Facebook subscriptions have been around for some time now – 14 months to be exact. First introduced in September 2011, the Subscribe button “lets you hear from interesting people you’re not friends with”. It allows Facebook users to connect around topics of interest rather than real-world friendships – just like Twitter.
With a potential audience of one billion or so active users, the Subscribe button is also a great way to spread your ideas and message to those that might be interested. But how do you get more subscribers on Facebook? Follow our eight simple steps, ranging from technical to organic means;
First enable subscriptions
This one is a no-brainer. If people are going to subscribe to your public updates on Facebook, you’ll need to enable the feature first. It’s strictly opt-in. Go the the Subscribe Page and click Allow Subscribers.
Make your profile easy to find
If people can’t find you on Facebook, they won’t subscribe. This applies to searches within Facebook itself and external searches using a search engine like Google or Bing. Open the main Privacy settings page and click Edit settings under How you connect. The setting “Who can look you up using the email address or phone number you provided?” should be set to allow Everyone to search for you using those parameters.
Return to the main Privacy settings page and click Edit settings under Ads, Apps and Websites this time. Click Edit Settings again under Public search and ensure public search is enabled. This will allow searches for you in search engines to suggest your Facebook profile.
Create a vanity URL
If you haven’t already done so create a vanity URL. This is the direct link to your Facebook profile that you can personalise i.e. facebook.com/darrenmccarra. It’s a good idea to include your full name as your vanity URL, if available. It adds credibility and may also boost its performance in search. Once you’ve created your vanity URL share it on business cards, your email signature, on your website, etc.
Add a Subscribe button to your website
If you own a website a great way to get more subscribers on Facebook is to add a Subscribe button. The Subscribe button allows people to subscribe to your updates easily without leaving your website and without having to directly visit your profile on Facebook.
Complete your Facebook profile
Complete your Facebook profile information and Timeline. Write a good About description as this will effectively be your value proposition. Give people a reason to subscribe. Fill in your education and work history, your basic information, your contact information and location. Make sure your profile image is a good head and shoulders shot and includes only yourself. Avoid using a photo from last weekend’s work party or ones that may protray yourself in a less favourable light. Add important milestones to your Facebook Timeline, especially ones that relate to your own niche and what you’re trying to promote or achieve using Facebook. All of this adds to the credibility of your profile and gives assurance to would-be subscribers.
Post great content
This is one of the most important ones – post great content. If you’re not posting content publically, and specfically great content publically, people won’t subscribe to you. At least not in the numbers you’d like. Know the difference in content that is suitable for just your friends and content suitable for your wider public subscriber audience. Your subscribers won’t want to hear every little detail of your private life so if it’s for close friends only share accordingly. Remember, suscribers only see the updates that you post publicly.
Gain natural exposure
Begin to post helpful and insightful comments on related pages and groups in your niche. Become a thought leader in your own genre. Subscribe to people with similar interests to yours. This may not get you an immediate reciprocal subscription but it will give you the opportunity to interact with the content they post and gain exposure further down the line.
Create Interest lists
Interest lists allow Facebook users to subsribe to a group of people with similar interests all at once. If you work in an organisation or write for a publication perhaps you could create a list of staff members that have given permission to be included. Create a list of similar minded people in your niche and promote that list. Subscribers to that list also count towards your own subscriber count.