It also serves well for this next reason …  

#3. It indicates trust and value

If lots of people like it, it must be good right? When it comes to Facebook, that’s how it works. 10 years ago, people shaped their opinions of a business/brand based on the quality of their website. Today, it’s largely due to social media influence. One Fortune 500 company spent $1.1 million in 2011 to acquire new Facebook fans. Why? Because the more fans, the more credibility a brand has in the eyes of the consumer. Not only do Facebook users pay attention to the opinions of their real-life friends, they respect the collective judgment of the public. According to some market research, Facebook fan totals also increase the value of a business. With all other things being equal, a business with 50,000 Facebook fans has more value than a similar business with only 5,000. Those values can equate to real dollars in a valuation.

#4. More fans is better for Search Engine Optimization

So far, search engines have been reluctant to admit how important social media popularity is in their search results. However, it is widely believed that popular brands on Facebook get a boost from Google and Bing. In addition, with more Facebook fans, you can drive more links and more people to your website, which in a practical sense helps SEO through links.

Obviously, it’s important to consider Facebook for promoting your business. But what steps can be taken to get more Facebook fans? There are many things that can be done, and we at Boone Digital can assist you. Here are a few of the things we do: we can analyze your social media presence and devise a strategy for producing better content and attracting more fans; we can use tools like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite to schedule your content and interact with your fans to increase your reach and we can actually manage your Facebook presence for you for a flat, affordable monthly rate.