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How to grow your Facebook fans

As some of you will know, I have been running Blog Training and Content Marketing Training courses, and this is one of the topics I teach: How to grow your Facebook fan base. Because the more fans you have, even though Facebook only let about 5% of them see your updates, the further the reach for your paid/sponsored posts.

Yes, I said paid/sponsored posts. Unfortunately this is the cold, harsh reality of doing business with Facebook, and to be expected really. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. And since over 500,000,000 are enjoying free Facebook lunches, you and I, who want to get in front of just a slither of them with our product or service, need to cough up.

In New Zealand we had a change to our liquor laws recently. Suddenly, where we used to be able to give away wine as prizes, we can no longer promote alcohol. It’s a shame because up until then I had seen enormous success in running little competitions to win 6 bottles of New Zealand wine. It’s amazing how many people get excited about wine!

But over the last few weeks I have tried something else.

Blogger at Large Facebook page

I have been offered some double passes to the upcoming Cuisine CheeseFest here in Auckland, valued at $30 per ticket. So I decided to give them away via my Facebook fan page.

I wrote a status update telling the fans that I already had to simply “like” this update and they’ll be in the draw and 44 of them have responded.

Then I set up an ad campaign and capped it at A$6 per day. These ads allow you to choose up to 6 images that will be displayed at various times to the demographic you select. It means you can easily see which pic works best. I also selected that the ad be shown only to Aucklanders and those within a 50 mile radius, and those who were NOT already fans of Blogger at Large, but WERE friends of fans of Blogger at Large, because familiarity to a brand adds trust and works better than promoting yourself cold.

As at the time of writing, I have spent $45.89 and have added 272 new fans at a cost of 17c each. But as well as the fans I have paid for, friends of those newbies have also seen their activity and in 8 days I have increased my fans from 1330 to 1630. That’s a total increase of 300 or nearly 25%.

Tip: A general observation about prizes seems to be that the lesser the value, the more entries you will receive. I guess when you put up a high-ticket item like a trip, people figure they don’t stand a chance. But when it’s tickets to the CheeseFest, they’re all in.

I’ve decided to continue my $6 spend until I draw the prize in another week, so will report back on the final uptake then.

**Update: I ran the campaign for 12 days and had 376 paid likes (new fans) at a cost of .18c each = $67.68. I ended up with more new fans than this however due to friends of the new fans also signing up.

Hope this helps!


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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!