At a glance, Facebook Top Fans looks like a nice little feature, if not one that is of much practical benefit. But venues have started to take notice, using a simple trick to yield quite extraordinary results.
In this guide, we’ll reveal how to find your top followers on Facebook and the technique that venues are using to massively increase engagement on their posts every single week.
The problem with Facebook
Facebook now boasts an estimated 2.79 billion active users. It’s a colossal audience for any business to target.
However, as time has drawn on, Facebook is a social network which has increasingly fallen into the ‘pay-to-play’ realm. That means, in order to achieve meaningful reach and engagement with your posts, you need to dip your hands into the marketing budget.
Unfortunately, this results in one of two things. Businesses either:
- spend too much on poorly configured pay-per-click (PPC) Facebook ads; or
- give up entirely.
Things are about to get a whole lot tougher with the introduction of Apple iOS 14, too.
Both outcomes are a real shame, because Facebook does have some nifty tricks up its sleeve, if you know where to look.
The reason you have to sniff them out and get creative with your thinking is because Facebook obviously wants to direct as many businesses towards its advertising as possible.
Thankfully, you can avoid that entirely if you focus on rewarding your top fans.
How to find your top fans on Facebook
Chances are you, may never have discovered this part of your Facebook business page, but it’s very insightful.
To find your top fans, grab your smartphone, head into the Facebook app, search for your page, and head to the ‘community’ tab at the top. You should be greeted immediately with your top fans.
Hit the ‘see all top fans’ link to get a total breakdown of the people who interact with your page most often. You’ll be able to see your top fans listed in order of how long they’ve been a fan of your page.
You’ll also be able to see their recent activity. This makes it a great place in which to find and interact with their content by liking and commenting on their posts that reference your business. But it’s that top fan list we’re concerned with today.
Incentivising top fans on Facebook
Here’s the magic bit. It’s thought that 73% of Facebook users log in daily (we bet you might be logged in right now!) Facebook doesn’t tell us much about the way it builds the top fans list, but it’s likely a pretty simple algorithm. As mentioned earlier, it’s primarily based on how long they’ve been a fan, and their fan status is probably dictated by how often they like, comment and share your posts.
The simplicity of this list makes it one you can trust. Those top fans probably are top fans, therefore rewarding them won’t be much of a risk; it can only lead to good things.
The best way to incentivise them and reward their engagement is to offer a discount. It’s an age-old tactic in hospitality: offer them something which is of huge value to them, but of relatively low cost to you.
The fun starts when you lean on that top fan list. Make your audience aware of it and reveal that you want to reward your top five fans with an exclusive offer. A post like this should go down well:
It’s about time we said “THANKS” to our top fans! Starting next week, if you make it into the top 5 by the end of the week, you’ll receive an exclusive drink offer, on us. Check out our current list of fans - can they remain in that place?
Go onto mention your top five fans. You’ll be amazed by the engagement this post receives. You won’t even have to offer any tips for how to become a top fan - people will immediately start commenting, liking and revealing why they love you so much.
That’s better than an expensive Facebook ad, right?
Just remember to follow up with a post that congratulates and mentions the people who finish in the top five. Something like this should do the trick:
It’s Friday, and we’re delighted to announce this week’s top 5 fans! They are [list fans here]. Thank you, guys! We’ll be messaging you soon with your exclusive free drinks voucher 😊
Here’s an example post from a UK business, the Horns Inn who have amassed nearly 10,000 fans on Facebook.
The secret sauce: gamification
Why does this top fan tactic work? The reason is simple: it gamifies your social presence.
We all love a game, and there’s nothing more satisfying than finding yourself at the top of the charts for something - particularly when your efforts are rewarded with a prize that’s genuinely valuable.
Gamification is simply the process of adding a competitive element to a task. Whether it’s a race to the highest number of followers on social media, a specific number of post likes or coming first in the sales table at work, gamification targets our innate desire to be the best.
The result is more competition and a higher drive to achieve something. It’s so popular, in fact, that gamification is now an industry itself, and it’s expected to be worth nearly 12 billion globally this year.
It’s great for the algorithm, too
There’s another huge benefit to this form of Facebook marketing: it feeds the algorithm.
Just like any social network algorithm, Facebook’s is unpredictable, impossible to second guess and can change at any given time. But there’s one commonality: interaction and engagement with your posts will always help your performance.
The more people like, share and comment on your posts, the more the Facebook algorithm is going to notice you. Therefore, the more encouragement you can offer your existing follower base to get involved, the more likely you are to appear within the feeds of their friends, too.
There’s no more cost-effective way to increase your reach on Facebook, and it beats the black hole of Facebook Ads spend, hands-down. Certainly, it removes the need to undertake any form of post boosting, which can be seriously costly and ineffective when overdone.
The hyperlocal factor
There’s another great thing about this top fan tactic for hospitality businesses. Because your reward will need to be claimed in-venue, that means the participants and winners will almost definitely be hyperlocal.
This is marketing speak for “customers who are on my doorstep”, and they should be the lowest hanging fruit for you to continually pick up on Facebook.
Hyperlocal marketing is very tricky on other platforms, but your top fan list on Facebook makes targeting those people and drawing more of them out from the shadows much easier.
Remember - locals who interact more often with you are more likely to see your future posts, and, in turn, so too are their friends.
We love marketing hacks and have a feeling that this one will have slipped under the radars of many business owners. So, now is the time to make use of that top fan list and reward them, because it will mean significantly good things for your venue’ social presence and it costs nothing more than your time.