Active Facebook fans are the backbone of your Facebook presence. There are numerous techniques to use in acquiring active Facebook fans and we shall only discuss a few here. Some statistics show that brands are acquiring fans at a rate of 9% per month.

A good place to start is by building an appealing canvas or landing page. Include a video explaining what your fan page entails, whom it is created for and why users want to become fans. This approach enables you to convert page visitors into fans.

Consider adding a link to your Facebook fan page in the emails that you send out to business associates, customers, friends, family and colleagues. This will save you the effort of constantly promoting your personal profile and instead actively driving attention to your business pages. You can also promote it on Twitter a couple of times a week.

Make good use of photos especially if your business usually hosts live events. Post these photos on your fan page and ask your existing fans to tag themselves. This approach provides you with relevant and free exposure as your content appears in your fans’ News Feed and that of their friends.

Also, consider using text messaging to ask users to join you. This is especially effective when you are just starting out and looking to build your fanbase. To join your fan page through text messaging, users need first to register for Facebook text messages. On their mobiles, inside the Facebook app they need to follow the following steps: Settings>Text Messaging>Activate Facebook Text Messages>Choose Your Country>Choose Your Network Provider>Send a text with the message ‘fb’ to 32665>Enter confirmation code. Once this is done they can send a text message such as ‘fan PageName’ to like a certain fan page. This approach is more practical if you are hosting a live event and if users have a smartphone with them.

Another way to increase your fan base is to make use of social plug-ins and widgets (http://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/) such as the ‘Like Box’ or the ‘Facepile’ on your business blog or website. It is also a good idea to include a title box just on top of the Like box to allow site visitors to click on the ‘Like’ button to become your Facebook Fans.

Mastering Facebook EdgeRank

The EdgeRank Facebook algorithm is a feature that selects the content that appears in users’ newsfeeds. EdgeRank aims to put you/your business into the newsfeeds of your fans thus allowing you greater engagement with them. EdgeRank takes into consideration:

a) The time frame between when you post and when users are online. This ensures that users have access to your latest posts.

b) The weight of a post and the effort put into creating it. Pictures and videos have more weight than a link or a quick status update.

c) The affinity, which involves the amount of time users have engaged with you or your brand and vice versa.

To get started, go to EdgeRank.com to determine your own EdgeRank. This tool will offer you insights into the EdgeRank of your business pages as well as the days when your rank is high or low.

Increase the affinity you have with your customers by triggering a reaction or a conversation. So instead of posting statements only, consider asking your fans a question accompanying your content. This allows your fans to reply and to offer insights, opinions and feedback about the posts and importantly, about your business.