A blog about Facebook marketing

How to get the right followers on Facebook (part 2)

Thursday, October 25, 2012 Sven Hamberg

This is the second and last post about how to get the right followers for your Facebook page. The first post covered why this is important, and how to attract the core of your fans. In this post I’ll discuss how to define and attract your potentials.

Let’s start with a quick recap. The core is your existing customers. These are people that already spend money with you, or have shown purchasing intent (by signing up for a mailing list for instance). The potentials are just what they sound like - people that have good potential for converting into customers.

Divide your target audience into Core and Potentials to structure your efforts in effectively attracting the right people to like your Facebook page.

When you’ve attracted the majority of your core it’s time to move on to your potentials. I define them as people who fit your defined relevant interests AND have one or more friends that already follows you.

It will of course be the case that some people that would be your exact target audience don’t indicate this on Facebook through their likes and interests. Also, people obviously don’t have to have a friend among your current customers in order to start spending money with you - but if they do, your marketing efforts will become much easier. Therefore, I prefer to keep it this way when establishing the Facebook follower base. As your follower base grows, so will the amount of people you can reach through the connections you’ve already made.

It is time to start looking at advertising

To attract your core the most effective way is probably utilising Custom Audiences. If that isn’t a viable option for you then don’t worry. Since you know who your customers are you already have a good way of reaching them, as pointed out in the previous post. When it comes to reaching your potentials on the other hand, you’ll find that Facebook’s ad offering is exactly what you need. By putting some leverage on the interaction you’ve started with your core followers, reaching out to your potentials is both easy and effective.

Do this by turning your best page posts into page post ads, and by keeping page like and post comment stories always on. But, don’t forget your targeting. You still want to reach the right people, so work with defining (and refining) your targeting profiles to make sure they match your desired audience.

By working this way, where you start with the most relevant people and expand from there, you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Besides starting interacting with the people most likely to spend money with you, there’s another reason to why this is a good way of going about. This is due to the nature of a social network like Facebook, where the smaller follower base you have, the greater the unique reach per person in it. This becomes evident when taking a look at a (although rather small) set of pages, and is shown in the chart below.

Number of fans vs. Reach per fan
Reach per fan is defined as the number of users you can reach in a given country, by targeting people in that country that are friends of your current fans, divided by the number of current fans in that country. This follows the assumption that a given user has the majority of her friends in the country where she lives..

As you keep gaining more likes for your Facebook page, each new person will (on average) contribute with less previously unreachable people than the last one. And this of course makes a lot of sense. If you take a set of Facebook users within your target audience, it is unlikely that they have no common friends (unless you keep the number small, and pick users from different parts of the world). The more likes you gain, the less each new one will contribute in terms of unique friends.

When you start out you have rather limited reach and by growing from your core you set yourself up for reaching relevant people more effectively. People tend to engage a lot more with stories that come with an endorsement from a friend (a like, a comment, a share...), so by making sure you’re spending your advertising budget on impressions of that kind, you’re setting yourself up for a better payoff.

It comes down to starting at the right end

So, the approach I’ve tried to outline here is all about attracting the right people as followers of your Facebook page, mainly due to these reasons:

  • The resources you put into creating content and interacting with your followers are spent on reaching people that ultimately spend money with you
  • The money you spend on advertising will get you impressions and clicks from people that ultimately spend money with you

Simply put:

By ensuring you build your Facebook following from a base of people that are your real customers, you’re in a much better position to scale up your Facebook marketing efforts in a cost-efficient manner - that at the end of the day translates into a positive return on your investment.

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