There are many ways to build your fan base on Facebook. Recently, Facebook added a new way that involves uploading your email contacts and inviting them to your page all at once. In order to do this, your page needs to have fewer than 5,000 fans. If your page qualifies, you can quickly invite people from your Constant Contact, MailChimp, VerticalResponse, iCloud, Yahoo!, or other email service. In addition to the 5,000 fan limit, you can only import contacts to your Facebook page five times in a 24 hour period (per page).
How to Use Facebook’s Invite Contacts Tool
Inviting contacts to like your page is relatively easy using Facebook’s new “invite contacts” tool. Start by going to Build Audience and then selecting Invite Contacts. The list of email services is woefully short, so there’s a chance your email service isn’t listed. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to import your contacts, there’s just not a shortcut in place.
If your service is listed, click on it. Facebook lists the steps you’ll need to follow in order to export your contacts from your email service provider and import them into Facebook. For example, with MailChimp, you’ll be prompted to go to the Lists page, select Subscribers, and click the download link to create a CSV file. With Constant Contact, the steps are slightly different because Constant Contact has a different path to export contacts (Contacts > Export). Once you create and download the CSV file, you can then upload it to Facebook from this same area.
If your service is not listed, you’ll need to first go to your email service provider and export your contacts in a CSV file using its export process. For example, in Aweber you’d go to Subscribers > Manage Subscribers and then pick the list and click on the Export CSV button. After downloading your contacts, go back into Facebook, click on Build Audience, click Invite Contacts, and then click on Upload Contact List File. Click the Choose File button, navigate to your CSV file, and click Upload Contacts.
You can also invite your email contacts using the Invite Contacts tool; however, with some of these services as iCloud, you will need to provide your email address and password. According to Facebook, it won’t store your password once your contacts are imported. Facebook also says that it “…may use the email addresses you upload to help you connect with friends, including using this information to generate suggestions for you and your friends on Facebook. If you don’t want us to store this information, you can manage your imported contacts.”
Why Invite Contacts to Your Page?
If you have a large list of email subscribers, using Facebook’s Invite Contacts tool is a fast and easy way to invite them to like your Facebook page. While you could do the same thing using a newsletter or broadcast email message, your call to action to like your Facebook page could get lost in the mix. By having Facebook invite your users, your page could receive more likes.