The 5 types of Facebook fans (and how to keep them)

Your brand’s Facebook fans are not a homogenous group. Get to know these smaller groups to keep them interested and interacting with your page.

One of the things that keep me busy during my community management days has been to profile the types of Facebook fans.

While all fans are unique (they’re all different people), many of their behaviors fall into patterns.

Here are the five most common types of Facebook fans I’ve seen while managing communities, and how you can tailor your content to keep them:

1. Potential customers

The potential client or customer is a fan who has heard of your business through word of mouth or an advertising campaign, and is intrigued.

This fan is like a hawk waiting to swoop. The more relevant, interesting and personal your content, the more likely this fan is to stay on your page, or even make a purchase or contact you for business.

How to keep them: Strike a healthy balance with content that services their needs and wants and has personality. B2C companies can showcase fan reviews, and B2B companies can showcase in-house talent or a behind-the-scenes look at the office environment.

Be fun and approachable, and exhibit a voice that exudes thought leadership and friendliness.

2. Friends or employees

Friends and employees are people who liked your page because they either want to support your business or work at your company.

These fans are dangerous because, while they raise your follower count, they qualitatively reduce your engagement score. Employees and supportive friends are less likely to engage with your content because they view the ‘like’ as the end of the transaction.

How to keep them: The question isn’t how to keep them, but how to engage them. Borrowing a few tactics from pleasing the potential customer can help: B2C companies can highlight certain locations that provide excellent service, and B2B companies can make things personal by recognizing individual employees.

Play off the personal connection friends and employees already have with your company. If it works out, other fans will enjoy seeing the faces behind the logo talking about things.

3. Sweepstakes players

Did you recently feature an exclusive contest on your page? If so, it’s a safe bet that some of your new followers simply liked your page so they could try to win your giveaway.

Sweepstakes players often have a one-and-done mentality; once the contest is over, they may unlike the page and move on. Other times these fans might forget they’ve liked your page until an irrelevant piece of content appears in their news feeds. Then they’ll unlike your page.

How to keep them: You may be wondering why you’d want to keep such a specific group of people, but sweepstakers are more likely to vocalize their excitement for your promotions, and that’s free marketing for your page.

Don’t just post a contest and forget about it. Support it with content the sweepstakes players like. As one contest winds down, hype up others that will launch soon, or focus on promotions you have outside of Facebook. Provide exclusive deals like coupon codes on random days to increase the chances that the sweepstakers will stick around.

4. Happy campers

Happy campers are great fans to have, and most brands see them interact regularly.

Happy campers have positive brand sentiments based on great purchases, customer experiences or childhood memories. They come to your page because your brand has already enhanced their lives, and they’re passionate about sharing that with you and other fans so they can get some recognition.

How to keep them: Keep their conversations flowing. Thank them, ask them questions and respond to them when they post content to your timeline without a call to action. Post conversationally. Ask for opinions these die-hards will be eager to give. Tease upcoming work or new products with photos, polls and links to keep their excitement flowing. And if they ever post unique content on your page, ask if you can share it from the brand’s voice. People love to be recognized and reinforced.

5. Fair-weather friends

The fair-weather friend is a fan who may like your brand, its services or a recent product, but isn’t motivated to shout about it.

Fair-weather friends usually like your page to stay current on brand news. They remember your business for a later date. Unlike the happy campers and potential customers, they’re more likely to leave negative feedback if your brand does something they don’t like.

How to keep them: If they leave concerns or comments on your page, address them head-on. Transparency is key. Understand and embrace what makes these fans different: They’re looking for information. Give it to them.

Make relevant appeals and, much like you do for the potential customer, show the value of your services to encourage engagement and business transactions outside of Facebook.

Of course, a Facebook page that earns upward engagement and growth combines all of these content pieces into a strategy. But unless you understand who you’re speaking to, you may not know where to begin.

Use these profiles as a starting point, and then dive into the analytics to get a closer look. When you understand your community, you can accomplish your social media goals.

A version of this article originally appeared on

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