In your company’s social media marketing plan, there is probably a section about increasing the number of Facebook fans you have. Right alongside “drive traffic” and “boost sales,” someone scrawled in a note about becoming more popular on the social media site. Being popular is certainly important, but you should take it one step farther if you really want to give yourself an edge. In addition to increasing the overall quantity of your Facebook fans, you need to improve the overall quality.

Saying that one Facebook fan is better than another might sound silly at first, but it is actually highly relevant. Ten inactive Facebook fans are worth a single, powerful and social Facebook fan. Some people use Facebook to entertain themselves, but others use it to engage with their friends and acquaintances. These people who are instigating conversations are the ones you should be focusing on.

Of course, you should never turn a fan away because they don’t seem good enough, but you should try reaching out to fans in a way that will appeal to the more powerful ones. The following strategies will help you build a captive and active audience of fans.

Become a Social Media Marketing Machine
One of the most powerful things a fan can do for you on Facebook is to share your posts. In addition to views and comments, shares should be one of the activities you’re measuring to calculate your success on the social media site. When a fan shares your content, he or she is giving your company a vote of confidence to all friends and followers. Your hard work will also go farther, so it’s essentially free marketing for your company. To get people to share your content, you need to create it. By creating an outrageous amount of content, you’ll be giving people more options for content to share. One fan might not share a photo of a puppy wearing your company shirt, but they might quickly share a photo of your latest dish with all of their friends. Give people options by becoming a content machine. As long as the content of your social media marketing campaign is on-brand and representative of your company, it will go far.

Create Calls to Action
In advertising, one of the most basic and fundamental strategies is to give your audience a call to action. A branding advertisement is great, but an advertisement that tells people what to do is better. Telling people to “call now” or “visit the website” plays on their obedient nature, and more sales will be made. When you share content or even a status with your fans on Facebook, include a call to action. Tell them to “visit the website for more details” or “share with friends.” If they really like your brand, they might even do so as a favor. Some of your calls to action could even give your fans benefits. You could say that if the photo is shared 15 times, there will be a discount on sales for the day. However, if you do include incentives, make sure they align with Facebook’s rules and regulations.

Cultivate Engagement
At this point, you’re probably already aware how important engagement is on your Facebook page. The whole point of marketing on social media sites is to create a conversation with your fans, so you should always respond to comments and questions. However, you can take this concept one step further by cultivating conversations between your fans right on your page. If a fan asks a question or has a comment, use it to start a large discussion. Ask other fans if they feel the same way, or invite them to share personal stories. Then, they’ll be talking amongst themselves, and you’ll have a front-row seat to the incredibly valuable information they share.

Spotlight Your Fans
Everyone on Facebook loves attention, especially the people who are your best fans. They love to share photos and ideas with their Facebook friends just for the fun of it. To make sure you have these lugubrious friends on your company’s side, make sure you spotlight them as much as possible. If you host a contest, praise the winner in multiple areas of your site. Call out winners in your status by tagging them. They’ll feel as though it’s their fifteen minutes of fame, and others craving that fame might become new fans of yours. You should also respond directly to their comments using their names, and even consider sending a follow-up personal message so that they feel as though they are truly valuable to your company.

Brand Your Facebook Page to Look Exclusive
When it comes to designing your company’s Facebook page, you’ll have a few options. You could create it so that it looks exactly the same as your website. That way, people will recognize your brand identity and their memories will be sparked more easily. When it comes to improving the quality of your fans, you might want to take a less traditional approach. By making a Facebook page that is branded differently than your other traditional media, you’ll make visitors feel as though they’re part of an exclusive club. Maybe you could make it less flashy than your ads, or you could create a new design with the old colors. Visitors will feel more like they’re in a VIP lounge of your company, and they’ll be more likely to show it off.

Create a Community
Finally, you should try to create a community on your Facebook page. At first, you’ll have visitors from all walks of life with many varying interests. As you build your content, try whittling your ideas so that there is one overarching theme. You might lose fans who aren’t interested, but you’ll build a strong community with the ones that are. For example, a site that sells camping gear might make a Facebook page that specifically gives tips for serious adventure camping. Casual campers won’t find tips about the best-managed campsites or information about what restaurant to get dinner at in the Catskills, so they might leave the page uninterested. However, campers looking to fish for their own food and brave a snowy mountain for a few weeks will be thrilled, and they’ll share stories and tips with their new friends right on your page. Creating a community is as simple as hiring a great social media marketer with professional copywriting skills and designating your Facebook page with a single purpose. In fact, you’ll get even more fans on Facebook as others realize what an exciting community you’ve created.

There are no “bad” fans on Facebook, but there are most definitely good ones. You can’t choose who likes your page, but by tailoring your information a certain way, you can bring out the best in the fans you have. Turn your regular fans into super fans by following these tips, and you’ll see increased traffic and a bigger fan base in no time.