Quite often I hear myths and complaints from friends in the industry and clients around Facebook fan growth... And I probably thought some of these were true before I spent some serious time on campaigns.
"It's not worth paying to grow your community"
"It's too expensive"
"It's easier to outsource it"
"You can't control the audience you attract"
"The brand is too boring"
"You need a good incentive"
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to work with one Australia's largest financial institutions and help them grow their Facebook audience from close to nothing to 80,000+ fans in just 3 months... They had some extremely ambitious targets both in size and CPA targets.
The task was a little daunting at the beginning but I drew on some search marketing basics...
1. Break everything down to the granular elements
2. Google lots
Some Facebook Fan Acquisition Tips
Start from the inside out
Seems obvious but you'll be surprised how many of your existing customers will Like you if you just ask them. There a few good reasons to do this, even if it seems hard, it drive's incremental organic likes as customers friends see the story, and gives you stories to amplify.
Get the right tools for the job
The Facebook Ads platform is horrible. Forget it and start out with Power Editor or better still Marin or another likewise service if you have the budget. I used Power Editor and found it pretty useful for this task.
Find the right people, put a like button in front of them
It's really not rocket science, your end goal is to find the people who are likely to want to like your brand, and make sure they know the page exists... By doing this you should easily be able to achieve below a $1 cost per like.
Build from the bottom up
What are the granular components? Everything you need to be able to see to discover what's working. This is important cause you need to structure your campaign in a way which you can see what's working.
Think about all the elements that may make up a niche segment; age, location, sex, interest, friends of fans, similar businesses, pages liked, some of these are obvious... but if you get creative you might find some really responsive niches. This also gives you the ability to qualify the fans you'd prefer.
Split these elements out at the ad level (giving you dozens of ads) you'll be able to see what's working best for you.
Don't hold the best back
The Facebook platform is terrible for prioritizing ads against each other. It all works based on your budget allocation, and usually the poor performing broad budget sucking ads strangle your best ones.
For me it was best to split out multiple campaigns and have each element in the campaign broken out into separate ads... Kind of like ad groups for search.
For example; you may have ads just targeting friends of fans on the newsfeed placement. Split the desktop and mobile targeting into two different campaigns as they'll perform differently and it will be critical to see which buckets are performing later on.
Mobile & Newsfeed
These will be your 2 best friends. Seriously.
Have a control group
Like any good test have a broad clean control you can compare against, it also helps to be able to open the throttle up from time to time and build some momentum.
Facebook Reporting sucks
Another great benefit of the new tools you're using is that the reporting will be useful.
If not at least set up yourself a nice report in excel with some pivot tables so you can see which of your 100's of ads are having the wins and losses.
Follow some good resources
You'll learn a thing or too as a starting point, but there's always product developments to exploit before anyone else locally knows about it. (Inside Facebook and Facebook Studio are two great resources). For example I had a lot of success with sponsored search before it was even announced locally.
Would love to hear your experiences with paid fan growth?