How We Got 3,000 Vacation Rental Facebook Fans In 23 Days

A case study which highlights how one company was able to attract 3,000 fans to a vacation rental page in 23 days.

The Project Timeline

  • September 29th: We created a new Facebook Page for a vacation rental company on St Simons Island, Georgia and started running Facebook ads for fan acquisition.
  • October 21st: We reached 3,124 qualified fans for less than $1,000 ad spend.
  • October 29th: Almost 7 straight days of greater than 1% feedback rate on Facebook Page posts.

Results at the time of this blog post are:

  • 3,343 fans
  • 2,426 fans (73%) acquired from Facebook ads
  • 917 fans (27%) acquired via word of mouth and other sources
  • Total Facebook ad spend = $1,044.36
  • Cost per paid fan = $0.43
  • Cost per fan including viral fans = $0.31


With this page, Pertnear has shown how a local real estate and rental company can get a lot of fans cheaply and turn those fans into raving Page participants. I’ve used it to experiment with various types of posts to see which ones get the most engagement.

It’s been so positive that it actually has brightened my day at times. It feels like a celebration of joy centered around St. Simons Island, and that’s exactly the kind of feeling that changes buying behavior in the upper part of the sales funnel. See this post for more on that process.

Affordable Fan Acquisition

Having run Facebook fan acquisition campaigns for all size businesses and learning how to get Facebook fans, my hypothesis was that it required a well-known national brand or celebrity tie-in to get really affordable fans. But my experience with this campaign showed me that this is not true. The key to how to advertise on Facebook is actually connecting to relevant interests, especially the ones people are extremely avid about.

Feedback response: Benchmarking Engagement

Pages above a certain number of fans (10,000?) will show the Page administrator how many impressions the post received and the percentage of fans who liked or commented on that post.

  • Impressions can vary widely (20% – 70% of the fan base).
  • Feedback percentage is [(likes + comments)/fan base] – I’ve seen it as low as 0.05% and as high as 3.0%. It seems like when we do a good job, we’re somewhere between 1.0 – 3.0% feedback rate.

That means if you’re not getting 1/100th of your fanbase liking and commenting on most posts, you’re doing Facebook Page Marketing wrong. By that yardstick, most of the Pages I’ve seen are doing it wrong. And you’ll notice, most of them appear never to have heard the whole web 1.0 vs web 2.0 discussion. Remember, we’re supposed to be starting conversations, not just broadcasting information.

Maybe that old discussion, which probably seems cliche to Social Media veterans, needs to be revived.

About the author: Brian Carter is CEO of, a social media consultant and social media keynote speaker.