Social media is easy. At the beginning.
You invite your family, friends, and close colleagues. Then you tap the next people like your customer list. At the start, everyone’s eager to engage, comment, and click. But over time, results start to slow. And new fan growth grinds to a halt.
Once the “inner circle” is tapped and the low hanging fruit dries out… what next? How are you going to consistently grow beyond the current people you have? Keep reading to find out how to grow your Facebook fan page by 58% over the next 3 months.
Why “Subscriber Recency” is Essential
No matter how good you are at email marketing, people will unsubscribe. That’s just the natural law of averages and “churning” at work against you.
The same holds true for Facebook. You post once a day, or even once a week, and people will naturally begin to unlike your page.
Subscriber recency is a concept that explains why older fans are also more likely to unlike (or unsubscribe). However what’s even more important, is that it also says new fans are more likely to be engaged and take action (at a higher rate).
In other words, your newest fans tend to be the most active (and probably valuable), while over time older fans will be less and less active. (Of course, there is the exception of your “true fans”).
That means in order to be successful, you need to continually bring in new fans to not only replace the old ones leaving, but also take action to hopefully purchase, repurchase or refer you to their friends.
Reaching friends of friends is the holy grail of social media marketing, and it’s almost impossible if you’re not keeping things active and continually bringing in new people.
But… how are you going to do that? Especially if you’ve already tapped out your own ideas?
The Best Type of Campaign for Growth
Advertising works wonders. If you know what you’re doing. If you have the budget. And if you already have some engagement strategies in place.
Too often, companies rely on advertising when lacking in these other areas, and it falls short.
It doesn’t matter how much you spend on advertising if you’re not reaching the right people, or if you can’t get them to engage with each other and your brand.
Ideally, the best Facebook marketing strategies are also consistent. You shouldn’t have to rely on one-off success or hope for a hail mary every time. It might get you out of a jam once, but it won’t be sustainable in the long run.
The best approach is an integrated campaign that gets you multiple returns from a single investment. It should improve your brand awareness, bring in website traffic, increase social sharing, generate a few leads, and of course, get more fans in the process. All for a single investment of time, energy, and money.
One of the best ways to do this is through a promotion. But not another lame, photo sharing contest that you see time and time again. We’re talking a real world promotion that brings in partners and creates a ton of value and excitement among your customers.
For example, in the past I ran a blogger promotion that sent 4 bloggers to 6 cities in 16 days.
The result? New Likes increased by 58%, while post views and feedback were up 61% and 65% respectively.
Large campaigns like this sound daunting. But if you have a simple framework, then they’re relatively easy to pull off. And they can be incredibly effective.
Here are three steps to help you get started.
Step #1. Create a Bundled Package
At the heart of all successful promotions is something incredibly compelling and valuable.
For example, who wouldn’t jump at the chance for a trip across the country?
But how on Earth can you afford something like that?
The beauty, is that you personally don’t always have to foot the bill. Instead, let’s start brainstorming how you might be able to give away your own products and services (at cost).
CosMediTour, a cosmetic medical tourism company out of Australia, gave away a $70,000 trip, including a hotel, airfare and services.
When doing this, the only thing to watch out for is that you don’t overvalue your own products and services too much. While they might be amazing to you, are customers really going to go through a ton of effort or pay an enormous amount of attention to something for 10% off? Not likely.
The next tip is to go find complementary partners that can help you increase the perceived value of this package (while keeping your own out of pocket cost down). If you can get a few different partners to chip in their own products and services, then you should hopefully end up with something fairly compelling.
The trick? Find out what they value and work to provide it. For example, some companies might be interested in growing their social media fan base. Others, might be looking for content to put on their blog. Everyone has their own needs and problem areas, so if you can figure out a way to help solve them, then they’ll work with you every time.
Social Media Examiner found this great example from Mezzetta, which partnered with a few other companies to provide one hell of a picture pizza contest:
These complementary partners might be groups, organizations or companies that are similar (but not competitive). Start with local companies and associations to find potential lists of these people.
Once the ideas start rolling in, what if you have too many of them? How are you going to decide when they all seem like great ways to begin?
Create a simple spreadsheet like this one from this inbound marketing guide and you can rank each idea in a logical way against a few different criteria.
The goal is to get the biggest bang for your buck, in the shortest, easiest amount of time.
Step #2. Find Content Creators
Most businesses struggle with content creation. Yours is probably no different.
But again, that’s OK! The first step is acceptance.
Excellent content is an absolute necessity for a campaign like this. So if you can’t do it, then go find someone who can!
Again, the trick (which doesn’t really like a trick after all) is finding out what they want, and then give it to them.
For example, bloggers typically want (a) increase exposure, (b) money, or (c) exclusive access to something. If you can provide at least one of those things (and ideally all three), then they’ll gladly work with you and help make sure your campaign is a success.
You could always find a local meetup, or even better, a large event that caters to content creators like the New Media Expo.
(It’s also a great excuse to go to Vegas for “work”).
But what if you don’t want to leave your keyboard?
One great tip is to use a job board like the Problogger one to help you generate interest with a larger blogging community.
It goes out to 100,000+ people. Also their 42,000+ twitter followers. And only sets you back $50.
Another great method is to use Followerwonk (which is like Google Analytics for Twitter).
Simply search for the types of people you’re looking for. Then you can vet them a huge list of prospects before reaching out to see if they’re exactly what you’re looking for.
Step #3. Make Virality Easy
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t really make things “go viral”. However you can remove friction to help the message scale on it’s own.
How do you do this?
By thinking through every tiny step, or “microconvesrion”, along a customer’s path to the finish line.
The goal is to make this as easy as possible and build in extra sharing opportunities along the way.
For example, don’t just ask someone to share something. Use ClickToTweet to actually build out exactly what you want them to share.
It gives you a link, like this one: http://ctt.ec/4hpOB
Then all they have to do is click a button and go live!
A better example? Remember all those bloggers you reached out to a little while ago? Why not run a promotion – before the real promotion – for the bloggers who are interested and the winners get picked.
That’s what Great Wine Capitals has done with their “guest blogger contest”, where they’re sending wine tourism bloggers to the big annual Great Wine Capitals Global Network event.
You’ll get a ton of exposure, again – for relatively little. And it will “pre-sell” the campaign to generate a ton of buzz and interest, helping to ensure your ultimate promotion is a success.
The Best Part?
If you do this right, there’s no shortage of ideas or ways you run these campaigns.
There are enough “variables”, that you can run them again and again and again.
Yes, the first one will take some time to figure out the logistics. But once the “system” is built, then you can adapt, react, and mix it up enough to keep things fresh and extremely cost effective.
All you need is to bring the creativity, imagination, and hustle to think outside the box while putting each campaign together.
And you know that this one investment of your time is going to bring in Facebook fans, sure.
But more importantly it’s going to grow your business through branding, partnerships, links, traffic, and ultimately, more revenue.