These days, it seems that every business in the world has a Facebook page. In order to get the most out of a Facebook page, it’s a good idea to offer incentives that your customers care about. With these special, Facebook-only offers, more people will want to follow you, leading to an increase in sales. Here are 6 tips to follow in order to achieve this growth:

1. Provide Value to Your Customer

First and foremost, you want to offer incentives that your customers will care about. So before you do anything else, ask yourself, “What is the number one thing my customers want?” The more closely aligned your incentive is with customer needs and wants, the higher the chance your incentive program will be successful. This is true on Facebook, as in all incentive marketing.

If your customers shop on price, discounts that make them feel like they’ve gotten a deal will be a valuable incentive. This is especially important if you sell a commodity that is basically the same as your competition’s. ConAgra launched a successful campaign that tripled their Facebook followers within 24 hours by offering a coupon on their Healthy Choice food items. This is a crowded market with lots of healthy offerings that appeal to both men and women who care about their diets.

Other products may not be price sensitive, and coupons provide little or no value to the customer. In the entertainment field, what fans really want is special contact with their idol. Bragging rights to backstage passes, special limited edition CDs, or other cool incentives have far more value to these status-hungry customers. As in any other aspect of marketing, know what your customers want, and you will be able to decide how best to reach them on Facebook.

2. Tie In a Crowdsourcing Element

The real power of social media is its ability to go viral as people pass around information the Web. Going viral doesn’t usually just happen on its own, but you can help it along with some clever Facebook incentive programs.

Remember that Healthy Choice offer? Well, they added in a crowdsourcing element that got Facebookers promoting the incentive for the company. It’s not only free advertising — the message has a lot more value since the idea comes from a “Friend?” instead of a corporation.

In this cool Facebook campaign, consumers could make the value of the Healthy Choice coupon grow, as more and more dieters liked the brand. These cost-conscious customers helped sell the program to their friends in cyberspace beyond Facebook. Notices of the great promotion showed up on Twitter as well, linking back to the Facebook offer. In just three days, people around the Internet got Healthy Choice past its “Buy One, Get One” goal with over 37,000 responses.

3. Hold a Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes and contests are very popular Facebook incentive programs, but be sure you check out local laws first. There are guidelines you need to follow to be sure you don’t get into trouble and rack up fines. That said, customer and potential customers love a bigger payoff and will take a chance on getting rich if it’s offered to them.

Jack in the Box added in crowdsourcing techniques for their “Be My Rich Fan” Facebook campaign. Each new follower got a virtual nickel dropped in a jar until the winner picked up a cool $11,500 reward. You might not have the cash to reward likes on Facebook, but not many other advertising campaigns can claim the 280% increase that the fast food chain racked up with all those nickels.

4. Be Consistent

One subtle tip is that you have to be sure your offer matches up with your landing page or you risk aggravating your customers — or, worse yet, potential customers. If your offer promises a coupon in exchange for liking a post, the chances are that the Facebook reader will get turned off if the landing page brings up a sign-up form.

Matching up the way you articulate your offer with the next action steps required will make all the difference in whether or not a customer responds in the way you’d like. When the offer and next actions don’t match up, you’re sending a message to prospective customers that you and your company aren’t trustworthy.

5. Create Buzz

Once your Facebook marketing campaign is ready to launch, you want to build up some hype and expectation among your followers. Let everybody know that something very special is about to be offered by your company, and that you want to make sure everybody who follows you knows that this special offering is going to be announced sometime in the next few days. This gets everybody’s attention focused in on your Facebook page.

Your followers and fans will be on the alert for your special message. If you can coax them into responding immediately, a lot of activity will show up on the Internet, making the chances greater that the incentive will go viral.

Don’t forget to include your other social media followers. Twitter is a great platform to get followers to engage and help you spread the word. Just remember that active users of certain platforms respond well to exclusive offers, so if you say Facebook-only, action on Facebook should be required.

6. Interact During the Campaign

Social media is social! So any interactions with fans, new likes, or existing customers will keep the excitement fresh. Go to the Facebook pages of new likes and like them back to show what a great member of the online community you are! Everyone loves a business that reciprocates and appreciates the extra effort. Posting updates on Twitter is also a good way to thank new fans for joining the fun.

Well, there you have it! With these six easy tips, you can take advantage of the power of Facebook to create buzz around your brand and even drive leads to your business. You’ll be able to create a Facebook incentive program that not only delivers new customers but generates sales from existing customers, too.


Sarah Boisvert is a seasoned writer who covers a range of topics including business, marketing, social media platforms, and new technologies. She has profiled Steve Wynn, 3D printing inventor Chuck Hull, and Apple’s Steve Jobs.