How To Get More Facebook Fans – Some Basic, Proven Ideas

This is a repost from Adam Singer. Top stuff. Agencies running pages on behalf of brands take note.


Visualization of a Facebook fan page I created for a brand eclipsing 6-figure fans between April-May in 2009 (it has since grown to +700,000 fans).

Platform-specific communities can be a challenge to grow.  It’s daunting because you’re probably already growing a voice for your brand on something like a self-hosted blog.  But if you can spark rapid growth in a network external of your own, it can be a consistent organic referral source to the places you’re really interested in funneling traffic.  Essentially, it’s a valuable outpost.

Let’s first look at some of the results of this page — then get into how it’s possible for you to do the same.

Before I share anything else, I do want to say Facebook fan page analytics leave much to be desired.  They allow you to see:

  • Total fans/basic subscriber data
  • Growth daily
  • % male/female
  • Age range
  • Top cities/top countries/top languages
  • Basic interaction/engagement metrics
  • Pageviews

I cut off the data as it just lists more top countries/cities/languages and I only want to share a sample of what you see as overview data.  But it’s disappointing because you can’t really drill down to see more specific trends in data of the fans of pages.  It’s almost no different than basic web analytics with a few extras like age.  The age range is interesting, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Why not show me more detailed buckets based on profile information such as education level, profession, etc.  With groups this large there would be some interesting trends to see that wouldn’t be difficult for Facebook to display.  Clearly they don’t want us knowing that much.


Interactions per post (likes, shares, comments) range from 12 to more than 1,300 – at this scale every image, post, video or link gets at least 100 likes/comments/shares.

Organic growth is consistently strong – with most days seeing around 500 or more new fans.

This brand is off and running – I have not been involved their community building since May, 2009.  But you can see by the daily growth of more than 1,000 new fans, they already have attained the critical mass necessary to sustain organic growth daily without necessarily doing anything.  Although they have started to also see some fan attrition in September (I took a look at the situation and they could actually do something to stop this if they wanted).

So how can you spark rapid growth on your Facebook fan page?

1.  Spark initial growth numbers within the network quickly

If you’re looking to reach a wide audience, (this brand has mass appeal) reaching enough active users in the network to reach a tipping point is the first, crucial step.  There are just more potential people to share/like/comment on your content you’re adding into the channel (which in Facebook helps grow a fan page due to the fact this activity shows up in user feeds).

An easy way to start is get multiple influential users to invite all of their friends to become fans of the page.  If you can get 20 people each to invite 100 users, and encourage those users to invite their own friends, you’ll start to see growth.  Use incentives if necessary – contests, rewards for joining, etc.  Facebook has specific rules now (which weren’t in place when I made this page) that make some of this more difficult, but there are still plenty of creative ways to do this.

2.  Leverage external traffic streams/subscriber bases

Take stock of all your communities, email lists, websites and any other place you have a digital presence.  Start to call them to action to join your fan page.  Add links to your blog sidebar, put a CTA on the homepage of the website you’re already marketing, add a link in employee emails, put links in your email marketing, etc.  Put it bold and up front to start – the key is to funnel enough subscribers to the page where a natural cycle of growth begins by virtue of more people becoming fans.  The strategy here is simple:  leverage what you have to spark growth in a new community until it’s growing organically.

But remember:  the long-term play is to consistently siphon people out of Facebook to a community where SEO/social media value can really ramp up and you’re not limited by the rules of playing in a network you don’t control.  In other words:  once your fan page is growing organically, flip the funnel:  start to move people out of Facebook to your own, self-hosted platform like a blog or more valuable area than inside the walled garden.  Users are going to be more valuable if you can get them to a place where it’s all signal and no noise (Facebook’s signal to noise ratio is terrible).

3.  Continually update the page with new content

More content on the page is going to be more content for users to interact with.  And, due to how Facebook has setup their system, users consistently engaging with content is a key component to growth.  By reaching into the streams of individual users your brand can start to grow fast if your content is worth reacting to.

Other ideas:

  • Buy targeted advertising on Facebook’s platform
  • Leverage your offline networks (TV/newspaper/magazine ads, etc.)
  • Run a contest/promotion offline of Facebook, yet encourage users to become a fan during the promotion process (since there is quite a bit of red tape to actually run promotions on Facebook fan pages themselves)
  • Create some unmissable content published exclusively on your Facebook fan page
  • Frequently make special offer announcements and even new product announcements through the page first
  • Hire a community manager to implement ongoing growth opportunities across all your social channels
  • Buy Google ads to drive traffic directly to your Facebook fan page
  • End your press releases with your Facebook fan page link
  • Provide talking points to publicized team members to say become a fan in Facebook during interviews

Of course, there are plenty of additional methods for growing Facebook fan pages/platform specific pages.  But any additional recommendations or ideas are going to be more specific based on the brand or product involved (the above are all quite general).  To grow the above page to 6 figures plus, we did some creative/buzzworthy ideas too – but you’ll have to come up with those yourself.

The bigger thing to remember is know how you’re going to make your Facebook presence work for your larger digital strategy prior to doing anything.  Without this, sure – you can grow something popular, but it should still feed a larger objective.

Introducing the New Social Technographics

Love this.

Digital Visions: Ten Ideas for the New Decade

In the video below I outline the big themes in the paper. My full introduction follows.

# # #

During the last decade, we’ve seen social and digital media move from being purely the domain of tech-savvy types into a mainstream phenomenon. All you need to do is consider one statistic: Twitter was mentioned on television nearly 20,000 times in 2009, according to SnapStream. As a result, companies are investing in it and – slowly – seeing results.

Given the hype, much attention has turned to guessing what will become “the next Twitter.” It’s ample fodder for tech and marketing pundits, the media and clients – especially at the beginning of a new year and a new decade.
However, in many ways this is the wrong question to ask. Where once it was hard to sleuth out emerging platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook before they grew, now they just seem to surface out of nowhere. You’ll know the next Twitter when you see it.
The bigger opportunity for clients, we believe, is to identify the global societal and technological trends that are reshaping how we think, act and buy – and to pivot into them early. Trends today tend to develop more slowly and are harder to see, allowing clients to take a more thoughtful, thorough and systematic approach.
In the following pages you will find 10 essays on such trends written by some of the smartest thinkers in digital marketing. These ideas, when looked at together, reveal four key themes:
  • The shift to digital technologies by both consumers and marketers is now global and pervasive across all aspects of our life and growing daily.
  • Our engagement with each other is migrating rapidly from computer to handset.
  • Companies (and organized interests) are just beginning to wake up to the engagement imperative – and how to fund and develop it over time.
  • And finally, the future is about carefully using the data people generate to make smarter decisions, while adhering to concerns over privacy.
We hope you enjoy our 10 ideas for the new decade. We welcome you to challenge us on our thinking. After all, that’s the only way we can grow.

Identity and Branding from Noisy Decent Graphics

A while back Creative Review featured Mr Chicken. He’s the chap who designs all the Fried Chicken logos in London. Amazing stuff.Mrchicken-386x500

Coke continued their branding resurgence with these great summer special edition cans. Big corporations listen up: THIS IS HOW YOU DO BRANDING.

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Michael Bierut tweaked the Guitar Hero logo. There’s an element of ‘you couldn’t make that up’ isn’t there? Looks great though.

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Another example of ‘how to do branding’ from a designer at the top of his game. I could easily have mentioned The Oak Room or continued work for MAD.

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London went a bit logo mad including the dreadful experience of trying to create a Brand for London. When will they learn, the city doesn’t want or need a logo. Michael Johnson has a good round up here.

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Of much more importance to London, the Olympic icons were launched. Just as I really like the 2012 logo (sorry David) I really like these icons. Actually, I don’t really like the black and white ones, but I love the colour ones and I really like the way it links in with the tube lines thing. Colourful, interesting, different. Exciting. Well done Someone.

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I designed the Newspaper Club logo which you all hated and the Noticings logo which you all loved. (Actually lots of people love that one, not just you lot.)

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And then right at the end of the year, because we all know heavy metal bands have the best logos we asked Christophe Szpajdel to design the new logo for RIG.

The all new RIG logo

New Social Media Policy from Coca Cola..

Firstly, here’s an interview with Adam Brown, Head of Social Media @ Coca-Cola.

About that social media policy, it’s only 3 pages. It doesn’t have to be 100 pages long and cover every last point under the sun. It should be an addition to existing company policy–you don’t need to start from scratch.

As Coca-Cola introduce their Social Media Policy:

Every day, people discuss, debate and embrace The Coca‐Cola Company and their brands in thousands of online conversations. Coca-Cola recognizes the vital importance of participating in these online conversations and are committed to ensuring that they participate in online social media the right way. These Online Social Media Principles have been developed to help empower the Coca-Cola associates to participate in this new frontier of marketing and communications, represent our Company, and share the optimistic and positive spirits of our brands.

Interesting to see are the 10 “Principles for Online Spokespeople” Coca-Cola has created:

  1. Be Certified in the Social Media Certification Program.
  2. Follow our Code of Business Conduct and all other Company policies.
  3. Be mindful that you are representing the Company.
  4. Fully disclose your affiliation with the Company.
  5. Keep records.
  6. When in doubt, do not post.
  7. Give credit where credit is due and don’t violate others’ rights.
  8. Be responsible to your work.
  9. Remember that your local posts can have global significance.
  10. Know that the Internet is permanent.

All in all Adam Brown has set a nice standard within one of the most loved companies in the world

Download the full policy here: Coca-Cola Online Social Media Principles

Source

2009’s Most Watched Brand Ad on YouTube. Why?

Evian’s Roller Babies is the runaway commercially branded hit having been watched (at latest count) over 30 million times, making it the 5th most popular YouTube video of 2009, and the most watched commercial/ad/whatever you want to call it.

I forget where it was now but one person made a comment that went something like this..

“Beyond measuring the cute factor, can the client actually measure and attribute a boost in product sales to this effort? If so, I’d love to know how they’re measuring it.”

I liked their thinking. But at the same time I think that’s discounting a lot of the great work that has evidently been put in. So let us postulate a bit more about what made it so successful after you’ve had a look at it yourself if you haven’t already.

If we were to deconstruct the commercial, why has this become the most watched branded ad of 2009 and what is it about it that could be then replicated to anywhere near similar success levels?

Well, it’s a bit of fun isn’t it. You watch it and get that cutesy, fun, smiley and warm feeling. It has a backing track that lends to the fun, remember it did pretty well for Honda aswell in the Cog. (Reacquainted myself with the ‘making of’ here.) But then, in this case, you could just as easily have the backing track with nothing compelling in the forefront so credit where credit is due. I just don’t make enough of a link to Evian from the ad. It doesn’t make me want to go out and buy water, Evian water. Much like I’m not going to go out and buy a Honda tomorrow in fact, even though the financial investment and level of decision making associated to the two are complete polar opposites thus there being more chance of me buying Evian..  (Ok, bad comparison.)

I like the ad purely on the merit of the ad, in fact, I don’t think it sells enough what it is actually linked to. But maybe that was part of the trick. Maybe that’s why it did so well. People will share it as a piece of content because it is so subtly branded more than if Evian was plugged all over the place from start to finish. It loses its value as a piece of content if overly branded.

So the question that is left hanging over my head after thinking about and writing this is should brands now be concentrating less on what they are actually trying to sell and from an online perspective at least, be creating content that is watchable, entertaining and shareable in order to sell more of X. Again I think of the Cog ad. And which brings me back to what the commenter asked at the start of this post. Did Evian sell more water? Did Honda sell more cars? Did this achieve the goals set out from the off? What were the goals? I don’t know actually. On any of the above but it’d be good to find out more though to quench my curiosity.

The online integration is however, pretty fantastic and extends the life far further, another contributing factor to its success. Evidently, this was all very cleverly planned and executed.

It isn’t simply a video that has been put up on YouTube and forgotten about. There’s tonnes of content around the video. Some really brilliant stuff like teasers, interviews, wallpapers, where to listen to and download the music and of course, the obligatory Facebook fan page. This isn’t one of those all too familiar cases when a client thinks that by doing some kind of online video to promote something that it is going to automatically go viral. Yes, the dreaded v word. A sterling effort then.

What do you *feel* when you watch the ad? A compelling urge to buy Evian? An enjoyable feeling of escapism for a few minutes? I think i’m with the latter camp. Share the love.

Ford’s Social Media Strategy by @scottmonty..

I started this post a few weeks back with just the video. After a bit of research, I found the below slide deck also. Personally, very useful stuff chock full of insight from a behemoth of a company embracing the social web with both hands. Who says big companies can’t get involved.

Glastonbury goes social.

The BBC have implemented some pretty cool stuff on site along with providing the usual brilliant Glastonbury coverage. It’s almost as if I’m there! Without getting muddy or wet. Last year they got 600,000 visitors in the week of Glastonbury to their page and I firmly believe with the harnessing of the social web they can double that.

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Along with using wireless video cameras which overlook different parts of the festival site to give us, the people who aren’t there, a taste of the atmosphere, the site also includes an aggregation of Twitter feeds from various BBC presenters and journalists and will also be experimenting with Audioboo, the audio blogging service.

It looks to have everything you could possibly need to know about Glastonbury, all in one place and all integrated very nicely. You’ve got the weather forecast, BBC blogs, radio and TV listings, some stunning photography, videos of performances, webcams, a dedicated page for each artist and the ability for fans to comment on their performances on site. All relevant, useful and social.

They have a presence also on Flickr allowing you to comment on each individual image and share further. It will be interesting to see if it’s updated with the best of this years imagery as currently the images shown are from 2008.

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What I probably found most interesting was almost an active encouragement to share the site content on your site, blog or social networking profile so you can embed the content with ease by simply copying the embed code and adding it to a post. They have a page on site listing all the embeddable content available here. I only chose not embed in this instance because it’s fairly image heavy already.

Similarly you can add a widget to see some live webcam footage, the weather etc. The red button plays a much more prominent role this year also, providing the user the opportunity to watch exactly what they want to, personalised TV.

Another nice little feature I thought was seeing who were the most popular artist pages on site. In a sense this could be seen as a barometer of how successful their performances have been in the real world, at Glastonbury. I’ve watched some of the footage from Lady Gaga’s performance and am not surprised it’s the most viewed, such an eccentric and entertaining performer.

Artist Pages

Mobile also seems to be something that’s not been forgotten with the site being optimised to work on your iPhone’s and N97’s with a more limited service also on basic web enabled mobiles.

“We’re seeing a big difference in the number of people web browsing on phones this year. Call it the ‘iPhone effect’ or just cheap data tariffs, but there was no way we could let people have a poor experience on our festival sites,” Tim Clarke, a senior content producer for BBC Audio and Music online said.

To conclude, here are just a few ways the BBC have fully embraced old and new methods to reach out to a greater audience on a much more interactive level.

BBC Glastonbury

This is an example of how you can best capture the essence of what is typically a very real world physical event, online.