Just last week I answered the siren’s song and engaged in a link exchange sponsored by a LinkedIn group specifically to boost Facebook fan page ‘Likes.’
Truthfully, I did not know what I was getting myself into by joining. Before long my email inbox was like a feeding frenzy of sharks in a bloody sea. This went on day and night for several days, and more than once I was at my desk in the wee hours of the morning looking to see how many new ‘Likes’ I had.
There were many participants that were guaranteeing reciprocal ‘Likes’, and I confess, I too was mindlessly reciprocating – giddy as my ‘Likes’ tally climbed. However, by the end of the second day I realized that if I was going to participate authentically in the exchange, I owed it to each and every person to thoughtfully review and consider each fan page before I gave it the ‘thumbs-up.’ Here were my criteria:
- Foreign language sites: NO – just too hard for my fans and friends.
- Multi-Level Marketing: MAYBE – if the posts were not spammy and the page owner took a genuine interest in their fans.
- Direct Competitors: YES – with some reluctance at first, until I remembered that there is an abundance of opportunity and room for all of us. Besides, there are things I can learn from others and perhaps they can learn something from me too.
- Pages with No Content: NO – if the page owners can’t figure out what to say to their fans, I’m out.
- Pages with Diverse Topics: YES – it was great to see so many different types of businesses and uses for Facebook Fan pages.
So, in just 6 days, and after tons of effort, my number of fans has nearly doubled as have the ‘friends of fans.’ But most important, my ‘weekly reach’ is up 550% and the ‘people talking about this’ improved by 2000%! The reason why I think the reach and talking about numbers increased so dramatically is because I was cognizant of all these new potential fans visiting my page. I took the time to make relevant and thoughtful comments on many of their pages and asked for the same in return. I also made sure that my content was remark-able.
During this week I was also inspired to improve the look of my page by upgrading the look of my cover art and profile art with the help of a graphic artist friend. After seeing so many great looking pages, I just knew that the cover art that was good enough 3 months ago just didn’t measure up anymore. Additionally, all this activity on my page made me aware that I had not fully harvested ‘Likes’ from my existing networks – so along with all the leads from the link exchange I began inviting more of my friends by using the ‘build audience’ button and ‘invite friends’ function on the Admin Panel.
But, here is the most important take away. With the help of social scientist Brian Solis’ graphic on finding the ‘Me’ in Social Media I came to the conclusion and deeper understanding of the precious opportunity that social media offers for us to speak authentically – touching the minds and hearts of our new friends – a gift not to be squandered.
Would I do a link exchange again? Maybe. But not right away, because I have 63 new fans to cultivate into friends.
If you have participated in a link exchange, I would love to hear your comments. Please feel free to comment below.