Why are passion pages so popular on Facebook?


There’s a group of pages that achieve loads of organic reach, with little Facebook advertising involved. How are they doing it? Through passion.

Passion pages — like “Architecture & Engineering,” or “Welcome to the Internet,” — aren’t so much selling a service or a product, or acting as the public face of a company. They’re meant to be a gathering place for people who love something. But what goes into a passion page’s content strategy and what are the major goals?

Inside Facebook talked with Saul Leal and Saborn Va of Salt Lake City-based Deseret Digital Media, the minds behind popular passion pages such as “I Love My Family” (8.8 million fans), “Yo Amo a Mi Familia” (5.6 million) and “I Love the Bible” (5.3 million). Deseret has more than 100 passion pages across Facebook. Last month alone, they drove 3.3 billion impressions to the company’s FamilyShare Network websites.

Deseret’s Facebook ad budget to acquire new fans? $0.

Leal, Deseret Digital Media’s General Manager of Social Media and Family Products, told Inside Facebook the company’s goal on the social network:

Passion without purpose is not passion. … What’s behind the passion pages is really purpose. Purpose has different things. The first one comes through the mission of the company. It’s very focused. I want to own the brand of families on the internet. Based on Unmetric, one of our pages is the No. 1 page online in the media sector for Facebook. If you look at Upworthy, BuzzFeed, New York Times — of all of these media pages, we are the No. 1 page for the last several months.

Va, the company’s Director of Social Media, said that instead of creating a page and trying to craft out an audience, Deseret’s social media and content strategy is somewhat reverse-engineered. Knowing that there are swaths of people on Facebook who are passionate about family, religion or their spouse. The plan has been to create content around those themes and then post to Facebook.

Deseret has been victim to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm changes, too. When Facebook changed to skew away from memes and low-quality posts, Va said Deseret shifted its strategy to focus on the content of the FamilyShare Network sites. The pages shared content from those sites that resonated best with their audiences, optimizing for shares.

D315D813-C044-4E35-91B5-41058BEE4F27Last month, Deseret’s social pages drove 23.3 million social referrals to the websites. The company has more than 91 million aggregated social followers across all platforms, with Facebook being the most popular.

The sites are very popular internationally. Of Deseret’s top 10 pages, in terms of likes, only 5 are in English, with other being in Spanish or Portuguese. Leal said that roughly 80 percent of the traffic to the FamilyShare Network sites comes from social media — a lion’s share of that being Facebook.

People love to share content from these pages, as well as engage with what’s posted. On one page, Eu Amo Meu Marido (Portuguese for “I Love My Husband,”) there’s a PTAT value of 61 percent of the page’s 1.7 million fans. Pages, I Love My Family and I Love The Bible have driven total reach of more than 60 million each over the past 28 days.

How do they do this without resorting to cat memes, sexy pictures or paying for advertising? Leal said they try to make an emotional connection with their fanbases, creating content that’s made to be shared. Va explained the strategy:

The mission of our company is to strengthen hundreds of millions of families all over the world with the content that we’re producing. That content is very focused on families and somewhat focused on faith, as well. Ultimately, we use social media to drive traffic back to our website. We don’t build pages and then write content for those pages. We have content and we build pages to push out that content. The pages that we build have to be relevant to the content that we produce. We have pages like I Love My Family or I Love My Husband, and those are pages that all drive traffic content. We don’t do just anything. There’s got to be some relevancy there.

While this may not work for many companies, managing a passion page centered around your brand’s expertise or product could be a valuable way to drive both engagement and traffic to the website.

Readers: Do you utilize (or like) any passion pages?