How Jesse Stay uses passion pages to supercharge a brand’s Facebook audience

Jesse Stay is a long-time friend of ours at BlitzMetrics, and an accomplished author. We caught up with him for an interview on the strategy behind’s Facebook presence. 

I’ll speak today in a perspective of the news industry and pull in the Deseret News experience. There, we were building a new presence called, which is a family-based news website targeting a non-denominational audience.

Instead of creating and promoting one main-brand Facebook page, we figured out who our audience is and what areas we want to target, what areas we want to move into, and we built Facebook pages around each of those, focused on the passions of those audiences for each page — passion pages.

We used “I love” in our page names, a lot. The goal was to build up a large audience and spend as little as we could to grow the audience. Then we could post links back to our web sites at zero cost and drive traffic. Within six months, we doubled our referral traffic from Facebook. I hear they have doubled that seven times since then.

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In a news organization, it’s all about traffic. If you are going for ad views or page views, that traffic is gold because it means more money in ads. We were seeing engagement, likes, and comments.

Comments, particularly, were through the roof on these pages. We shared some of our numbers with our Facebook account rep and he didn’t believe us when we shared it with him, because of how high they were.

It does work, and if you focus on conversion goals of that traffic: engagements, especially comments (which lead to likes and shares), you’re going to see it, despite any fake traffic or likes.

My suggestion to those going to universities is get out there and learn to program. I have a 10-year-old now who is learning to program along with my 14-year-old daughter. It’s not as hard as it seems. Even if you don’t have a passion, you can at least learn some other basics so you can understand how to get data and what is accessible to you.

Even if you don’t have all the knowledge, you can tell your programmers what to build for you so you can access / analyze data better. You’ll get a lot further than other marketers with this advantage.

2014-07-11 02_59_22-Jesse StayJesse Stay is the founder and principal of Commerce Futurists. A consulting firm that assist in market disruption adaptation, or “paradigm shifts.” This includes helping to change business models.

Jesse was the head of social media strategy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church, or the Mormons) from 2010-2012. From 2012-2013, He worked for Deseret Digital Media, owner of the nationally-published Deseret News and helped grow their social media presence to well over 20 million fans worldwide.

His other ventures include startups and general digital consulting, as well as serving on a board of directors.

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