As a social media professional, I often hear phrases like "Followers are just vanity metrics" and "Engagement doesn't pay the bills". But, I've got news for those people. That top-level, last-click attribution point of view can be just as useless for brands who don’t look at the whole picture.
The reality is that your social media followers may be much more valuable than you realize. So I'm hear to break it down for you!
What's the Value of a Facebook Page Like?
Have you ever walked into a restaurant during prime dinner time on a weekend night and noticed it was empty What thoughts cross your mind? I bet it's something like this:
"Did this place just open? Is it always this dead?"
"Did you check the Yelp reviews? Maybe this place has bad service or something."
"Is the food even good here? Maybe we should leave..."
Those feelings of skepticism and doubt are the same on the internet, when you see an ad from a page with 10 likes.
The truth is that people trust brands that have an established following more than brands who don't.
It's completely psychological. And that's just one of the reasons why influencer marketing is a billion dollar industry. Now, I'm not recommending that your page needs hundreds of thousands of fans to be successful. Quite the contrary.
Another tidbit of value: You can create Lookalike audiences based on your Page Fans. So once you've built up targeted page followers who engage with your content, you can create a similar audience based on those people and target your ads to them. Score!
The Recommendation Effect
Imagine you're scrolling through your Facebook feed, and you see an ad for a cool hotel. At the top, it says "Sally and 10 of your friends like this page."
What's your reaction? More than likely, you're going to wonder why you've never heard of this brand before, then click on the ad, check out the page, and follow them if you like their content. Maybe you'll even reach out to your friends and see if they've been there and what they thought if you're thinking about buying. After all, 92% of people trust recommendations over any other form of advertising.
How Do I Build Up My Fan Base Without Paying?
Unless you have a massive email list, you really shouldn't try to build your page organically. It's very, very time intensive. So unless you'd like to wait years (yes, years) to get your following where you want it, I recommend you put a few dollars into Facebook ads. Great content simply won't cut it anymore.
Let me break down the cost for you.
If your time is worth $50 an hour, and you spend 20 hours a month producing content no one sees, you just wasted $1,000. Considering you can build an extremely targeted Facebook audience for about 50 cents or less per like, you could have yourself 2,000+ page fans for that price. For one of my clients, their average was 8 cents per like, so you could have 12,500 fans at the end of one month. Note: do not ever, ever (ever) buy likes from Like farms on Fiverr or similar sites. Those will tank your engagement and reach, and obviously those people will never buy from you.
Now, I can appreciate that your Facebook fans see less than 1% of your content, but keep in mind that's only for organic content. That's why my tried-and-true Facebook strategy consists of building a base of hyper-targeted fans and promoting content to them. It's cost-effective, and it works.
If you don't have money to promote your posts and/or build your fan base on Facebook, then I recommend you wait until you do. It will save you a lot of time, energy, and frustration.
Maximizing the Value of your fans
Now that you have a targeted audience, what do you do with it? There are many different ways to maximize the value of your page likes, but first and foremost, ensure you don't ruin your reach and engagement by infrequent postings or constant sales blasts. Provide value, create/curate quality content, give them special offers, and do your best to respond to every single person. It's critical to engage them early on so they continue to see your content organically in their feed, where they can engage with your posts and see your content organically in your feed. This means you'll stay top of mind to those fans, so they'll be more likely to take action to buy your product or service.