How to Virally Grow Your Facebook Fan Page

FixCourse
Brad Smith Partner, Codeless Interactive, LLC

Posted on January 4th 2012

How to Virally Grow Your Facebook Fan Page

Facebook introduced the "People Talking about This" metric a few months ago.

Initially, many were skeptical of how useful it would be.

As it turns out, it's actually one of the best metrics you can use to gauge your Facebook marketing.

This one number tells you how effective your Facebook Marketing is on a weekly basis. And it's the key to virally growing your Facebook fan page.

Why?

Your "Viral Reach" is closely tied to how many people are "Talking about You".


 

So the more people that "talk about you", the more your Facebook page will virally grow on its own.

But there's a huge problem. Something is stopping you.

What's stopping you from virally growing your Facebook fan page?

EdgeRank.

 

Facebook EdgeRank 101

The truth is that it doesn't matter how many fans your page has. This is a harsh reality for your social media marketing.

If you don't have engagement, then people will never see your updates.

Facebook's EdgeRank is an algorithm that determines how many of your Facbeook fans will actually see any updates.

It's made up of three parts:

 

1. User Affinity

The first part measures each individual user's engagement level with your page.

The more times a user Likes, comments, views, or responds to a question on your page, the more likely they will receive updates.

 

2. Status Weight

Facebook wants users to stay on their site as long as possible.So they give more credit to these types of updates.

Video is given the most, followed by photos, links, and then regular status updates.

 

3. Freshness

As a rule of thumb, most people have seen your status update within 4 hours.

So updating at consistent intervals and at the right time of day can pay off tremendously.

But be careful. Posting more frequently than once every four hours can actually hurt you in the long run.

 

How Do You Defeat EdgeRank?

The key to defeating EdgeRank, is by increasing your user engagement on each update.

Here are some simple tips that you can start doing today.

 

Use a Personal Tone.

Address your fans casually and be personal. Think about what your users are interested in, and use the vocabulary they would use.

Always put your audience's needs first. If you're posting a link to an article you just wrote, then specifically ask them "What they think about X", or "Do you like X or Y better?".

 

Always use a Call-to-Action.

You should always have a specific reason behind each status update. Don't just ramble or post garbage... this isn't Twitter.

If you want your users to take some action, then ask them to!

So try saying, "Tell me what you think", or "Like this update if you like X.

 

Spark an emotional response and debate.

People will feel compelled to respond when they have some deep interest.

The easiet topics that spark debate are sex, religion and politics. But I would urge you to avoid these for obvious reasons.

Instead, use current news stories or pop culture references. These inspire the same interest level, without the headaches and arguments.

 

Post during peak hours.

Finally, look at your Facebook Insights to determine when your best updates (in terms of Total Views) were posted.

If you can't find any patterns or clues, then you can't go wrong with the following schedule:

  • Early Morning (7am - 9am)
  • End of Work (5pm - 7pm)
  • Late Night (11pm - 1am)

Facebook use peaks during these time periods, and you'll have a better chance of exposing your content to more people.

Using these tips will help you immediately increase engagement.

And when you increase engagement on a daily basis, then you'll begin to virally grow your Facebook fan page.

The more people you get "talking about you" each week, then the better chance you have of meeting your marketing goals.

 

FixCourse

Brad Smith

Partner, Codeless Interactive, LLC

Brad Smith is a Partner at Codeless Interactive, LLC, which specializes in custom web development and customer acquisition services.

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Comments

lucaleonardini
Posted on January 4th 2012 at 9:39AM

Hi Brad, very useful suggestions and very valuable considerations. I like your post and the way it is presented: very clear, very concrete. Cheers, Luca

FixCourse
Posted on January 6th 2012 at 12:19PM

Thank you Luca, really appreciate it! 

ideagirlmedia
Posted on January 6th 2012 at 3:09PM

Brad,

Great article!

As a social media manager/marketer, I agree with much of what you've had to say.  Though I do believe that people should watch their page insights -- they may have hours of activity that are better for them that are different than what you suggest above.

Sitting in a session with Socialbakers not too long ago, they conveyed that 2pm Eastern is the most active hour on Facebook over all.  For my page, 8-9pm is more active than 5-7pm.  We all just have to look....and keep looking.

The things that seem to trigger the biggest response are pictures and discussion of delicious food/coffee.  Sometimes what I wouldn't 'expect! :)

A good resource to refer people to - thanks!

~Keri

FixCourse
Posted on January 8th 2012 at 9:20AM

Hi Keri,

Thank you for your comments, and appreciate you liking the article!

I couldn't agree more with you about referring to Facebook Insights (I actually have a blog post coming out on my blog about it tomorrow). They provide a tremendous amount of data, and you can really learn a lot about your audience. Individual results will depend a lot on the demographics and behavior of each actual community.  (I wouldn't have expected food either, but I would probably respond to that as well :) )

Here's a really good example from Dan Zarrella, about how to get RT in Vegas. (http://danzarrella.com/infographic-how-to-get-retweeted-in-vegas.html) If you look at the activity, it's usually much later than normal markets (10am - 8pm).  Also in his book, he talks about how most sharing is actually done outside of office hours.  Interesting stuff to think about...

Thanks again!

--Brad

Kelly Driskel
Posted on January 10th 2012 at 12:19PM

Good basic information. Enjoyed the reading it.

Kelly

FixCourse
Posted on January 10th 2012 at 1:29PM

Thank you Kelly!

Lisa Ann Landry
Posted on January 13th 2012 at 1:52AM

Thanks for the segment on the Facebook peak time or what I like to call Facebook Prime Time. I really believed those were the peak times but had no proof to back it up. It likely makes a difference on who your target market is - for instance if it includes lots of corporate employees many organizations block access to social media site during work hours. Consequently employess have acces early in the morning before work, at lunch (on their smart phones) and after work. My target market SBO's tend to have more access & control so their peak times maybe different. Personally as a SBO myself I like the late shift where there are no phone calls, interruptions, or distractions.

Lisa Ann Landry - Social Media Marketing Trainer
Licensed Coach - The SNCC Way
http://www.socialnetworkingcoachingclub.com/
I’m an exuberant force of light… Come light up your life

lairsjohnston
Posted on April 13th 2012 at 6:26PM

Great points Brad. I've also found it really helpful to be integrating and correctly branding your sites. A lot of people will do either do the exact same posts on Facebook and Twitter which only motivates the consumer to follow one of the sites while the other spectrum is that there's no advertisement for Twitter on their Facebook page and vise versa. In creatintg several different avenues of social media that are unique in their purpose yet still branded with the same direction and personalities can greatly increase audience interaction which of course increases your following. What better what to market your business than to create such good content that you're fans are doing your advertising for you for free via word of mouth because you've integrated and created a page that is successful in all of these areas!

Leslie Gabriel
Posted on April 13th 2012 at 11:41PM

Hey Brad,

Thanks so much for this article ... as someone who has grown our following with umpteen or more bits of trial and error, I am so happy that you shared your experience and most of all explained it without jargon.

SuperThanks :-)

I will be looking at your stuff often and sharing about you with my network.

Love,

Leslie Gabriel, WaterMan

PsychichealerC
Posted on February 17th 2014 at 7:22AM

Thank you so much. I have been posting every half an hour. I am going to try the every four hours and see what happens. I am even looking into a new venue for my business. Tired of trying to fight Facebook for people to see my posts.