social media

If You Build It, They Will Come. That's Not Always True!

Especially when it comes to internet real estate. The only way anyone is coming to visit your Facebook page is if they know it is there and how to find it.

In addition, they aren't coming to your page unless you have something they are interested in. On top of all of this, they are not coming to your page when there is a dozen, ten dozen or a thousand other pages vying for their attention and the promoters of those pages are doing a better job than you at attracting all of the attention.

Creating and Promoting a Facebook Page

How Can I Draw Attention and Attract Fans To My Facebook Page?
I'm not an expert but I have real world experience at this. In my opinion, there is only one way for the average Facebook page owner to attract fans (Likes) and successfully grow an FB Page - through a Facebook Ad Campaign. The exceptions to this are if you have original content like a picture or video that goes viral, or you already have a large fan base at your website that you can send to your Facebook page. 

Facebook Ad Campaign
The truth of the matter is that anyone can have a successful ad campaign if they have enough money to throw at it. The real challenge is conducting a successful ad campaign within budget confines that allow for the end result to be financially productive. You don't have to possess a spectacular skill at this, you just have to be willing to spend some time using a trial and error approach. In such a dynamic environment you must not allow your trials to continue too long in order to prevent your errors from being so costly.

The Difference Between a $30,000
Ad Campaign and a $1,000 One
It's simple really, in the $30,000 ad campaign you pay $1.50 cost per click and in the $1,000 one you pay 5 cents per click. IMPORTANT NOTE: These are "Do It Yourself" numbers. If you pay someone to manage the campaign for you it will add to the cost. For this particular ad campaign we would have charged the client $5,000 per month or $10,000 for the two months which would bring the total cost to the client to $11,000 in order to gain 21,485 fans which are continuing to grow at a rate of 100 to 150 per day still.

facebook ad campaign graph In the chart I illustrate the actual results of the last Facebook Ad Campaign I managed. When the campaign was first created on June 20th (the same day the FB Page itself was created), Facebook suggested the cost per click (CPC) to be $.23 - $.51 and we set the bid at $.25 just above their minimum. As a result, the first 250 fans we got cost the most. After trying different ad variations adjusting the wordings, colors and pictures in a dozen different ads, we hit on the one ad that was successful. Once you get that one ad that works, Facebook will drop the CPC on that ad and when they did, we dropped our bid below their suggested amount and went to town.

On day 30 of the ad campaign we reached 5,000 fans! In the one week that followed, that's right, in week 5 of the campaign alone, we jumped from 5,000 to 10,000 fans! The second group of 5,000 fans came the quickest and were the easiest to gain, by far. After reaching 10,000 fans, it took 10 days to gain the next 5,000 fans and reach 15,000. Then it took 17 days to gain the next 5,000 fans and reach 20,000.

After 64 days and reaching 20,000 fans we felt we had reached the bell-curve peak of the campaign. Instead of halting the campaign, we dropped the maximum bid per click from 5 cents to 4 cents and placed a small daily limit on the campaign spend and left it in place. It's still adding about 100 to 150 fans per day.

So What's The Secret?
There is no secret and we did not use any tricks or gimmicks to achieve these results. The key to success however is to find that one creative ad that will attract people like a magnet. Furthermore, you have to be persistent and understand that the inertia of a campaign like this takes time to get off the ground and pick up momentum.

In our project example here a real client would have spent $5,600 in the first month for only 5,000 fans, averaging more than $1 per fan. In the second month of the campaign the client would have spent $5,400 for 15,000 fans!
If the client had been impatient and abandoned the ad campaign at the end of the first month he would have missed the boat entirely. A great deal of time was invested in this project. I monitored the activity daily and seven days per week at that. I also made the posts to the Facebook page during this time. You can lose fans as quickly as you gain them with too frequent or counter-productive postings.

Lastly, when you create your ad Facebook will give you lots of customization as far as "targeting" your audience. We accepted the defaults of persons over the age of 18, in the United States, any sex, any marital status, unless they were already fans of our page. Why did we do this? Facebook will up the minimum CPC bid with each criteria you set.

What is the disadvantage of not narrowing your target audience? Your conversion rate may go down. This means that everyone that clicks on your ad (and you pay for) may not become a fan. We actually received and paid for 31,550 clicks at an average of 3 cents per click. Of the 31,550 click throughs we converted 22,346 to fans (71% conversion rate) at an average of 4.5 cents per fan. It's very simple math to see if you are better off paying the higher rate for a more narrow target market to improve your conversion rate.

You'll notice that I said we acquired 22,346 fans, yet earlier I stated that we have 21,485. Both statements are true, we lost 861 fans over the 64 day period, which brings me to my next topic.
How Do You Keep Facebook Fans?
Check out the status of our project page yourself. The Facebook Page is for an online swim shop that sells water sports gear through an Amazon Affiliate Store. I have performed a good deal of research on this topic and after monitoring this project closely, can share the following information with you. Every time you post to your page, if you will check the insights Facebook provides 48 hours later you will find that some fans unliked you. It is a fact of FB life that this is inevitable. This applies only to your posts, not your comments or fan posts.

On days that I posted 3 times the unlikes went up (as high as 60). You cannot monopolize your fans time or their wall space. I reduced my postings to once every other day during the week that we gained 5,000 new fans and found this to be the optimal posting interval. I read that FB pages with 1 million or more fans post once every 16 days on average. I tried this and found the problem to be that all of the fan posts pushed my last post off the page! This might work better if you elected to not allow fans to create posts.

One of my ads referenced a video that I had posted and new visitors would not even find unless they scrolled to the bottom and clicked the more or older posts button or click the link at the top of the menu that shows my posts only. I dropped the ad as it wasn't performing well anyway. Coming up with good posting material is a job that I had to work at. You have to think like your fans and try to post stuff that will be of interest to them.

Why Should I Invest in a Facebook Page?
Social Reach - In our project where we created a page and attracted 20,000+ fans we have the potential for 5,000,000 people to see any posting we make to our wall. I know this because I received an email from Facebook when we reached 19,000 fans. The email asked if I would be interested in having a telephone call from a Facebook employee to discuss my ad campaign and page. I said yes of course!

We scheduled a time for the call and sure enough, a Facebook employee called me and answered my questions and I had a lot. The main purpose of the call for Facebook was to attempt to get me to try Sponsored Stories in addition to my ads. One of the things I learned from the phone call was that the average Facebook User has 250 Friends.

To see what your Social Reach is you can simply create an ad and choose targeting to only show the ad to friends of current fans, it will display the Reach number on the right hand side after it calculates it! Now don't get me wrong, I'm not delirious here. I realize that 100% of those people will probably never view a single post, but what if 1% to 10% do? That's 50,000 to 500,000 people! And once you're set up and have everything in place, the cost to make a post is simply the time to think of it and post it, very little.

If you enjoyed this article, read more about the Facebook Phenomena here.
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