Secrets To Finding Success On Facebook (Without Spending Big Bucks)

By Justin Lafferty 

Brands on Facebook have found success without paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so. By promoting fan-created content, paying attention to engagement, and figuring out what their audiences want, Facebook pages can become more popular. Dennis Yu, founder of BlitzMetrics, and Lisa Buyer, CEO of The Buyer Group, spoke at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in San Francisco Wednesday about ways that pages have gone beyond the goal of fan acquisition to truly excel within the social network.

Buyer had some useful tips for Facebook marketers that don’t have the budget of major brands:

  • Posts to the Facebook page should be roughly 50 percent news, 30 percent personality, and 20 percent business.
  • Positivity in posts resonates the best with fans.
  • Don’t be afraid to use emoticons — within reason.
  • If you’re just starting out and are unsure how many times to post, start with four to five times per week, then adapt based on what your audience responds to.
  • Photos are magic when it comes to public relations and Facebook.
  • Don’t be afraid to post beyond the 9-to-5: Brand posts between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. received 14 percent higher interaction.

Yu talked about how targeting ads can really work (and to disregard the “boost post” button), but there are ways to gain influence without spending a lot of money. He gave the example of Fuddruckers, as its most popular post recently didn’t come from the brand manager, but from a fan. One of the people who liked Fuddruckers’ page posted about the restaurant feeding first responders at the scene of a horrific crime.

It was shared, liked, and commented very well:

By paying attention to what a fan posted, Fuddruckers was able to gain a high rate of engagement — without having to brainstorm creative or pay for an ad.

However, Yu noted that if you really do want to have success on Facebook, you will have to pay a bit. It’s not a snide or cruel directive from Facebook, it’s just simple economics. As people like more pages and add more friends, pages are fighting for a smaller slice of the pie. By utilizing targeted advertising instead of the erratic firehose method of organic content, pages can get their message seen by the people who would be the most likely to like, comment, and share.

Yu (along with social media specialist Heather Dopson) discussed how by putting a premium on quality content that resonates with their audiences, pages can grow their fan bases. Focusing on fans first without a solid plan for quality content to keep them engaged can lead to frustration and failure. While it may be rough at first, pushing out great posts that are relevant to audiences will lead to them sharing the content — and getting more people to like the page. Dopson noted that pages should have conversation with fans, rather than just pushing out stories and hoping they get traction.

Readers: What other strategies have you found to be successful? 

Heather Dopson, Dennis Yu, and Lisa Buyer at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in San Francisco.